What can you learn from broadcast communications history?

The one constant in our society is that people want more and more access to communications with other people. As history has progressed, people have found new and innovative ways to connect with each other. In the 1800s, people still had to wait weeks for news to reach some remote areas in the United States because people had to wait for that information to leak slowly through newspapers. Eventually people developed the Pony Express as a way to have dedicated routes for passing along this information.

Both the car and the radio increased the ability of people to connect with others for communication purposes. The Museum of Broadcast Communications is a demonstration of this issue. The radio allowed people around the nation to listen in to shows to find out what was going on. Franklin Roosevelt’s weekly presidential address, the Fireside Chats, became a staple of life during the Great Depression as people listened to this broadcast to get information about the country’s recovery.

Cars also benefit society by allowing for faster transport of information. Newspapers could be sent by cars, rather than trains or horses, to help get them to cities faster. As soon as people had this ability to communicate more quickly, people in most towns and cities started weekly, or even daily, papers to give people more information.

Throughout most of the twentieth century, radio, and then television, gave people daily updates about news. The advent of the Internet, made widely available to the public in the mid 1990s, added a new layer to broadcast communications, however. Now people can get their information as quickly as something happens. It is possible to get alerts sent to one’s laptop or cell phone to find out about news as soon as it happens. As technology progresses, so does people’s insatiable desire for communications.

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