Radio, Morality, and Culture: Britain, Canada, and the United States, 1919–1945 examines the moral controversies surrounding radio’s development during its formative years. In comparing the fledgling medium in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, Robert S. Fortner documents how the church failed to participate in radio’s moral development and instead engaged in internecine warfare over issues of legitimacy and orthodoxy.
The church was arguing about theological turf and dealing with internal disputes while radio policy was being developed and communications history was being written. Fortner reveals how the church, doomed to play little more than a bit part in the future of radio, eventually lost its voice altogether in the continuing development of electronic media. Fortner effectively synthesizes cultural history and theory, communication studies, and the role religious organizations played in shaping the content and character of early radio. Geared to scholars of history, communications, and theology, Radio, Morality, and Culture provides a useful resource for research, scholarship, and public policy.