For this assignment, listen to about 15 minutes of the broadcast War of the Worlds. (Pay attention to the first 11 seconds, from the beginning to 0:11 – when it is introduced as a show.Listeners who missed the introduction and disclaimer that this was a broadcast based on a novel were more likely to believe this was true.)War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast (Links to an external site.)
You may want to read the following article for further information about the radio broadcast before answering the questions: National Geographic article: “War of the Worlds”: Behind the 1938 Radio Show Panic. (Links to an external site.)
1) What skills are involved in being a radio listener? In other words, how is ‘reading’ or interpreting the radio program different from ‘reading’ a television program?” Discuss the differences.
2) Comment on what elements would have been familiar to the listeners and what elements contributed to the panic.
3) Were these people media illiterate? Or did the Mercury Theatre broadcast play against people’s media literacy? (That is, you had to know something of the conventions to make it “real.”) (The National Geographic article discusses this a bit).
4)Have you ever been fooled by a fake news report? What tools and strategies did the media producers use? How are they similar to and different from the tools and strategies Welles used?
Length: Approximately 2 – 4 pages, with a minimum of 2 pages
Double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point font