January 1948 Radio-Craft
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
This RCA (Radio Corporation of
America) advertisement from a 1948 issue of Radio−Craft magazine
packed a lot of meaning to American citizens who had recently experienced the trials,
tribulations, and ultimately victories of World War II. Company president
David Sarnoff, a well-known electronic communications industry titan before
the war, served under a special commission as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army
during WWII to oversee radio communications. He was very familiar with the tragedy
of Communism and Socialism, having experienced its ruinous philosophy. Hitler and
his minions forbade citizens, under threat of imprisonment or worse, from listening
to radios lest they learn of the war's progress or of the freedoms experienced in
other parts of the world. Propaganda via radio was a daunting weapon for and against
all engaged nations, and even some Allied governments outlawed both transmitters
and receivers for the duration*. This advertisement represents the appreciation Mr. Sarnoff
and his countrymen had for simple ability to listen to radio broadcasts without
fear of retribution. The scenario depicted in the picture is similar to the famous
"Four Freedoms" paintings done by American
artist Norman Rockwell in 1943. RCA added "Freedom to Listen" to Rockwell's list for a total
of Five Freedoms.
* See "Europe's
Undeclared Radio War!"
RCA "Freedom to Listen" Ad
"Our American concept of radio is that it
is of the people and for the people."
Freedom to Listen - Freedom to Look
As the world grows smaller, the question of international communications and
world understanding grows larger. The most important phase of this problem is Freedom
to Listen and Freedom to Look - for all peoples of the world.
Radio, by its very nature, is a medium of mass communication; it is a carrier
of intelligence. It delivers ideas with an impact that is powerful ... Its essence
is freedom - liberty of thought and of speech.
Radio should make a prisoner of no man and it should make no man its slave. No
one should be forced to listen and no one compelled to refrain from listening. Always
and everywhere, it should be the prerogative of every listener to turn his receiver
on or off, of his own free will.
The principle of Freedom to Listen should be established for all peoples without
restriction or fear. This is as important as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the
Television is on the way and moving steadily forward. Television fires the imagination,
and the day is foreseen when we shall look around the earth from city to city, and
nation to nation, as easily as we now listen to global broadcasts. Therefore, Freedom
to Look is as important as Freedom to Listen, for the combination of these will
be the radio of the future.
The "Voice of Peace" must speak around this planet and be heard by all people
everywhere, no matter what their race, or creed, or political philosophies. '
President and Chairman of the Board,
Radio Corporation of America.
*Excerpts from an address before the
United States National Commission for UNESCO.
Radio Corporation of America
Freedom is Everybody's Business
Posted December 13, 2019