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Archive for November 4th, 2008

On being Bob Sullivan W0YVA: amateur radio at the margins of society

The Public Image of Amateur Radio in the Popular Media.

writerWhat is the public image of Amateur Radio?  It seems that the media (television and print) has done a number on Amateur Radio.  Stereotypes become compelling and believable to the extent that they contain an element of truth that can be validated by ordinary people in ordinary experience.

What is the popular media’s understanding of Amateur Radio?  Amateur Radio folk have been stereotyped and portrayed on Television in an almost consistent way.

For example, in the popular media as represented by television characters are also Amateur Radio operators are portrayed in a common way.

Here is a sampling… Herman Munster, Drew Carey, On the Simpson the two unmarried and unattractive sisters of Marge, Ross in the Patty Duke show, Dilbert is a Amateur Radio operator, and our favorite talking horse – Mr. Ed – took up Amateur radio when Wilbur would not talk to him and Ed became lonely.

TIME Magazine

What about the print media.  Here is an entry from an Amateur Radio discussion group

Amateurs Demand Apology By TIME Magazine: Amateurs around the U.S.A., and in other nations as well, have been writing to TIME Magazine. They are demanding an apology from TIME for failing to edit out a slur against Amateur radio in TIME’s December 31, 2004 issue. That edition featured an article by Lev Grossman about Internet blogging. At one point, Mr. Grossman wrote this:

“Before this year, blogs were a curiosity, a cult phenomenon, a faintly embarrassing hobby on the order of Amateur radio and stamp collecting.”

Amateur Radio as a “faintly embarrassing hobby”?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

November 4, 2008 at 4:57 am

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