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Radio transformed American politics

Radio transformed American politics

For centuries, people had read politicians' words. On Nov. 2, 1920, the first broadcast from a licensed radio station was broadcasting the results of that year's presidential election.

Radio made it possible to listen to politicians in real-time. It meant that personalities started to matter more; the way their voices sounded made a difference. Their ability to engage and entertain became crucial components.

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Today, social media further transforms political discourse from reasoned argument to attention-grabbing images and memes.

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Once television arrived, the political strategy shifted toward using entertainment to get the attention of voters.

In the 1952 election, the Eisenhower campaign started working with ad agencies and actors to create the candidate's TV personality. An enhanced image ...

In 1964, media theorist Marshall McLuhan said that "the medium is the message," meaning that the kind of medium through which a message is transmitted matters more than its content.

For centuries, the primary medium for mass political news was the printed word. Political c...

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