The great propaganda stations

Radio Moscow, Radio London andVatican Radio fought their war with microphones.

The totalitarian regimes of the 1930s were the first to effectively exploit the combination of the new mass medium – radio – and propaganda.

The longest-running radio station created for propaganda purposes was Radio Moscow (later renamed Voice of Russia), which in 1929 began broadcasting in German, English and French. In 1937, it also turned its microphones to Italy, with the ‘Italian Section’. At the time, relations between the USSR and the Fascist regime were still good and initially Mussolini did not prevent people from tuning in, as he would once the war was approaching.

In the first three decades of the 20th century, the new technology was being developed everywhere. The British Broadcasting Company began airing its first transmission in 1922 and in 1927 was replaced by the public entity British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Commercial radio, on the other hand, was born in the USA, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1920, with broadcaster KDKA, still on the air today.

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