Eleanor Roosevelt, the United Nations and the Role of Radio Communications

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Luscombe, Anya (2016)

Eleanor Roosevelt communicated with the public through a variety of media, both before, during and following her time in the White House. In 1946 she became part of the US delegation to the newly formed United Nations and she used newspaper columns, speeches and radio broadcasts to converse with citizens about the importance of the UN. This paper focuses on some of her radio performances of the early 1950s, both in the USA and in Europe. Despite increasing competition from television in the 1950s, radio still played a vital role in reaching mass audiences. Through rhetorical analysis, this paper seeks to establish how Mrs. Roosevelt addressed her audiences and how she educated them about the United Nations. Furthermore, it will examine the reactions to her broadcasts. The aim is to study the way radio was used to encourage listeners to become active citizens and how Eleanor Roosevelt, as a "public diplomat", was uniquely placed to use the power of the media. Keywords: Eleanor Roosevelt, radio history, United Nations
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