Sunday, October 13, 2019

Essay --

Impact of the Radio The invention of the radio had an immense impact, revolutionizing the unity of society. â€Å"I live in a strictly rural community, and people here speak of ‘The Radio’ in the large sense, with an over-meaning,† said E.B. White in 1933. â€Å"When they say ‘The Radio’ they don’t mean a cabinet, an electrical phenomenon, or a man in a studio, they refer to a pervading and somewhat godlike presence which has come into their life and homes† (Lewis). The radio became a mighty weapon whose power involved spreading ideas to millions of listeners, who may otherwise never have heard those inspirational messages. Religious fanatics used to stand at the back of churches shouting radical nonsense, while others would ignore. Now, those fanatics have the opportunity to mass communicate their ideas to a much larger pool of people, furthering the chance for ideas to spread. The morality behind the messages of these ideas, however, is up for contention. The invention of the radio exposed the dual nature of the ability to mass communicate to millions of people instantaneously. President Franklin D. Roosevelt held a series of thirty evening radio addresses between 1933 and 1944 dubbed â€Å"fireside chats†. These fireside chats were the first media development that allowed for direct communication between the president and the citizens of the United States. Roosevelt spoke with a smooth demeanor in these chats, and â€Å"millions of people found comfort and renewed confidence in these speeches,† (â€Å"The Fireside Chats†) skyrocketing his popularity. On air, â€Å"he was able to quell rumors and explain his reasons for social change slowly and comprehensibly,† (Yu, 2005). Especially useful for Roosevelt, the radio helped him to hide his polio symptoms help... ...ughlin and Hitler managed to use it to spread hatred. The four have in common that each was listened to and supported by millions of listeners. In 1933, the Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, Josef Goebbels, said, â€Å"The radio will be to the twentieth century what the press was to the nineteenth.† The radio not only sped up communication, but also the words took on more personality as they were spoken with declamatory, fully animated voices. Issues with anonymity arose, as listeners over the radio can never truly be aware who speaks to them. At the very least, the invention of the radio exposed the influence of having emotion portrayed through voice as opposed to words read by the literate populace. So now, not only could the illiterate and literate be equally influenced, the persuasion could appeal more directly to the emotions instead of the intellect.

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