Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sound in Movies

In April of 1923, New York City became a part of history. It was the first screening of a movie with synchronized sound instead of the ealier days of a piano player or a narrator. It wasn't until 1927 howerver, the the first full length talkie was released. Al Jolson starred in "The Jazz Singer" and people all over the country became extremley excited over the technological breakthrough. The phenomena quickly spread through the country and furthur supplanted Hollywood as one of the most successful businesses in the world. With advances still to come in color and shot selection, the world was just getting its first taste on the magic that is Hollywood.

Rise of Radio

World War I affected a lot of things , but one of the things that were changed for the good was the "reinvention" of radio. " Radio technology before the war was primarily to the military". " the war led the federal government to intervene in uncharacteristic ways, suspending patent rights for the wars duration, seixing control of foreign assests, standardizing radio components for war production, and training servicemen in skills they carried into civilian life"(331). The change in patent conflicts made it easier for big companies such as Westinghouse to get involved in the radio equipment buisness. Radio is such a big part of todays society and how people obtain information and news. Its one of the top 5 forms of entertainment and advertisement used in society today. So much work went into bringing radio to were it is today. Most people wouldn't realize that the Government played a huge role in making radio become what it is today.

Starr, Paul. "The constitution of the air." The Creation of the Media Political Origins of Modern Communications. New York: Basic Books, 2005. 330-31

Advertising Ingenuity

The promotion of Lucky Strike brand cigarettes in the 1920's displays how far advertising had progressed up to that particular point. Marketers for the product did everything in their power to gear their promotional segments towards women. The goal of Lucky Strikes advertising campaign was to make women feel that smoking their cigarettes was a form of women empowerment. Advertisers promoted the cigarette brand by making women believe that smoking cigarettes gave them a sense of equality within society, because the unconventional past time was an act that they took upon themselves to perform, in a time when society did not allow women much freedom.

Changes in Early Advertising

As the combination of new technology and falling prices helped to create a market for diversions, ie. movies, magazines and outlets for disposable income, manufacturers of these items had to find a way to get there products into the minds of consumers while at the same time having to deal with competitors. Welcome to advertising. Although advertising had existed in different forms before this this, it wasn't until the 1900's that it took off as a way of really selling products and began to take a form that we could recognize today. In the past products had been advertised just on their perceived benefit such as coca cola for its medicinal benefits, but later on it began to be advertised as a refreshment and almost as a lifestyle drink. Advertisers began to enlist the help of athletes and actors to help get their message across and to separate their product from their competitors. This trend continues today, as modern day athletes continue to get multimillion dollar endorsement deals.

Media Booms in the 1920's

Through the 1920's, media was going through a boom period. There were more different types of media and more quantity of it as well. This in turn created more money through advertising because more people were seeing the papers as they began to consolidate and become larger publications. When the papers consolidated chains began to happen and regional papers developed.

Radio was just being born in the 1920's as well, but it wasn't bigger than the newspapers. There were good and bad parts to the consolidation of media. This lowered the costs of publications and their size grew. This also saved on costs because they didn't have to hire more writers for specific things. This helped them raise advertising rates on the paper also.

"Torches of Freedom"

In Bernays' piece "Promoting 'Lucky Strike' Cigarettes to Women in the late 1920's" I found the part about the ten women who marched down Fifth Avenue in the Easter Sunday parade smoking cigarettes to be the most interesting. The best part about this whole thing is how they called these Lucky Strike cigarettes "torches of freedom". It just goes to show the measures women went to in order to gain their equality in society. Who would've thought that something as little as a cigarette would make that big of an impact on the fight for women's rights and freedom? These ten women stood up for all women that Easter Sunday and as crazy as it sounds, their message was made loud and clear.

Editorial Pros and Cons

I believe that editors should have a personal relationship and communication with their community. This did not occur with the editor of the chain paper. He is dealing with a money-making organization, that doesn't really care about the people but only sucks up to the head of the organization to get what he or she wants. But on the other hand i admire the private paper, because the editor of that paper knows their community and their community knows them. This stood out to me because some people are just selfish and only think about themselves.

Edward Bernays throughout Promoting" Lucky Strike" Cigarettes to women in the Late 1920's analyzes the advertisement use to promote Lucky Strike Cigarettes. The way they came about advertising these cigarettes to women was non traditional in many ways. Instead of promoting cigarettes as a bad thing they promoted cigarettes as a fashion statement or an accessory for females. Doing this more and more women thought that it was o.k. to smoke. because in this period of time women smoking was rare because it is not what you call "lady like".

