In my chapter on radio, one of the most interesting, though obviously not in a good way, theorists of broadcast radio is Joseph Goebbels, the old Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda for the German government in the 1930s.
Here are his views on the possibility of objective, neutral broadcasting –
The radio must subordinate itself to the goals which the Government of the National Revolution has set itself. The notion that the work of radio can remain an end in itself cannot be refuted enough.
There is nothing at all that is not tendentious. The discovery of the principle of absolute objectivity is the privilege of German professors – and I do not believe that university professors make history…
In other words, the Nazis believed that everything was necessary partisan; aiming for objectivity or neutrality in any form a dream of university professors.Â The rejected idea of a communications network as “an end in itself” is interestingly, both the idea of common carriage and the founding principle of the internet’s design.
In his best quote of all, Goebbels liked to say of broadcasting that it is simply:
the spiritual weapon of the totalitarian state.