UNDERSTANDING WAR OF THE WORLDS

IN 4-5 sentences tell me about your familiarity with the Mercury Theatre Broadcast of War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938. Is it the most infamous radio broadcast of all time? Have you ever heard the dramatization?

•Listen to the opening segment of the broadcast. Listen mostly from about 2:30-12:30. You are welcome to listen to the entire broadcast. The YouTube link can be found below.

•Respond to the questions, “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.

•What elements would have been familiar to the listeners and what elements contributed to the panic.

•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.”) Note that this broadcast was the subject of one of the first important studies of media effects (Cantril, Hadley, Hazel Gaudet, and Herta Herzog. The Invasion from Mars: A Study in the Psychology of Panic. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1940.)

The total paper should be 1 page single spaced not including your heading and work cited. You are expected to have 2 sources in APA format. (Please see bibme.org for formatting). You should be citing the video you watch.

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