Academic journal article Journalism History

"Radio History." the Story of Film, TV, and Media

Academic journal article Journalism History

"Radio History." the Story of Film, TV, and Media

Article excerpt

"Radio History." Princeton, NJ.: Films for the Humanities 8c Sciences,1998, 28-minute VHS tape. Part of the eight-volume videocassette series The Story of Film, TV, and Media $129 per volume. $129 per volume; rental $75. Web site: www.films.com.

"Radio History" is a brief and compelling look back at a mass medium with roots in the nineteenthcentury invention of wireless telegraphy. Its brevity makes it useful in the classroom as a complement to a prepared lecture, and its richly textured and well-paced weaving of narration with expert interviews and archival footage and sound makes it compelling to students in the twentyfirst century.

The video was produced by David P. Stone in collaboration with the College Division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and KnowledgeTV. It covers many of the major inventors, inventions, programs, and players in radio history. Among them are Morse and the wired telegraph, Marconi and the wireless telegraph, Lee De Forest and the vacuum tube, Amos `n ' Andy, Frank Conrad, David Sarnoff, and Edward R Morrow. Viewers see photographs and footage of these individuals. They see the inventions in operation. They hear and see radio newscasts and radio programs in production. They learn about developments in American history (the westward expansion of the transcontinental railroad), world history (the rise of Hitler in Europe), and economic history (the growth of direct-product advertising to the largest possible audience).

They also learn how these developments interacted within the history of radio-for example, the overreaction to Orson Welles's production of "The War of the Worlds" in 1938 was in part a product of the mood of the times--public fears of another war in Europe--combined with the power of the spoken word on radio. …

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