In my 1926 the new British Broadcasting Company was faced with reporting the news of the General Strike. Which side was the BBC on? The Director-General, John Reith, &d not hesitate. The BBC was a national institution, he said. The government was acting for the people. The BBC, therefore, was 'for the government in this crisis'.
Reith was to regret his swift pledge of allegiance. He subsequently fought hard to win great latitude for the BBC - made a public corporation in 1927 - to cover controversy. In her new book, Georgina Born (a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge), taking an anthropologist's view of this ageing