Radio Journalism Radio Journalism has been closely tied to the changing technology of the medium and the changing political whim of the nation 1922-1938 – these years were marked by strife between radio and newspapers 1938-1946 – these years saw rapid expansion of radio journalism, largely driven by World War Two.
Radio Journalism 1946-1960 – this was the transitional period for radio journalism due to the introduction of format radio and to the expansion of T.V. 1960-1980 – radio journalism was influenced by greater utilization of the FM band, forcing radio news to redefine itself 1980-present – these years witnessed a rebirth of radio journalism
Radio Journalism Earliest radio broadcast was November 2nd, 1920. KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcasted the results of the Harding-Cox presidential election. In 1925, WGN in Chicago broadcasted from the Scopes trial In 1927, transatlantic flight of aviator Charles “Lucky” Lindbergh captured audience attention
Radio Journalism In 1929-1930, regular scheduled news broadcasts on networks began Floyd Gibbons began “The Headline Hunter” for NBC in 1929 “Lowell Thomas and the News” premiered in September 1930 H.V. Kaltenborn began in 1930 with a broadcast on CBS that was on three times per week
Radio Journalism First two years of the 1930’s was the coverage of the Lindbergh kidnapping and trail of Bruno Hauptman, which made news coverage, and the reputation of some news reporters such as Boake Carter for CBS, increasingly popular Newspaper publishers had recognized that radio was a force that could not be ignored. This was known as the “Press-Radio War”, and at stake was the power to control how news would be distributed.
The Press-Radio War and Biltmore Agreement In 1922, the Associated Press issued a notice to subscribers that AP news copy was not to be used for broadcasting purposes. This notice was ignored, since most newspapers owned early radio stations United Press and International News Service said they would continue to provide copy to all subscribers, especially during the 1924 Presidential election 17 years later, till 1939, Journalists were at war with their own ranks
December 1933 meeting at Biltmore Hotel, NYBiltmore Agreement:• Limited the radio networks to only five-minute newscasts per day• Newscasts had to be in mornings, but only after 9:30 a.m., and evenings only after 9:00 p.m.• Copy only from the established wire services and no breaking or up-to-the-minute news broadcast• Radio news must not have any advertising support and listeners were to be encouraged to consult their newspapers for the latest news
Biltmore AgreementAllowed networks access to some wire services restricted broadcast content to a format that would:1. Be long enough to give important news2. Not interfere in prime newspaper selling periods3. Not compete with newspapers for advertising dollars
Biltmore Meeting, December 11th & 12th 1933 Foreshadowed “audience segmentation”- media would agree to split up the audience with newspapers concentrating on news and information and radio concentrating on entertainment Biltmore Agreement said nothing about commentary, so commentators could be sponsored
Biltmore Meeting The agreement was crumbled under the combined weight of pressure from independent radio stations and all the commentary on the network airwaves Press-Radio War ended in 1939, having to do with economic reasons as it did 17 years earlier Associated Press lifted it’s ban on radio transmission of wire copy in spring of 1939
Hindenburg Disaster of 1937 The airship Hindenburg burst into flames as it landed Commentator Herb Morrison was using a portable recording device called a “disc-cutter” even though recordings were not allowed on air. The recording of the disaster was played and was the first recording that was broadcasted on NBC Herb Morrison
Radio Goes to War September 1938, after Hitler’s Nazi troops invaded the Sudetenland, CBS’s H.V. Kaltenborn began one of the landmark broadcasts 18 straight days of Munich crisis, Kaltenborn took bulletins from the wire services and stories from reporters and turned them into a stream of more than 88 separate broadcast; some lasting two hours. The start of WW2, September 3rd, 1939, after hearing British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain read the declaration of war against Germany, started “what must be described as one of the greatest and most turbulent periods of radio journalism in the history of the medium.” Declare War
Radio Goes to War President Roosevelt, in 1933, broadcasts 40 speeches with more than 30% of American listeners 1939, a roper poll showed that more than a quarter of the population relied on radio for their news March of 1938, CBS broadcasted the first overseas news round up Edward R. Murrow, Eric Severied and Charles Collingwood of Paris, William Shirer of Berlin, were all household names during WW2 broadcast
Edward R. Murrow Charles Collingwood William Shirer
Television Onslaught At the end of the war, America was home to over 900 radio stations and more than 31 million families who used radio Television was suppose to be the new rage, but radio had some new technological enhancements to keep it vital Last years of 1940’s into 50’s, T.V. siphoned off the talent that made radio the powerhouse communication medium during the last three decadesJournalists Walter Winchell, Edward R. Murrow, Fred Friendly and Douglas Edwards migrated from radio to T.V.
