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War of the Worlds: confusion with reality

maht91's picture

 In the past, radio was a source of entertainment for people, but also a source of news. This explains why the people have trusted the radio show, War of the Worlds, as they thought of it as a reliable source of information. I can't deny that the way the story of the radio was presented had some effects that made it sound so real. Here are a couple of examples: choosing real places and names of cities, constantly reminding the people of the places, bringing people from different parts of the country from scientists to eyewitnesses, and the background noise made the experience of listening to the radio show more real. They made the radio show so personal to the listener by bringing it close to the things they are most familiar with. We can't blame the people for falling in the trap that the story was real. What some people did not do is participate in the game of doubting what they hear and questioning its reliability as a source of factual information. Some people just fled the country, while others called the police and other radio stations. I expected the people to question more and not believe everything they hear because the story they were hearing was a serous story. The people trusted the reporter so much with the events of the story. They did not doubt what the eyewitnesses have seen, or the way they described them. They did not have much background about this thing, and they feared it without taking a moment to question. I have struggled with this doubting and believing game. I tend to believe what I read more than I spend time questioning. Now I see where the doubting game comes in handy. Also, towards the end, the reporter himself assessed whether he knows what the truth is by saying "...my observatory, my world, where are they, did they ever exist, am I Richard Pierson, what day is it, do days exist without calendars..." He even questioned the reality around him.

 Aside from this radio show, I think that all the radio shows should be questioned as the narration of the story always depends on the reporter, his choice of words and his tone of speaking. You could give the same report to two different people and they can read it differently. However, one of the hearings might sound more trustworthy or more real. But that still does not change the fact that the two stories are the same. So how much trust can we put in radio shows depends on the reporter, the story being told and how much interest people have. So I still doubt the reliability of radio shows. 

 

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