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The Space for News. Ether and paper in the business of media

Autor: Michael Stamm
Revista: Media History Nº 21 (1)
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2014.950949#.VUDiXCHtlHw

: In the early twentieth century, American newspapers enjoyed high circulations while presenting readers with diverse and plentiful content. After 1920, radio broadcasting made even more information available for public consumption, giving audience members an abundant range of media choices.

During a time of plenty for readers and listeners, companies in the business of media struggled with the opposite problem: scarcity. As the amount of media content proliferated, the practical ability to disseminate it was determined by the access to scarce resources, and this was true for both radio broadcasting and newspaper publishing.

In many respects, the history of the American mass media in the early twentieth century might best be told as a tale of two scarcities, one—the electromagnetic spectrum—defined by absolute limits and the other—the newsprint—defined by access to markets for a particular material, the supply of which often fluctuated in availability and price.