The Golden Era of Radio
The golden era of radio was actually a cultural and social revolution gyrating from the power of wireless communication. In many ways the radio was to culture and society what mass production had been to commerce and industry. When public radio was introduced the world began to shrink and geographical and social boundaries began to blur, in short the seeds of globalization were sown. Cultural integration occurred and the information age began. However, such revolutionary conquest did not occur overnight, public radio had to estrange itself from military influence, fight a war with print media, fight FCC regulations, find sources of finance, then remove itself from the control of advertisers and finally triumph with instant news reporting during World War II.
The golden era of radio had all the ingredients of social revolution. It appealed to the common people, gave them a forum to voice their opinions on entertainment, propaganda, religion and politics. For the uninformed it was a source of education and finally there was a lot of emotion involved. People felt intimate with radio stars and celebrities, people absorbed every word that was said on air and during the Great Depression and World War II it was their source of solace and comfort. The radio during its golden age had become a family member and was more prized than any other possession an average family had. E. B. White wrote, “I live in a strictly rural community, and people here speak of “The Radio” in the large sense, with an over-meaning. When they say “The Radio” they don’t mean a cabinet, an electrical phenomenon, or a man in a studio, they refer to a pervading and somewhat godlike presence which has come into their lives and homes.”
This paper explores the revolutionary aspects of radio on society, culture and commerce during the 1920s and 1930s.
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