Digital Daggers


In my family, there has always been the agreement whether a paperback book is better than an E-book. The argument in my house has always stayed the same, paperback books are far superior to any E-book. However, today many things are digitized. For history, digitization of documents, archives as well as the creation of documentaries and historical films, have helped the historical community excel dramatically. Yet, there are many things that go into making historical films or documentaries, as well as digitizing archives. Within the book, Public History, in the chapters called Radio and Audio-Visual Production, Digital Public History, it explains what skills and tactics are needed to create a historically accurate documentary and radio history.

Since the invention of the first radio by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895, radios today do more than just send and signals across the English Channel. Today, we hear everything from the top pop song of the season to weather reports on the radio. Nonetheless, Historians also decidedly contribute to oral history on the radio. We first see this in, conduction of interviews, which leave the floor to mostly to the narrator. Secondly, by creating a radio program, which selects parts of interviews that focus on a specific theme for the program. Cauvin explains that if “Public historians are willing to produce radio programs should study the ins and outs of oral history and sound archives,” (Cauvin, p. 164).

In addition, Cauvin goes on to note that archives normally do not need quality media. However, when it comes to radio programming, quality media is vital. Quality media ensures that the contributing theme or idea is clearly and coherently conveyed to the audience. In addition, there are some ideas the Cauvin says that historians should be aware of when establishing some historical films. Cauvin says that filmmakers and historians’ agendas very from each other. “The task for historians is to arrive at some kind of truth … the goal for the filmmaker is to create a film reality that allows the audience to believe a story as if it were true” (Cauvin, 165).

Nevertheless, when used properly, radio history can be used to connect people everywhere that “gives access to voices people rarely hear”, (Cauvin, 164).  Even though the sources like the radio and film documentaries are used to connect people, you cannot connect people properly if you do not use the right tools. The world-wide-web is a historians favor and most helpful tool. The world-wide-web has helped people and historians that share research methods and information to colleges and the public, through social media platforms as well as websites. In Dan Cohen article Is Google Good for History?”, Cohen notes that Google, however, even though its controversial in the uses of research of information, has given the historical community websites like “Google Scholar, Google Books, newspaper archives”. Nevertheless, technology has skyrocketed since the 1980s and continues to still to this day. In many ways, the sources like the world-wide-web and film documentaries as well as radios have helped connect people to a more historical event.



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