Have we changed all that much? Some are claiming a transformation has, or is, taking place in the way that we relate to one another. Perhaps they’re right. The way we create relationships sure seems different. The way we create dialogue with potential clients is changing. The way we deliver messages has most certainly changed. But other things seem to be regressing.
Newspapers would reign supreme until 1906 when the first radio program was broadcast by Reginald Fessenden from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, MA. Even though the telegraph system was an earlier precursor to radio, it didn’t have the same effect that radio would have on how people got the news of the day.
Radio, though, would operate under the same premise as newspapers whereby the listener was as dependent as the reader on which someone had to produce the broadcast. And delivery of each was no small matter either. Newspaper and radio station require major financial resources. Newspaper distribution is a very labor intensive business, from the reporter to the newspaper boy we would be looking at hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people to get that newspaper to your hands. While radio would begin a sea of change that allow the distribution of the news over the air waves, it still required a fair number of people to operate. But all one needed to listen was a radio and electricity. These two requirements would mean that initial growth of radio would be very slow. But, as we shall see, not as slow as newspapers. We would hear the first news program, sports radio and entertainment radio in 1920. Many of these stations are still around today, hopefully using much better equipment.
And coming up fast…Television can trace it’s beginnings to 1873 when Willoughby Smith discovered the photoconductivity of selenium, to the invention of the scanning disc in 1884 by Paul Nipkow and John Baird’s demonstration of televised moving images in 1926. Regular broadcast TV would begin in 1946 and by 1953 color TV was available nationwide.
But producing a TV show cost a bundle and it required a television set as well as electricity. The user was still dependent upon others to receive the news of the day. Everyone was dependent on reading, hearing and seeing information that was based on what someone else deemed news worthy. As such we didn’t get to read, hear or see everything, only what someone else decided for us.
That would soon be changing.
Next: The big change
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