From media audience to media public: a study of letters written in reaction to FDR's fireside chats

  title={From media audience to media public: a study of letters written in reaction to FDR's fireside chats},
  author={David M. Ryfe},
  journal={Media, Culture \& Society},
  pages={767 - 781}
  • D. Ryfe
  • Published 1 November 2001
  • History
  • Media, Culture & Society
This article investigates the process by which media audiences become media publics in an analysis of Franklin D. Roosevelt's (FDR) fireside chats. Data for this analysis includes 380 randomly selected letters written in reaction to the first ten chats delivered by FDR during his first term of office. I show that FDR borrowed the `for-anyone-as-someone' structure of broadcasting to address listeners as particular individuals and as members of a mass public. In response, listeners adopted this… 

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