The March of Radio

New types of technology is being produced and publicized everyday. Especially in the society of today we are producing technology advancements at great speeds. Even though these technologies are seen as great by most people, many still have mixed feelings about them. The article " The March of Radio" is about just this. When people think of the radio today, no one is truly upset or concerned about what their children or themselves will be listening to on the air. We are in a peace of mind that society will regulate and censor this material as not to damage young minds. This same fear was evident in the early days of radio.
In this article, it is mentioned how the radio for citizens back then was almost equivalent to the idea of Internet for us today. According to this article, it was first believed that " Some radio Utopians believed that the new technology would bring humanity together in a grand community transcending regional boundaries; while others thought that radio would be the instrument for spreading the gospel of culture, education, and rationality to the masses, bringing with it the good life of modernity and consumer society." While many still believed the creation of radio was positive, there was still a number that was worried about things like crass commercialism and corruption caused by the power of this new mass medium.
he last thing many were concerned about was censorship on the radio. It is connected in this article to the worries of censorship on the Internet, but they are truly very different. any worried about the idea of young children being exposed to all sorts of manipulating information and ideas. This same sort of debate is still being played out today on the ideas of censorship for television programs, movies and the Internet.

"Rajah in a Low Back Chair"

After reading this poem "Rajah in a Low Back Chair" , im still trying to figure out exactly what it means. Thos. L Williams quoties There in the Dusk Beyond the lamp's gleam, in a corner of twlight-there to dream, My hands on the Radio's glistening dials, My eyes had closed, across the miles, Music at my touch. This part of the poem is very interesting because it seems that Rajah has the whole world at his fingers in the sense he can listen to anything he wants and see what is happening around the world. Alone in the desert sand it is just him and his radio and he can basically pretend to be whoever he wants with no one stopping him. The radio gave him time of peace and happiness at the same time. The radio we use today basically does the same thing and majority of the people today use their car sterio in order to pass time or even simply because of pleasure.

The advantages of chain operation

There is many opportunity's for big chain operation, the chain have a bigger opportunity for growth then a smaller company or an independent company. when you think of this you have to think of a wider market of an audience that you will reach because you have more capital to work with. An example is Wal-mart is one of the biggest company compare to small company in a small area, whereas wal-mart can market they company better then a smaller company can market or promote themselves. Years ago local markets have disadvantage due to the fact of limited resources after the big markets appears, it took over craftman. "it means elimination of economic weakling; fewer but more virile ownerships." Ivy Lee, the press today.

Advertising for Women

During the 1920's George Washington Hill thought that cigarettes should not only be smoked by males, but females as well. He wanted to target the females in America by creating different ads, making Cigarettes appealing to them. By changing the color of the box to match an outfit would let a woman think of it as an accessory better yet than just a box of tobacco. Off his idea of this type of advertising it affected the way we advertise today. For example camel cigarettes use a pink and black box to make their product more appealing to women. Coors light also makes their beer bottles smaller to fit into a woman's hand.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


George Washington Hill was an advertising genius, who in many ways could be considered a murdere. He was president of the American Tabacco Company, who produced "lucky brand" cigarettes. He was considered by many of his piers to be an "advertising genius." He wanted to target the female market to buy Lucky ciggarettes. In the laste 1928 people cared about the health problems stemming from weight issues. Having this in mind, Hill coined his new slogan for Lucky brand ciggarettes, " Reach for a Lucky, Instead of A Sweet." The slogan worked, however it drew much contreversy as sweet companys proclaimed this slogan as an outrage. Lucky was succesful in selling many cigarettes to women. However, how ironic that the thought and use of a fear of health problems could make someone buy a ciggarette. A ciggarette as a safety valve to avoid health problems? How outrageous.

Marconi “The Father of the Wireless Telegraph”

I found it interesting that in the beginning Guglielmo Marconi could only send radiotelegraph system signals over short distances. By the summer of 1895 he went outdoors to experiment. He used receiver antennas and he increased the length of the transmitters. Marconi let the antenna touch the ground and the range increased. Now he could transmit signals further away and over hills.

Guglielmo Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi was an inventor and well known for the making of the radiotelegraph system (radiotelegraphy-transmitting the same Morse code message used in a telegraph by radio waves). Heinrich Hertz died in 1894 and this produced printed reviews of his earlier research. This sparked an interest within Marconi. In 1897, he was the first person to send wireless communication over seas. “On Nov. 22, 1899, the Marconi Wireless Company of America was incorporated under the laws of New Jersey, to exploit Marconi patents in the U.S. and various possessions including Cuba.” Marconi developed an American-European radiotelegraph service in 1910. The first crossing of the Pacific radiotelegraph service, in 1912, connected San Francisco with Hawaii.

