War of the Worlds Braodcast

Radio: A Trustworthy Friend

A Family listening to the radio (imaage from ai.eecs.umich.edu)

During the 1930s, radio was considered an intimate and credible medium. The public used it as a news source and expected it to provide factual information.(7) Government officials, including the president of the United States , often used radio to communicate with audiences. Listeners had no reason not to trust what they heard over the airwaves.(7)

This helps explain the audience's reaction to the War of the Worlds broadcast. They didn't consider that what they heard on the radio might be misleading or false.

A family listening to the radio
Learn about mass hysteria
Learn about the performers' use of real names and places
Learn about the performers' use of news bulletins
Learn about the war anxiety of Americans at the time of the broadcast