Television Onslaught1950, Murrow wrote a new program for CBS radio called “Hear it Now” which lasted 18 months, then moved to CBS T.V. called “See it Now”Technological advancements in radio: 1. Smaller, lighter transmitters developed for war efforts allowed journalists to report live from many places 2. Development of recording tape 3. T.V. equipment was still very large and bulky and videotape was in its infancy during this period
Television OnslaughtRadio re-enacted news stories, using a shorter, immediate reporting of breaking news format with high fidelity “sound bites” that added the voices of actual newsmakers to the immediate coverageMore and more radio stations were going on air during the 1950’s, but a falling radio audience number; fell from an average of 13 in 1948 to a rating of one in 1956AM band was getting crowded with signals so new technologies developed again, changing the public face of radio and American radio Journalism
“Find Me” Radio and Audience SegmentationEarly 1960’s, radio was put into automobiles calling it “drive times” when audiences turned to their radio for news and entertainment1965, FCC ruled that FM stations in markets, with populations greater than 100,000, could duplicate no more than 50% of a companion AM stations programmingNewscasts were positioned earlier in the morning to target people in their cars and barns1961, Gordon McClendon started the first all-news AM radio stations, XETRA
“Find Me” Radio and Audience Segmentation1960-1980, radio changes: 1. From AM to FM and FM stereo 2. Network oriented programing 3. Highly localized programing 4. From being the major provider of broadcast news and information to being a player in a much more diverse area Through a 20 year period of enormous social upheaval, radio journalism managed to adapt to changes
Satellites and Deregulation: Radio JournalismRadio Act of 1927 thrown out in 1984. The Communication Act was rewritten, allowing fewer content restrictions and loosening ownership restrictionsMany broadcasters, since the early 1980’s, have found satellite-delivered programming to be a cost effective way to bring both news and entertainment programming to their listeners and advertising revenue to their ownersQuasi-Journalist personalities Paul Harvey, Larry King, Howard Stern, Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh are radio commentators that have used radio in ways no others have ever used it; tabloid-style formats, all-talk formats, and all-news formats. (1960’s)
Satellite and Deregulation: Radio Journalism1992, FCC loosened its rules and allowed a single owner to operate two AM and 2 FM stations in markets with at least 15 stationsTelecommunications Act of 1996, lifted the National cap on radio stations and ownership and further homogenizing the news and information available on radioPresent- news on radio is used in cars and for people in their workplace and is still the least cost-effective way to get important information out immediately.
Modern Day • Radio journalism is now called audio journalism because it encompasses more than just radio • 93% of people still listen to radio every day; a 6% increase in revenue • According to The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, people spend more time listening to news on the radio each day than they do reading newspapers or getting news online• Chart• Top Radio Listened to
Modern Day • 2010, people spent an average of 15 minutes listening to radio news, which went up one minute since 2008. Television is 32 minutes, newspapers 10, and the internet is 13 • 22% of Americans said that AM/FM radio had a big impact on their lives, while 54% said cellphones, 44% said iPhones, 45% BlackBerries. 49% said broadband internet• NPR is growing; 3% last year with 27 million weekly listeners• Radio may be on the brink of rapid change as use of other technologies grow• Cell phone usage will soon surpass radio.• chart2