2. Nature of broadcasting organisations

Most national broadcasting organisations now provide both radio and television services, but the nature and histories of the two media have usually ensured that radio and television production are organised separately. It is recommended that the sound archive is placed within the radio programme-making division. The archivist should have the closest contact with the production staff who both provide and reuse the material which is preserved. Such contact alerts the archivist to current and future programme plans and their potential significance to the archive. He may suggest ways in which archive material may be useful in the formulation of programme plans. Close contact between archive and programme-making areas should lead to interchange of ideas and information, and help to develop a sense of mutual trust and common interest. To this end it is essential that the archivist knows as many of the individual producers as possible. In this way support and advocacy may be secured, and the archive valued as an essential resource.

The sound archivist should maintain close liaison with his equivalent in television. Many practices and problems will be common to both collections; namely selection policy, the extent of catalogue documentation, issue and retrieval systems, and aspects of storage policy. In smaller organisations one archivist may be responsible for both radio and television material. The archivist would therefore need to ensure that the distinct archival needs of both media are catered for, according to the way in which the two programme-making areas are organised.

Most broadcasting organisations are concerned primarily with making new programmes, and there is always difficulty in securing adequate funds for establishing and developing archives of programme material. However it is now accepted that such collections can provide invaluable source material for new programmes of all kinds, capable of reuse in many different contexts. Archive collections can enhance the quality of programmes to such an extent that the organisation will suffer if these opportunities and responsibilities are not taken up.

A single radio organisation may have many and widely separated stations making and transmitting programmes. In this situation a decision must be made as to whether each station should have its own sound archive, or whether the local operations should depend on a central service. Ideally good lines of communication should ensure that the central archive can provide an equally effective service to both regional stations and the central area. Where regional characteristics and language are sufficiently distinct, it is essential that programme-makers within these regional centres should be involved in decisions on what material is required for permanent retention specifically for that region