IN THIS BOOK an attempt has been made to describe the facts about radio and television and to combine those facts with a consideration of the social and psychological effects of broadcasting.
The first purpose of the book is to bring to the general reader the history of a cultural revolution and to show what has been discovered by research concerning the effects of radio and television upon our tastes, opinions, and values. The second purpose is to deal with broadcasting as a reflection of our time and and to throw light upon the problems of free speech, propaganda, public education, our relations with the rest of the world, and upon the concept of democracy itself.
The power of thought and of communicating thought is man's unique attribute. Space had always limited the range of its communication. Radio and television are rapidly abolishing this barrier. What happens when it is gone? With the growth of broadcasting, a revolution is overtaking us. Man is living in a new dimension. What we are witnessing today is the beginning of a transformation in human relations. Private life is yielding more and more to communal life, in the sense that, through radio (and in only slightly less degree through films, newspapers, magazines, and books), we are most of us being daily more subjected to simultaneous common influences. Does this mean that as individuals we draw less on our own inwardness and rely more on outward stimuli? While radio and television have captured popular imagination and have become dominant pastimes in our lives, what are we, the people, doing about controlling and directing this flow of communication?