Chapter

Democratic Radio

David Goodman

in Radio's Civic Ambition

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195394085
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894383 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394085.003.0004
Democratic Radio

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Democratic radio in the 1930s encompassed far more than Franklin Delano Roosevelt's famed Fireside Chats. Advocates of democratic radio were stimulated by the contemporary ideals of Deweyan progressive education to imagine uses of radio that would facilitate development of critical individual opinion. Radio forum programs hoped to create an audience that was rational, discursive, open to persuasion, critical, wedded to the process of truth seeking rather than to any particular beliefs – and above all willing to change its mind. These qualities were to be stimulated by listening to the forum programs, but also by engaging in discussion of them after broadcast, perhaps in an organized radio listening group. The chapter discusses NBC's University of Chicago Round Table and George V. Denny Jr.'s America's Town Meeting of the Air on NBC, with its self-conscious attempt to revive the spirit of the New England town meeting on national radio.

Keywords: democratic radio; radio forums; George V. Denny Jr; John Dewey; Fireside Chats; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; America's Town Meeting of the Air; University of Chicago Round Table; listening groups

Chapter.  19174 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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