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Lecture 10: Radio Development

Lecture 10: Radio Development - Invasion from Mars 3 The...

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Lecture 10: Radio The War of the Worlds 0. October 30, 1938 The Broadcast 1. June of 1938, Mercury Theatre of the Air had debuted on CBS. 2. Sunday evenings, 8-9; the host was Orson Welles. Also had John Houseman as Co-founder of the Mercury Theatre. 3. Welles and Houseman selected the shows; Howard Koch wrote the scripts. 4. Tuesday before the broadcast, Howard Koch was having troubles getting the script written -- a lot of problems adapting the show 5. Koch said the story could "in no way be made interesting or credible to American ears." 6. Tried to get Houseman to let him try a different play. Houseman said that the only alternative was Lorna Doone; they decided it was too dreary Sunday evening: An announcer announced the Mercury Theatre of the Air... 0. First few minutes lull the listener into the program 1. Then an announcement of fallen meteors near Grovers’ Mill, N.J. 2. The rest is history… Research conducted by Hadley Cantril of the Office of Radio Research in Princeton, reported in The
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Unformatted text preview: Invasion from Mars . 3. The Invasion from Mars tried to answer 3 basic questions: 4. What was the extent of the panic? 5. Why did this broadcast frighten people and others did not frighten people? 6. Why did this broadcast frighten some people and not other people? The extent of the panic? 7. Audience Size: 0. Probably about 6 million adults 8. How many were frightened? 1. 1.7 million thought the program was news 2. 1.2 million were concerned 3. 1.0 million (+) were frightened Why this broadcast and not others? 9. Dramatic Excellence 10. Radio Credibility 11. Use of "experts" in the broadcast 12. Use of real place names Why did this broadcast frighten these people and not others? 0. Some checked the internal evidence of th broadcast (successfully): 1. Some checked external evidence - e.g., listings in paper - (successfully). 2. Some made unsuccessful external checks. 3. Some made no attempt to check. 4. Religious beliefs and personality factors....
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