Homework Help

 How did the advent and mass usage of the media influence and document the Great...

user profile pic

tourlay99 | Honors

Posted July 19, 2013 at 10:17 PM via web

dislike 1 like

 How did the advent and mass usage of the media influence and document the Great Depression?


1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 28, 2013 at 4:57 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Of the different types of mass media available during the Great Depression, there are a few that stand out as perhaps being the most influential during that time would be radio and photographs.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous fireside chats were a public relations tool designed to restore Americans' faith in the economy, as Roosevelt counseled Americans in this intimate and cozy atmosphere that it was safe to put money in the banks, and that Americans "had nothing to fear except fear itself".  Some historians have noted that Roosevelt's use of radio was also aimed at allowing him to bypass newspapers, which were not exactly flourishing, and talk directly to Americans without being seen incapacitated in his wheelchair. 

Photographers such as Dorothea Lange provided some of the most poignant images of the Great Depression, going to migrant worker camps, breadlines, and other venues where jobless and/or homeless people might have congregated.  While the nation's woes were well-documented in the newspapers that were able to stay in business, there was something overtly startling and unforgettable about seeing the gray, lined faces of exhausted mothers and hungry children in black and white. 

Movie going became an enormously popular form of entertainment during this time period for those with a few coins to spare.  While nightly news programming was still in its earliest stages, Americans were able to get national and world news from mini-broadcasts known as newsreels which were normally shown prior to the film (or films, if it was a double feature) being screened. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes