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research paper - Kyle Garrity MSS 101 Mon. Wed. 5-6:15...

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Kyle Garrity MSS 101 Mon. Wed. 5-6:15 Prof. Joanne Kabak Research Paper 11/14/07 The Radio Throughout history, information, ideas, entertainment and knowledge have been spread using various forms of media and technology. From Paul Revere riding a horse for miles just to say “The British are coming,” to video chatting a loved one in Iraq, to text messaging a friend sitting at a nearby desk in class, there have always been ways of communicating. The radio is one of the biggest leaps in communication history. Ever since David E. Hughes transmitted Morse code by radio in 1887, the radio has had a major impact on the world, and has managed to remain popular for almost a century now. “Radio is a medium that has refused to vanish. Historically, it has suffered indignities from television eclipsing it to conglomerates engulfing and homogenizing it. It also has been largely ignored by media scholars who have devoted their attention to television and print media” (Ehrlich). How has the evolution of the radio helped in its constant success even through the golden age of television and computers? How, if at all, will the radio continue to evolve? One of the biggest changes radio has gone through is its use and purpose. The radio was born as a series of tests, and steadily progressed from transmitting simple sounds in Morse code to complex voice patterns over the AM frequencies. When WWI
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came around, the radio was immediately put to good use by the military. The radio was used by the military to communicate between ships and between ships and land. Because the radio’s first big user was the military, it received a lot of funding and by the end of WWI, it was ready for its golden age. The 1920s and 1930s was when the radio was at its prime. “Although one essay notes that early critics of American radio decried it "as mass culture at its most degrading or as capitalism at its most controlling" (p. 59), other essays argue that radio in the pre-TV era made room for politically progressive work by the likes of Paul Robeson and complex portrayals of gender via "thriller" programs such as Suspense. So it has continued to the present, with "shock" and conservative talk radio characterized by Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh co-existing with (albeit on a vastly smaller scale) unlicensed "microbroadcasters" such as "Black Liberation Radio" transmitting from a Springfield, Illinois, housing project” (Ehrlich). The War of the Worlds is a good example of how the radio was beginning to have a major influence on people. Aired as a Halloween special in 1938 over the CBS Radio network, the broadcast planted a widespread fear into Americans. “A wireless dramatization of Mr HG Wells's
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MSS 101 taught by Professor Kabak during the Fall '07 term at Quinnipiac.

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research paper - Kyle Garrity MSS 101 Mon. Wed. 5-6:15...

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