War on the Radio

Elmer Davis delivering the news (ca. 1943)

Note: This free resource will expire three weeks from its post date.

Share this Post:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Podcasts might be the most popular way to hear news and entertainment today, but in fact, they’re a retrofitting of the world’s oldest broadcast medium: radio. In 1901, the first radio waves were transmitted more than 2,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, ushering in a new era of mass communication.

For our students, podcasts are a great entry point for understanding the origins of mass communications technologies. The ability to “tune in” to news, politics, and commentary fundamentally changed the way people viewed the world in the early 20th century. At a time of major crises including the Great Depression and World War II, radio also provided governments with the ability to speak to millions of people at the same time.

As a result, early radio broadcasts were also an experiment in government propaganda.

Show your students the effects of radio broadcasting during World War II with this article, “War on the Radio”:

This article is part of ABC-CLIO’s Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas database, a platform for teaching American history through cultural lenses of literature, radio, television, film, fashion, sports, technology, and more! Click here to activate your free preview of this database and gain access to:

  • Curated resource libraries on each decade of American history from the 1900s to the present
  • More than 5,400 primary and secondary sources, including more than 2,800 photos and illustrations and more than 200 audio and video recordings
  • Biographies of iconic figures including J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, and Beyoncé
  • Investigate activities including primary and secondary source materials to help students answer a central inquiry question

This resource is brought to you by ABC-CLIO products for classrooms and libraries: