John Reith, 1st Baron Reith

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John Reith, 1st Baron Reith in 1934

John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith, (20 July 1889 – 16 June 1971), was a Scottish broadcasting executive who established the tradition of independent public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom. In 1922, he was employed by the BBC (British Broadcasting Company Ltd.) as its general manager; in 1923 he became its managing director and in 1927 he was employed as the Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation created under a royal charter. His concept of broadcasting as a way of educating the masses marked for a long time the BBC and similar organisations around the world.


  • Broadcasting is a development with which the future must reckon and reckon seriously. Here is an instrument of almost incalculable importance in the social and political life of the community, in affairs national and international.

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