Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis
Edited By Joy Elizabeth Hayes, Kathleen Battles and Wendy Hilton-Morrow
Part 1: Looking Backward: War of the Worlds, Media Power, and Audiences “Talking Back”
P A R T O N E Looking Backward: War of the Worlds, Media Power, and Audiences “Talking Back” C H A P T E R O N E Exchange and Interconnection in US Network Radio: A Reinterpretation of the 1938 War of the Worlds Broadcast JOY ELIZABETH HAYES AND KATHLEEN BATTLES In this chapter, Hayes and Battles1 explore the model of communication laid out in the sound-text of the War of the Worlds broadcast and the study of the event originally published in 1940 as the Invasion from Mars: A Study in the Psychology of Panic. In reinterpreting the radio play, the authors argue that it celebrated radio’s ability to coordinate multiple communication media and create a “constant communicative presence” in which the listener was a central part. Although many audience members were frightened or disturbed by the broadcast, Hayes and Battles contend that the primary audience response was to communicate with others through social and technologically mediated networks. Introduction n the night of October 30, 1938, people across the United States tuned into a night of radio listening, by then the nation’s most popular pastime. Listeners had several options for Sunday evening listening, including any number of local broadcasts, regional network shows, and programs offered by four O ♒ EXCHANGE AND INTERCONNECTION ♒ 20 national networks. Many chose to tune into NBC’s enormously popular Chase and Sanborn Hour, featuring ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, while some chose the more serious CBS program, Mercury Theater of the Air....
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.