Did Herbert Hoover Broadcast the First Fireside Chat? Rethinking the Origins of Roosevelt's Radio Genius
The continuing importance of radio as a forum for American politics can be traced directly to the broadcasting innovations of the 1930s, particularly FDR's Fireside Chats. Although most research on the Fireside Chats emphasizes their discontinuity with previous broadcasting practices, this study investigates continuities between the Chats and earlier forms of radio speech. Using archival research and rhetorical analysis, I evaluate three key influences on FDR: the developing forms and styles of commercial radio, the unique radio strategies of Alfred E. Smith (FDR's predecessor as Governor of New York), and the efforts of Herbert Hoover to develop radio as a means of direct communication from the president to the people. I argue that Roosevelt's radio genius must be reassessed to account for both his distinctive mode of radio address and his ability to incorporate his predecessors' innovative broadcasting strategies into his own radio style.
Joy E. Hayes. "Did Herbert Hoover Broadcast the First Fireside Chat? Rethinking the Origins of Roosevelt's Radio Genius" Journal of Radio Studies 7.1 (2000): 76-92.
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