The History of Media (The Beginning-1950 A.D.)

War of the Worlds

1938- On October 30, 1938 Orson Welles narrated the novel War of the Worlds, which was written by H. G. Wells.  The program was aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System and was presented as a news-bulletin and without commercial breaks.  The broadcast was adapted to present the novel about aliens who are invading earth.  

Many people thought that the news report was real and it caused wide spread panic.  It is estimated that six million people heart the broadcast and about 1.7 million believed that it was real.  This changed the way that people looked at radio broadcast.  The radio is a fast way of establishing media events.  Radio at the time was taken as a trusted source and people unlike today did not have a way of validating if it was true.  Today we have access to the internet, hundred of newspapers, and television.  This broadcast changed the way that people looked at media.