Radio Journalism in America

Telling the News in the Golden Age and Beyond


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About the Book

This history of radio news reporting recounts and assesses the contributions of radio toward keeping America informed since the 1920s. It identifies distinct periods and milestones in broadcast journalism and includes a biographical dictionary of important figures who brought news to the airwaves.
Americans were dependent on radio for cheap entertainment during the Great Depression and for critical information during the Second World War, when no other medium could approach its speed and accessibility. Radio’s diminished influence in the age of television beginning in the 1950s is studied, as the aural medium shifted from being at the core of many families’ activities to more specialized applications, reaching narrowly defined listener bases. Many people turned elsewhere for the news. (And now even TV is challenged by yet newer media.) The introduction of technological marvels throughout the past hundred years has significantly altered what Americans hear and how, when, and where they hear it.

About the Author(s)

Jim Cox, a leading radio historian, is an award-winning author of numerous books on the subject. A retired college professor, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Cox
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6963-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0119-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Cool Stuff and History Light 1

 1. Hard Copies: The Origins of American Newspapers 5

 2. The Origins of Electronic Journalism 12

 3. “Millions Are Out Here Listening Every Day!” 30

 4. Who Owns the Ether? It Belongs to Us All 40

 5. Censorship: Pressures from Without, Within 50

 6. The Art of Persuasion: Everybody Has a Bias 65

 7. Nights of the Roundtable: Clashes, Conflicts Courted 72

 8. At All Hours: News Achieves Parity, Perceptibly Prospers 83

 9. Journalism’s Inducement in a Rise of Local Stations 95

10. Consequences of Radio’s Reliance on Print 104

11. The Fanzines: Trade Issues to Perpetuate the Industry 113

12. Optical Illusions? News Fix? Boosting Aural Text with Pix 122

13. Magazine of the Airwaves: News in a Novel Format 139

14. When It’s Time for News, the Big Hand Is on the 24 153

15. Baubles, Bangles, Gadgetry: New Marvels Dispatch News 165

Biographical Dictionary of Radio Journalists 171

Notes 225

Bibliography 243

Index 249

Book Reviews & Awards

“an excellent overview 9781476601199of how the media has impacted journalism”—Radio Recall; “informative…highly recommend”—Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusiasts; “Cox writes in an engaging way with oodles of examples to illustrate key points…invaluable history of shortwave radio broadcasting…. Berg establishes himself as the authority on such broadcasting”—Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.