The Newberry Library Seminar onTechnology, Politics, and Culture
Co-Sponsored by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Roosevelt University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University's School of Communications
Friday, December 17, 2004
3:30pm-5:00pm, The Newberry Library
Breaking News: Shortwave News Broadcasts and U.S.-Japanese Conflict on the Eve of the Pacific War
Michael A. Krysko, Dowling College
In 1939, the U.S. shortwave station W6XBE began trans-Pacific broadcasts to an enthusiastic American audience in East Asia. However, controversy soon enveloped the station. Japan jammed American news broadcasts for their presumed bias against Japan's expansionist objectives in East Asia. This paper explores audience and diplomatic responses to W6XBE's travails. It examines how culturally based notions of "objective" news informed American reactions to the station's troubles. Capturing shortwave broadcasting's potential as a divisive force in international relations, W6XBE's difficulties became intertwined with the broader deterioration of Japanese-American relations that resulted in the pacific War of 1941-1945.
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