Articles tagged with: radio

Chapter 6 - “Popular Radio and the Origins of Broadcasting”

on Tuesday, 26 April 2011.



Radio was developed in the early 19th century that developed into a multi-technology mass-medium. In the early days it was a source of national identity and a chance to share a common experience. By about the 1920’s it became a full-blown mass medium and was seen as a sort of interstate commerce. It could not be owned and was a collective property of all Americans. Radio talk shows and programs led to the development of many TV shows and genres such as the Ed Sullivan show, the Price is Right, Survivor, etc. By the 1950‘s TV replaced the radio as the after-dinner activity and stole many of the ads, programs, and celebrities that were once catered to the radio indrusty. Radio programs reflect the shift in American culture, including attitudes about race and tolerance levels for stereotypes (think “Amos ‘n’ Andy”). Radio is often perceived as the voice of authority. What allowed radio to continue to exist with the development of the television is the transistor radio; which allowed a radio to be taken where a television could not follow (ie. the beach, car, etc.) Public radio once was widely owned by multiple broadcasters who privately operated and broadcasted music, news, and talk shows; but recently the ownership of many stations has come to belong to several large broadcasting companies that can censor and choose what is sent out to the public. Broadcasters and DJs target audiences by age, gender, income, race/ethnicity and has stations figured around and blocked off to target select audiences.


on Tuesday, 12 April 2011. Posted in Student Notes

Notes compiled by J.Scott Alfieri

Chapter 6 in the Media Essentials textbook is on the radio industry. This chapter traces the medium of radio from its inception through the development of the radio industry, with particular focus on the implementations of government regulations and growing corporate dominance of the medium. These aspects are important because of the model they serve for the development of mediums of communication that followed like T.V. and the internet.

The radio was the first medium of mass communication in American society and with it began the development of the ideas of penetration of the “domestic space” with the intent of fostering consumerism which have become the hallmark of mediums which have followed like T.V. in post WWII America and the internet currently. The Radio Act of 1912 was the first legislation passed by the United States Congress. Its intent was to address the problem of amateur radio operators “cramming the air waves”. Similar acts were passed in 1927(Radio act of 1927), 1934 (Federal Communications Act of 1934), 1967 (Public Broadcasting Act of 1967) and 1996 (Telecommunications Act of 1996). Each piece of legislation was different in its tenants however they all facilitated growing corporate dominance of the medium.