Orson Welles’ 1939 radiocast of H.G. Wells science fiction/horror story, War of The Worlds wreaked havoc the day millions of Americans listened to it. There was:
- Nation-wide panic
- Thousands of people believed the earth was being invaded by Martians
- A few people apparently died from fear and panic induced heart attacks and strokes…
For this assignment you are to do the following:
Part One: Listen and Annotate The Radiocast of War of The Worlds and Watch the Documentary on the making of War of The Worlds
- Click the link and listen to The Radiocast of War of The Worlds:
- Watch and annotate the Documentary on War of The Worlds:
- Develop a paper (250 words minimum) on your reaction, thoughts and ideas on the War of the World The following provides you with some prompts to think about while you develop your paper:
- Was Welles and the radio stations that presented irresponsible in their actions?
- What emotional and psychological mechanisms triggered people to panic?
- What does the response to War of The Worlds demonstrate regarding the power of radio, media and mass communication?
- What, in your view, made people in 1938 so susceptible to information pushed through media?
- Why did people act in ways that divided them, instead of unifying all humankind against such a dangerous threat to human existence?
- If the same or similar threat–real or manufactured–was presented in media today, how do you think people would react?