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1924 __ Is radio standardizing the American mind ?
Comment : “The discussion that has of late been carried on in this department, regarding the realtive adaptability of the masculine and feminine voice to radio broadcasting, is still calling forth opinions from many of our readers. These opinions are often supplemented by others having to do with various different features of broadcasting. This goes to prove that some radio listeners are doing their own thinking, as President Faunce of Brown University recently said, becoming possessed of the “mob mind”. This “mob mind”, according to President Faunce, is being created by the radio because, day after day and night after night, hundreds of thousands and at times millions of people listen to the same speeches, music, drama, stories - all of these features brought down to the level of mass intelligence. This is rapidly creating, in his opinion, a standardized taste along educational and amusement lines. A standardized mass taste means mediocrity. This is not a direct quotation of his statements, but is the gist of their meaning. If the radio were never to rise above the level of its present daily achievements, all that President Faunce has said, would be true. But there are many indications that, as soon as owners of radio sets lose the desire to listen-in for the novelty of the thing, a portion of the public will demand something better thant the sort of education or entertainment that appeals to the mob mind. And as soon as they make this demand it will be granted. The fact that such people are among the listeners-in, proves that ultimately the radio will not standardize the American mind. It may seem to be doing so now. Indeed, President Faunce can find much to support his opinion. But he very likely is not closely in touch with the inner workings of this new and great medium of enjoyment. If he were, he would realize that a goodly number, instead of swallowing all that they hear, whole and without thought, are listening with discrimination, and voicing whatever objections they feel in no uncertain terms. [...] Yes, there are radio listeners who think for themselves and will never have the “mob mind”. By the same token, there are others who,either through intellectual incapacity or laziness, fllow the mob in radio as in all other things. They are the one who, as President Faunce so aptly put it, « will accept the platitudes which are acceptable to all mankind »”. (“The Listeners’ Point of View”, conducted by Jennie Irene Mix, In “RADIO BROADCAST”, Vol. VI, no. 1, NOVEMBER 1924, Garden City, N. Y., DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY, 1924, pp. 47-55)
Urls : http://www.archive.org/stream/radiobroadcast06gardrich%23page/46/mode/2up (last visited )

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