Today is the 100th birthday of radio broadcasting - or is it?
Sunday, December 24th, 2006

Today is being widely celebrated as the 100th anniversary of the first radio broadcast. According to the official version of events, recorded in Wikipedia, Canadian physicist Reginald Fessenden used an alternator-transmitter to send out a short programme from Brant Rock, which included his playing the song O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible. The event appears to have taken place on 24 December, 1906, though some sources say it was actually 21 December. So Fessenden is widely recognised to be first person to transmit the human voice.

Some historians, however, have raised doubts about the authenticity of this story. Read the article in Radio World by James E O’Neal who has done extensive research into the subject. Media Network does not take a view one way or the other, but we have noted a lot of Fessenden-related items over the past few months, and none of them bothered to ask whether the story is true. We invite you to read both sides of the argument and make your own mind up.