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Introduction to Mass Communication

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Radio proved far more effective in mass communication as compared to the print media. The
property of radio which did not require transportation of the message drew immense attention of common
people and investors in the field of mass media. Once the radio technology was recognized as an effective
mean of communication, there was a race among companies and individuals to have their own radio facility.
In the last chapter we had a detailed view of the growth of radio in the 20th century. In this chapter we will
see how radio programs and its other uses changed the lifestyle of people around the world.

Peace time

As already mentioned, radio brought a unique entertainment opportunities to people, especially for
those who could not afford the luxury of visiting places where entertainment was available only to the rich.
With a radio set by their side, common people could also enjoy music and stayed informed about events as
ordinary as a street robbery to change of governments and tug of war among political rivals to availability of
commodities in the market. But it was the entertainment which made the radio popular on first instance.
Very soon the entertainment started moving in other areas than music. Comedy shows, gossip chat and
answering letters from listeners made people crazy about radio enjoyments.


Radio served hugely the human instinct to know about events taking place around him and at
distant lands. No fairy tales, but the radio brought news from across the oceans and from inland without
distinction. A regular listener of radio news would get an impression as the whole world has shrunk – a
feeling which print media would never had thought in around 400 years before the invention of the radio.
The news aired regularly from different stations were followed by views and a much spicy discussion among
experts to generate more interest in events from social and political life. The announcements about weather,
and trains/flights schedule has been an added advantage to radio listeners.


As radio continued to have its impression on the cultural outlook of the societies by pouring in
more opinions of experts in different fields of social life, it started special services to educate people on
scores of issues foremost among those have been the healthcare matters. No other source would have been
proved handier than radio programs to educate mothers in particular on providing primary health points for
babies and school going children.


Radio opened gates of jobs never known before. To become a broadcaster with a radio station was
considered to have a prestigious job in the early days of radio. It still is. The news-readers, copy writers,
playwright for radio dramas, anchors for different discussion shows, musicians, recording engineers and a
range of technical jobs came about so quickly that colleges and universities had to run degree programs to
meet the requirement of radio stations to employee staff in its various sections.

Advertising helped

The corporate sector sensed the importance of radio as one strong medium to reach very high
number of consumers of their products and services and started buying time for this purpose. Within a
decade of radio broadcast, an advertising sector – far more organized than the world would know during
the rapid growth of print media, was visible. Since the popularity of the commercial programs was
dependent hugely on the entertaining side, the glamour was but to appear broad and loud. New trends were
invented in music jingles, script writing and presentation.

Promotion of other industries like film industry

The film industry which was also in its nascent stages was one noticeable area which benefited
tremendously from radio technology. Mainly, the film songs would resound the air all day instigating
ordinary people to visit theaters for watching movies the songs belong to. At one stage in 30s and 40s it
appeared as the radio and film world are only two names of one same product. Not only the songs, the hot
talks about stars scandals and rise and fall of film stars would generate lot of interest for common listeners.
Still a number of radio and TV stations are heavily depended on matters related to film industry.

People glued to radio

Wars among nations – particularly the great wars in the 20th century, have brought massive
destruction of societies. A nation at war has only one goal of fighting against the enemy. In this context the
role of radio becomes all the more important. Radio news, commentary, announcements and war music are
commodities in high demand by a society at war. Radio services have been fully exploited by countries at
war. The quickest source of telling people what to do, where to move and what instruction they must follow
have always come from radio. All important addresses by head of government to people are done on radio.

Special band used by armies to communicate

It is not the common people who benefit from radio services but the armies have been gaining
much advantage due to radio technology. Sending codes to different formations in the battlefield within no
time have been possible by developing a code and occupying a particular frequency for this purpose.
Communicating through codes is the common most practice during wartimes. – decoding of messages if
believed to be one strong point which led to German defeat in the WWII.

Ships, planes are connected through radio frequencies

It is not the activities of armies on the land which are linked with radio messages, ships in the deep
sea and the war planes in the air are also connected with radio frequencies.

Satellite using radio waves to detect enemies’ movement

After the dispatch of satellite in the space in early 60s, the movement of armies of the enemy is
now detected from the skies with the help of radio waves.

Propaganda – to morale boosting and demoralizing enemy

The worst in wars occur in the form of propaganda at a wide scale to demoralize the enemy. And
at the same time boosting morale of your own people and army.


The invention and usage of radio has been instrumental in introducing laws which regulate the
radio programs and ensure that no misuse of this technology takes place which may cause problems to
social life.


It is applied by the governments when a political crisis is visible. Dictatorial government have
always used censorships to ensure that a public opinion is not molded against them by certain interest
Jamming transmissions from hostile sources
Cultural values promotion
Cultural conflicts – an essential angle of mass communication

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