Erik Barnouw, Tube of Plenty, pg. 11
Guglielmo Marconi
The Invention of Radio
Birth of Science of Radio and Development of Usable Components

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Children learning from the radio

Parents were very unprepared for the radio to enter their homes. One: because of the nature of new inventions and them naturally being a mystery in its own nature and two: because of the uncontrollable content that their children would hear. At first, parents did not accept the content on the radio towards children at all. Performances that were given to children on the radio seemed very offensive to parents. But what parents did not get is that the performances that was on the radio specifically designed the characters in their stories for children to be able to relate to. The characters did not only fulfill the needs of the children, but it also was more "educationally and physiologically sound than what parents preferred". 
At the time parents wanted a set structure for radios to follow to uphold the expectations of their family and their children. But what parents were oblivious to see is that the radio was already ten steps ahead of them. The radio was very beneficial at the time to the growing and learning child.

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Many of the arguments used in support of newspaper consolidation are turned back upon it by opponents of chains and given a slightly different slant in the process. As stated "Instead of maintaining that the wealth of the combine leads to independence in its editorial expression, the opponents assert that chain papers are the slaves of the powerful coporations behind them." This lucidly shows how these corporations were manipulating and affecting the public opinion which is regularly displayed in these newspapers.
"Not only, it is claimed, does a reporter for the chain newspaper feel himself submerged in a vast and impersonal organization, but he must recognize at once that the chances of promotion are more remote than on the provincial journal. Chain opponents point out that when an editor on one paper is replaced, it is more than likely that a successor will be transferred from another paper of the same chain than that a reporter will recieve a promotion. It is a long way to the top of the chain, they say, and the few executive positions are generally beyond reach of the average reporter." The consolidaion of these newspapers have made it extremely difficult for any type of mobility within these newspaper companies. The average reporter has now found it almost impossible to move up in the ranks no matter what type of seniority they hold. This consolidation has not only affected the newspaper and the material it now distributes to the public, but it now affects the personal career of these reporters and workers of the newspaper companies. Many traditions have been now tarnished and there can no longer be the personal attitude and personal pride that came from working for an independent and isolated unit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

"The One Paper Town"

In 1950 was the the result of the The New York Sun being completely finished. When the New York Sun went under it resulted in twelve hundred newspaper workers without a job. Something this large was not only just a local concern but, it became an acutal social concern as well. The people that rely on the daily newspaper for work would need to know that it is becoming a shrinking profession. Gerald stated that "News is rapidly assuming the status of water, communication, and electricity". However, if you need to supply it this causes an increasing capital investment. It may come through so many daily activities such as newspapers, radio, television, and also through the movies. The cause of this will involve a large employment rate for thousands of men, however only for the capitalists, usually that form with well known corporations.
As the daily newspapers rapidly decreased, there were fewer positions to be filled. The good editorial writers, with the opinions will become restricted of their independence and will be replaced with a smart, intelligent, alert and a well informed men.
As you can see, the money is being pulled in for that certain group of people, and leaving the little people behind. Gerald tries to send a message out to the reader telling them that even though the opinions have been removed, they still need to make a way out to hear the true intelligence.

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The National Board of Review

In 1925, hoping to clarify its philosophy, the National Board dropped the word “censorship” from its name, recast itself as the “National Board of Review of Motion Pictures,” and focused its efforts on the promotion of better films rather than the suppression of bad ones.”

This year marks the 100th birthday of the National Board of Review. This organization was first founded as an anti-censorship organization fighting a New York City mayor’s belief that film was an assault on community morals. Theatre owners and film distributors banned together and established a National Review committee to fight the mayors ruling. The function of this committee was to promote films as the new art form of the common man.
Thousands of films and DVD’s have the endorsement “Passed by the National Board of Review” in there titles worldwide. The National Board of Reviewed promotes films as wholesome entertainment. It provided best picture awards as a means of recognizing the best pictures of the day.

Today, it provides free educational seminars to the public in the New York City area as a means of staying connected to the community. It also provides a series of grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to over 30 film students per year so that they can purse their film careers. In addition they also provide money to the Children’s Aid Society in support of their efforts to help young children from disadvantage neighborhoods also become involved with the film industry.