Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MediaTech: The Invention of Radio - Ken Burns' "Empire of the Air" (U2-Activity) Fa13

Now, a great way of using the previously discussed media tech theories is to apply them to the development of a past media technology, for example radio.  Filmmaker, Ken Burns, told the story of radio in his documentary "Empire of the Air."  Notice the story is not as much about the technology as it is about the people (the innovators).  Media tech is people too.

The documentary is available...
on Amazon (Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio) and on Netflix (instant streaming).

The companion book to the film is also available (Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio)

Did you watch it?

How did the theories previously discussed help to understand the development of radio?

In the documentary, Burns highlights the story of Lee de Forest, for example. How does his story compare to modern-day media tech innovators like Steve Jobs?  Is there a common story for media tech innovators?

Below is the first minute or so of the documentary on Hulu.  If you have Hulu Plus you may want to see the complete documentary.  If not the complete documentary, then at least the first 30 minutes on Lee de Forest to get a sense of the inventors life.  Note: Hulu Plus has a  7 day free trial,

Here is a short YouTube video on de Forest's audion.

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