What stands out from the preceding essays is the remarkable way in which television has developed along similar lines since the 1950s in so many different countries. In each decade the broadcasting systems and professions have been obliged to respond to fundamentally the same set of pressures and demands from the outside world. The norms and practices of television became set in the early 1970s when it seemed to have completed its exploration of the ‘genres’ and formats to which its technology seemed peculiarly suited. At the same moment television had become organisationally mature, its career patterns fairly clear to all those passing through them. It was no longer the young man’s medium which it had been in the heady days of 1968. Its faces were more lined; its hands hardened; it had acquired its own history and mythology. Within the broadcasting professions much of the ‘mystery’ is shared among practitioners everywhere although the tensions they experience in their own societies give a national complexion to their transmitted work.
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