Influence of the
(From the Montreal Star)
Ontario librarians have
expressed the opinion that the extensive use of the radio is seriously
affecting the attendance of the public at public libraries throughout
Canada and the United States.
That there has been a material
falling off in the patronage of the libraries is proved by statistics, and
it is by no means an unreasonable hypothesis that the radio had exercised
an influence in this direction.
Both in England and in the United
States it has been found that the broadcasting of entertainments by radio
is diminishing attendance at theatres and concerts, and though no definite
joint action has yet been taken in America, the British theatre managers
and concert directors have been up in arms for some time past, and many
have prohibited broadcasting either of plays or concerts unless the
broadcasting organization makes adequate recompense for the privilege.
There certainly would seem to be
no justification for any radio station supplying its customers with free
entertainment for which it pays nothing, but which costs those who attend
it hard cash.
Why would anyone leave a
comfortable fireside on a cold and stormy winter's night to travel to a
theatre and pay five dollars for two seats when they can sit a home and
hear the performance for nothing?
The argument is so obvious as to
require no emphasis whatsoever. The suggestion of the broadcasting people
that they are advertising the entertainment is not one to which the
managers take kindly. Indeed, they regard it with cynical amusement.
Already certain concert
impresarios are refusing to give contracts to artists who sing for the
radio, and there is evidence that the example will be generally followed
Unquestionably there is a very
important point as to rights to be settled, and the elementary principle
that it is unfair to make fish of one section of the public and flesh of
the other is clearly involved.
But like most problems that affect
the domestic circle, it will be satisfied sooner or later in a manner
satisfactory to the majority. Minorities are always left to protest.