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Introduction Radio—The Forgotten Medium

ByEdward C. Pease, Everette E. Dennis

A close look at radio demonstrates its vitality, its economic, political and social importance, and its staying power in the communication field. All that said, no one should be deceived into thinking that radio is not alive and well or that it is no longer important on the world stage. Though snubbed by media coverage in the United States, radio remains the world's most ubiquitous medium, certainly the one with the widest reach and greatest penetration. Radio in the United States gamers a fraction (6.7 percent) of media advertising expenditures, which totaled $ 125.4 billion nationwide a year in the early 1990s. The influence of radio far exceeds its relative economic weight in the media market. Social analysts have spent little time in recent years considering radio's changing functions after its initial metamorphosis upon the advent of television. Radio's resilient nature points up the fact that a medium's place in the media family can change without signaling its death.