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A lightly edited transcription from a page 1 article in the 7 Feb 1924 issue of The Waterford Star

Influence of the Radio
(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 shortly.

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.

Copyright 2014 John Cardiff