The Myth of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Panic

A 1938 radio play based on H.G. Wells’ novel, The War of the Worlds, supposedly panicked America. The Martians were invading! People went hysterical and ran for their lives! Or did they? Listen to Professors Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow explain what really happened. Episode #387.

J.E. Hayes, K. Battles, and W. Hilton-Morrow (eds.), War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis

Decades after the infamous broadcast, does War of the Worlds still matter? This book answers with a resounding yes! Contributors revisit the broadcast event in order to reconsider its place as a milestone in media history, and to explore its role as a formative event for understanding citizens’ media use in times of crisis. Uniquely focused on the continuities between radio’s «new» media moment and our contemporary era of social media, the collection takes War of the Worlds as a starting point for investigating key issues in twenty-first-century communication, including: the problem of misrepresentation in mediated communication; the importance of social context for interpreting communication; and the dynamic role of listeners, viewers and users in talking back to media producers and institutions. By examining the «crisis» moment of the original broadcast in its international, academic, technological, industrial, and historical context, as well as the role of contemporary new media in ongoing «crisis» events, this volume demonstrates the broad, historical link between new media and crisis over the course of a century.

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