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1950s Electronic Journalism:

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Alison Bower

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of 1950s Electronic Journalism:

Average US home has two radios
Korean War begins- 1950
International Political Climate
1950s Electronic Journalism
A New Era in Mass Communications

Paul Harvey: Journalist of the Decade
Electronic Media
External/Internal Regulation and Control
Decline of news reels
Ploys by movie studios to attract audiences
Cold War
Created by Communications Act of 1934
Radio-Television News Association

Industry group to set standards for the nascent field of broadcast journalism

National Association of Radio & TV Broadcasters (NARTB)
Adopted own code for regulating broadcast content - by the "Hollywood Model"
by Alison Bower, Ali Mislowsky, Hope Wood and Ben James
The Early Years
On-Air Persona
Journalistic Developments
Introduction of color TV (1951)
Costly & few color programs = no use til 60s
NBC "1954: Tournament of the Roses"
Pop Culture
"Four Theories of the Press" (1956)
By: Fred Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Shcramm

Soviet Communist
Social Responsibility*

McCarthyism/Red Scare-1950
Suez Crisis- 1956
Television Shows
I Love Lucy - ran from October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957
The Today Show - first aired on January 14, 1952
Leave it to Beaver - 1957 - 1963
Civil Rights
Brown vs. The Board of Education (1954)
The murder of Emmett Till (1955)
Rosa Parks refuses move from her seat (1955)
Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955) and Sleeping Beauty (1959)
12 Angry Men, Singing in the Rain, Vertigo
Top Songss:
Chuck Berry – Johnny B Goode (1958)
Elvis Presley – Hound Dog (1956)
Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire (1957)
Little Richie – Tutti Frutti (1955)
Top Musicians:
Nat King Cole
Elvis Presley
Frank Sinatra
Rosemary Clooney
Doris Day
Popular radio shows and stars moved to TV
Comedies, westerns, dramas, mysteries, music, news
"Exploration of market niches"
"Obscene" programming
"Indecent" programming
Regulated broadcast communications
in the 1950s & into present day
Acted to censor itself with the production codes and decency standards
No definitive laws limiting what could/could not be on TV
Edward R. Murrow's speech at the RTNDA was critical of network TV establishments of the day - particularly entertainment news rather than news and public affairs programming
FCC adopts CBS color standard
Color TVs go on sale
First transcontinental broadcast- President Truman
FCC drops CBS color standard; adopts NTSC color standard by RCA
Huge shift to color TV
45 million TV sets in US
1951: 9.8 million households had TVs
1959: 45 million households had TVs
Moves to Chicago and broadcasts for WENR, an ABC affiliate
Career Continued...
Harvey criticized Argonne Nat'l Lab for having low security
Controversial, highly publicized but never indicted
The Killing
Notable People
Social Climate
Impact on Civil Rights
Impact on Journalism
Early Life and Events Leading to Killing
Rocket science
Oct. 4 1957 Sputnik launched -> Space Race
NASA (1958)
July 25, 1941 - Born in Chicago,
1942 - parents separate
1942 - Father drafted by Army
1945- Father dies in Europe
August 21. 1955
Arrives in Money, Mississippi
1954: Brown v. Board of Education
Jim Crow
Rosa Parks: "I thought of Emmett Till and I just couldn't go back"
Jet Magazine and Chicago Defender
Protest rallies/ Boycotts
Civil Rights Act 1964
24th Amendment
Voting Rights Act 1965
Made major contributions to the field of broadcast journalism through his conservative, opinionated and passionate reporting over his 40 year career.
Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990
Ram Trucks & Future Farmers of America used Harvey's "1978 God Made a Farmer Speech" in a Super Bowl XLVII commercial
August 21: Emmett Till arrives in Money, Mississippi, and goes to stay at the home of his great uncle Moses Wright
August 24: Emmett joins a group of teenagers, to go to Bryant's Grocery and Meat Market, owned by a white couple, Roy and Carolyn Bryant. People say they heard Till whistle at Bryant
August 28: About 2:30 a.m., Roy Bryant, Carolyn's husband, and his half brother J. W. Milam, kidnap Emmett Till from Moses Wright's home
August 31: Three days later, Emmett Till's decomposed corpse is pulled from Mississippi's Tallahatchie River. Moses Wright identifies the body from a ring with the initials L.T.
Made radio receivers as a young boy
Attended Tulsa High School; encouraged him to pursue a career in radio because of his "impressive voice"
At 14 - worked helping clean up at KVOO in Tulsa & later got his start reading commercials & broadcasts
Attended the University of Tulsa and continued to work at KVOO as an announcer, later as a program director
At 19 - worked three years at KLIO in Salina, Kansas, then as KOMA in OKC & eventually at KXOK in St. Louis
Moved to Hawaii to cover U.S. Pacific Fleet, was returning to mainland when Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
1st episode of "The Today Show" airs, considered a new genre it itself (1952)
Till's death and the Milan-Bryant Murder Trial got a vast amount of media attention, with the story being covered both nationally and internationally, and is still a subject of interest today.
Carolyn Bryant
Roy Bryant & J.W. Milan
Reverend Moses Wright
Mamie Till
Castro becomes premier of Cuba- 1959
TV Journalism Styles
Mamie Till's decision to have an open-casket funeral
The publishing of the photograph in Jet magazine
Media firestorm surrounding the Milam-Bryant Murder Trial
Ernest Withers
James E. Boyack/Pittsburgh Courier
Simeon Booker/Jet Magazine
John Chancellor/NBC
Public critique of the trial
The Today Show
Person to Person
The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Camel News Caravan
This I Believe
The Rest of the Story
Changing Social Climate
Changing Politial Climate
Enlisted in the Air Force; only to serve for four months
Born Paul Harvey Aurandt
Active Journalism Career
Lead in to in-depth feature stories with, "The Rest of the Story"
Own series on ABC in the '70s
Delivered personalized and conservative broadcasts on current events
Seamless migration between content and commercial
Endorsed products he believed in - sometimes criticized
Known for his catch phrases like...
In the midst of the Communist fears and Jim Crow laws, Americans in the 1950s tuned in to hear Paul Harvey, the warm, familiar and patriotic voice of the nation. They were shaken by the murder of Emmett Till, which illustrated the deep divides in the country and used television to not only tell, but SHOW the public's reaction to his murder.
Act of "participatory journalism," & the attempt to sneak in
Because of the stability of radio and the new developments of television, the 1950's was a decade in which broadcasting styles were created and copied. The social, scientific and political stories of the 1950's allowed for wide exploration of the electronic mediums. We remember those stories today because of their coverage then, and attribute our news programs and reporting styles to those pioneered in this decade.
Broadcast Style
“[He] personalized the radio news with his right-wing opinions, but laced them with his own trademarks: a hypnotic timbre, extended pauses for effect, heart-warming tales of average Americans and folksy observations that evoked the heartland, family values and the old-fashioned plain talk one heard around the dinner table on Sunday.”
-Robert McFadden
New York Times Obituary (2009)
"Paul Harvey News and Comment" debuts
FCC Freeze ends
At peak ~ 24 mil viewers per week
Featured original news content and analysis
Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations
Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1955
Named Commentator of the Year in 1962
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Pres. George W. Bush in 2005
Full transcript