The Indian Ocean World Centre Working Paper Series explores the past and contemporary history, geography, economy, environment and politics of the Indian Ocean World.

No. 9 (2020): Making Waves: Radio Broadcasting in 1920s Hong Kong

This paper traces the development of radio broadcasting in Hong Kong, focusing firstly on broadcasting activities in the early 1920s. It then examines how these early developments paved the way for the establishment of the first official radio station in Hong Kong in 1928. What the radio activities and the slow reaction of the colonial government demonstrate are that society usually adapts to new technology faster than the government did. I also argue that modernisation should not be simply regarded as a top-down state-intervention or bottom-up movement. Both state and society contributed in their ways to promote radio, which became a standard of modernity in the 1920s.

Published: 2020-08-17

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