Week 10 Response

This week’s reading mainly focussed on how technology such as radio helped to deliver messages and gathered people. The radio seemed to play powerful role in displaying not only different arts like music and samba, but also stating politics. In Brazil, even though Getúlio Vargas turned out to promise various things but failed to deliver, he was one of the earliest politician who understood the power and utility of radio. I was surprised that radios already existed in Brazil as early as 1930s. In the beginning, there were about 20 stations, but by the end of 1950s, more than 100 stations were built. Moreover, 85% of households in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro owned a radio and many people were exposed to commercial tv. Because a large number of people had communication tools, Vargas set up national radio station to promote good works done by the government. Hence, the Hora do Brazil or Brazil Hour was broadcasted. This program was widely ridiculed by people and often ignored. In addition, he tried to connect people with his idea, Estado Novo (the New State), but he failed at the end. Federal officials attempted to suit the samba for nationalist purposes in order to increase patriotic feelings. Fans simply rejected the official samba and looked for what they liked.

Using technology to control people can also be noticed in Europe by Nazi Germany. Hitler effectively used radios and censored newspaper to brainwash people in Germany and his plan worked well as opposed to Vargas. This was something that came up in my mind while I was reading the text. However, censoring newspaper and controlling radio are not enough to brainwash people because we have the internet. Although the internet can be censored like in China, it is much more difficult to do so compared to radio and newspapers. The internet allows people to look for whatever they want and can easily know what is happening outside of one’s country.

In sum, this week’s reading enabled me to understand the emergence of technologies such as radio and how that help politicians and people’s life in general.

1 thought on “Week 10 Response

  1. Emily Townsend

    Using the radio as a political strategy is an interesting concept. I found it particularly appealing to note Vargas’ Hora do Brazil because Rafael Correa (in Ecuador) did a similar thing. Every Saturday he would (and maybe still does) broadcast an hour of himself speaking on TV. Some people argue that this was is a great way of keeping Ecuadorians up to date on the nation’s political situation. However, other people argue that he was just using this hour to popularize himself.


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