From Tubes, Tapes and Transistors to the Internet
Radio was the first electro-magnetic communications medium of the twentieth century. From its very beginning news events played an important role in radio's development. Radio's ability to transport listeners instantly to distant venues, as well as its extreme portability, has helped it maintain its popularity despite competition from other media.
It was not until the Second World War that radio truly became a news medium as world events cultivated a large appetite for news. After World War II though, television became the primary entertainment medium. Radio had to become more localized, with new music formats, to maintain its audience. Radio news also became much more locally focused.
New technology helped radio news get out into the local community. The ability to cover local news, to take listeners directly to the scene of the action, improved with the development of magnetic tape recorders and the increased miniaturization spurred by the discovery of the transistors.
Today, radio seems almost an afterthought in our media rich society. Yet a recent survey revealed that 63% of Americans still listen to radio at some point of each day. Just how they listen continues to change though.
Radio News Formats Through the Years:
1- Radio Ink, Poll: Radio Listening Is Staying Stable West Palm Beach FL: Radio Ink, September 20, 2007