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October 1, 1937 – Associated Press Reports on War Zones world-wide – NBC Red Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
October 1, 1937 – A reminder that Civil War was raging throughout the world and had no ending in sight. This was one of the first attempts at on-the-spot reporting of a conflict since radio broadcasting began. Prior to the Munich Crisis of 1938, reports from world capitols were either relegated to listening to Shortwave broadcasts, or reading those reports in the newspaper. A reminder that most of the reporting going on in these zones of conflict were done by newspapers and that there were really no reporters on the ground, covering these stories firsthand solely for radio. It should also be noted that, the primary source for recruiting reporters by the Radio networks was from the various newspapers who had bureaus set up in each city throughout the world. Reporting for the radio was a new thing in 1937 and the perfection of technology in the area of Shortwave transmission and the transatlantic cable. Many of the first reporter/commentators for radio also doubled as correspondents for various newspapers and magazines.
This attempt at getting reports live from the conflict zones was iffy at best. As you’ll hear in this 1937 broadcast, shortwave transmission was random and by luck. Reports were cut off mid-way through in order to adhere to time constraints of the broadcast and the reporters themselves had no radio-trained voices. But this was a start.
The big concern, aside from the marvel of this new technology, was the level of conflict going on around the world. Reports from Madrid portray a nation completely torn apart by civil war – the Japanese invasion of China told of atrocities and the inhumane nature of this new war.
This half hour is devoted to reports from those newspaper correspondents, reporting from the conflict zones as well as from The League Of Nations meeting in Geneva as it all happened on October 1, 1937.