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Mass Media in the 1960s

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Mariel Ozoria

on 14 April 2016

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Transcript of Mass Media in the 1960s

John F. Kennedy v. Richard Nixon
I should have remembered that 'a picture is worth a thousand words.'
How did mass media effect people in the 60s?
The Election of 1960
Civil Rights Movement
The first ever televised presidential debate was held on September 26, 1960, between Kennedy and Nixon. This was the first of 4, but then the most important as it set a record of 70 million people watching. The two Democrats has very similar agendas, highlighting national security, the threat of communism, and need to strengthen the military in light of the Cold War. They argued well with each other, but a key difference played in Kennedy's favor.
Those listening on the radio were sure that Nixon had won the debate, but those watching live begged to differ. With his glowing complexion, natural onscreen charisma, and engaging personality, Kennedy won over the crowd. The televised event greatly helped Kennedy's campaign, and later earned him the presidency.
The Civil Rights movement brought its own brand of influence into the public discourse, but it was not as positive. On one hand, the information broadcasted helped the movement, displaying the acts of police brutality and helping to galvanize the desire to end discriminatory acts against African Americans as well as segregation.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Vol XCIII, No. 311
What is Mass Media?
The Vietnam War
Mass media
is a means of communication that large-scale organizations use to communicate with large numbers of people. According to C. Wright Mills
The Power Elite
(1956), mass media is characterized in two ways:
1) very few people can communicate with a much larger group
2) the audience has no effective way of answering back
Forms of mass media included the newspaper, radio, and magazine, but the 1960s saw a rise of the television as a form of mass media. The television allowed for a new medium for the public to access information surrounding national elections, political coverage, the tumultuous war in Vietnam, and the social revolution on the home front.
The war against the rise of communism in Southeast Asia was the first televised war, so it was automatically a game-changer. Every evening, families would gather to watch the evening news, where they received constant coverage of the action in Vietnam. As a result, the television was a major factor in shaping the American perception of the war. Viewers witnessed firsthand the burning down of villages, the mistreatment of children, amongst other things. The footage of the tragedies occurring on the other side of the world tarnished the already fragile view of the war.
Mass Media in the 1960s
- Nixon in response to losing the debate
On the other hand, news outlets were quick to cover the many riots that had broken out across the city. The Newark and Watts riots displayed the criminal acts of violence some people were committing in response to discrimination, and helped to slow the Civil Rights movement.
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