Broadcasting in Illuminatia
Broadcast media represents a major cultural force in Illuminatia, thanks to the population's insatiable appetite for mass media, and the broadcast medium's capacity to serve its audiences with informative, entertaining, and culturally-relevant content that is socially constructive and non-exploitative. The aural and visual broadcast mediums are consumed by the vast majority of the population on a daily basis.
Major broadcasters in Illuminatia include governmental entities, non-profit organizations, and commercial for-profit entities. Broadcasters might purvey programming of an informational or entertaining nature as a public service, or, alternatively, for the sake of profit. Illuminatian broadcasting is dominated by one or two continent-wide public broadcasting networks, including TI, and three or four continent-wide commercial networks, including VB and GWB.
Contrary to post-modern-classical Earthly times, on-demand and customized personal and social media never fully developed in Illuminatia thanks to the broadcasting industry's capacity to cater to its audiences, with mainstream outlets complemented by a diversified selection of special-interest wireless (radio) and television channels.
Radio broadcasting in Illuminatia is referred to as "wireless" broadcasting in the native Glossa Communi language to differentiate it from its predecessor which was distributed by cable briefly in early Illuminatian history. Television retained its common name.
Illuminatian society, thanks to its intense affection for the free flow of ideas, embraces broadcasting as a culturally centric institution and the success of the medium reflects that. The number and diversity of broadcasters demonstrates the average Illuminatian's obsession for being exposed to the ideas and cultural divergences of others. The owners and operators of broadcast media outlets in Illuminatia represent a broad swath of corporations, organizations, and individuals. Broadcast station ownership is non-centralized and highly diverse, unlike most Earthly media ecosystems.
Wireless aural and television broadcasting utilize the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit audio and video programming to a theoretically unlimited audience. The Bureau of Spectrum Management (BSM) manages the allotment of the electromagnetic spectrum to entities for the purpose of broadcasting and also works with industry to determine the standardized analogue modulation standards used for transmission. Broadcasting in Illuminatia exclusively uses entirely analogue modulation schemes.
Any Illuminatian resident is free to receive and consume any broadcast service available at a given location by whatever practical means desired by the citizen with no limit and without censorship or tax. The only tax relating to broadcasting that is assessed in Illuminatia is the nominal Receiver License. Much like the television license levied by some of the former nations of Earth, the Receiver License is assessed on every device commercially sold that is capable of receiving a wireless (radio) or television broadcast.
Any citizen or entity is also allowed the freedom to exercise their right to free speech using broadcasting as a medium, and all licensed broadcasters allow some venue for this form of free expression as an obligation of their license to broadcast using the public's airwaves. The right to expression via broadcast is also accommodated through frequencies set aside for amateur broadcasting. Additionally, any citizen or entity in good standing with the government is afforded the opportunity to become licensed to originate broadcasts with equal prejudice to any other entity, provided they do so within prescribed limits that protect the same equal privilege enjoyed by other broadcasters and provided they demonstrate the financial and practical ability to maintain such operations.
Historical and technical context
Broadcasting in Illuminatia began as an official communication mechanism among key central command and leadership personnel from the Lucidus mission. A limited supply of two-way communication devices was available after the mission reached the ground, creating a demand for communication and information among the populace.
Wired public address and information systems within camps and settlements evolved into wireless communication systems as the industrial means developed for producing wireless transmitters and receivers. While this technology had already been developed on Earth well into antiquity, Illuminatians were left to reinvent and produce their own technology using technical details supplied to the Lucidus mission and raw resources obtained from the Illuminatian planet.
While publicly-operated wireless broadcast systems were originally the only transmission devices officially recognized, other uncoordinated, non-governmental, not-necessarily-authorized broadcasters emerged to quell public demand for a variety of information and entertainment sources. A haphazard spectrum of various wireless users soon necessitated the need for the Illuminatian government to regulate wireless communication via the Bureau of Spectrum Management.
The BSM established a system in which the existing wireless broadcasts were registered and organized based on geography, transmission power level, and frequency. Governmental and public broadcasters were given first priority for positions within the Ultra Long Wave (ULW) broadcast band. Secondary to that, other broadcasters were given the opportunity to construct and register professionally operated facilities which did not interfere with existing licensed broadcasters. Later, as the ULW broadcast band developed, an adjacent portion of this band was set aside for amateur and experimental broadcasting to benefit entities that wished to diddle in transmission to a potential audience without interfering with other users of the spectrum.
The Illuminatian system of broadcasting quickly organized itself from a collection of scattered independently owned and operated local stations producing their own content. This early incarnation developed into a system of national networks that began providing a significant portion of programming to local stations that chiefly remained independently owned and operated. The earliest and largest continent-wide networks include TI, VB, and GWB.
Despite the rise of networks, Illuminatian broadcasting maintained a standard of local identity and local ownership, with a robust selection of quality locally-produced content existing next to continent-wide network programming.
- See article: ULW broadcasting
Wireless, or "radio," broadcasting in Illuminatia commenced regular coordinated public operation within the ULW band of frequencies not long after the introduction of regulation by the BSM.
Originally, the BSM allowed only broadcasts with a small geographic reach limited to a city or metropolitan area and licensed this class of stations, known as the Local Information Station (LIS), exclusively to public service governmental entities. Later, broadcasting within the same technical context was opened up to other civic entities, organizations, and other non-profits utilizing stations licensed as a so-called Registered Civilian Station (RCS). As broadcasting technology evolved, the BSM established an adjacent band of channels for full-power regional operation. Existing broadcasters eventually migrated to these channels and previously-utilized band of channels was turned over to amateur and experimental operation.
The original standard of wireless broadcasting involved transmitting a monaural audio program using single-sideband (SSB) modulation, similar to but different from the AM or mediumwave broadcasting of the earlier days of Earth. Later, a system of superior stereophonic audio fidelity using frequency modulation (FM) was developed and began operation on the Medium Wave (MW) band.
Television broadcasting finally developed and was rolled-out using an analogue transmission system in the Short Wave (SW) band. Television ownership and localism looks very much like that of traditional Illuminatian wireless broadcasting. The same major wireless networks also produced parallel television networks. Wireless and television now co-exist and thrive, serving their audiences compelling content, highlighting the strengths of either medium.