Timeline: Three Hundred Years of American Mass Media.

Topics: Broadcasting, Radio, Coaxial cable Pages: 5 (1572 words) Published: February 3, 2009
Mass media has played a crucial role in the American politics. TV commercials have influenced the outcome of elections. One Timeline theme is the effect of technological advances on the development of the media. Like how the invention of the printing press made the mass production of newspapers possible, the invention of high-speed Internet access has led to an increase in the diversity and specialization of news to individual audiences. A second Timeline theme is the shift in the economic aspects of mass media. When newspapers were the most likely form of mass media, there were hundreds of newspapers in circulation in the US, with a wide selection of editorial perspectives and appealing to all kinds of audiences. Recently television has supplanted newspapers as the source of news for most people. 1704: The first regularly published newspaper in the America, The Boston News-Letter, appeared in 1704. The paper contained obituaries and schedules of ship arrivals. Many newspapers filled their pages with sermons, literary works, and philosophical pieces, as well as advertisements. One example, the Pennsylvania Gazette. In 1784, Philadelphia had the first daily newspaper in the United States, the Pennsylvania Packet.

Newspapers played an important role in politics after the Revolutionary War. The Federalist Papers, written mainly by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton supporting the ratification of the Constitution. Writing under the name Publius, Madison and Hamilton helped to persuade public opinion in favor of ratification in New York and Virginia. In the 1830s Changes in printing press technology, combined with the decision to attract a working-class audience, allowed publishers to sell their newspapers to reduce prices from six cents to one penny, The first of the penny press, appeared in 1833. Newspaper readership in the 19th century because of the population expansion, the invention of the telegraph, the growing availability of electricity, and the increased use of sensational journalism. 1920: In the 1890s, inventors and entrepreneurs made advances in wireless communication using radio waves. -In 1902, transmitting speech and music over the air was demonstrated, building radio transmitters and receivers became a hobby. In 1912, the government required amateur radio operators to have a license. In 1920, the first broadcasting stations licensed for commercial purposes went on the air. In 1922-23 the number of radio stations increased from 30 to 556. The largest radio manufacturer, RCA, sold $85 million worth of radios over three years. By 1930, after the NBC and CBS radio networks were established,US businesses were spending a total of $40 million to advertise their products and services on radio. The 1930s "the golden age of radio," was an inexpensive form of entertainment for millions of Americans coping with the depression. President Roosevelt used the radio to promote his New Deal agenda and to calm a worried nation. After World War II, television became increasingly popular. The invention of transistor technology and headphones allowed radios to become portable, unlike the TV sets.Across the country, programming produced by National Public Radio (NPR), funded by government subsidies, provided extended news coverage and analysis not found on most other stations. Today, radio remains a popular source not only of entertainment but also of news. 1939: The first commercial television stations went on the air in 1939, marking the beginning of the television industry;World War II interrupted the development of television. Five years later, that number had risen to 12 million households with a TV. Now, 99 percent of U.S. households have at least if not two or three. In the 50s and 60s, television broadcasting was dominated by three giant companies, NBC, CBS, and ABC. Other than the occasional independent UHF channel, there were three channels to watch. In 1969, the PBS began operation, providing...
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