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Message to the National Association of Broadcasters1
[August 22, 1944] [Washington, D.C.]
Conspicuous among the developments unknown to the first World War is the increasing dependence of the American public on radio broadcasts. The industry exerts a tremendous influence on public opinion and it must therefore bear the burden of a heavy responsibility. You gentlemen quite evidently are fully aware of this responsibility and I believe have endeavored to give the public reasonable protection against the abuse of this powerful agency.
The radio renders an important service towards maintaining the morale of our troops overseas, both in the way of entertainment and also by presenting accurate accounts of the march of events in the various theatres of action. The soldier, particularly in isolated stations in the vast Pacific, in Africa, and in the Far East, is seriously dependent on the radio and grows more so with each passing month.
Speaking for the Army, I thank you for your cooperation and for the important services you have rendered us. At the same time I desire to emphasize the importance of keeping the radio service, at least so far as pertains to the soldiers in our overseas forces, on a very high plane. Confusion in the public mind here at home is a mere incident in the democracy of free speech. Overseas where the morale of the group, or the organization, or the Army is a matter of great national importance, the consequences can be most unfortunate.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Speeches, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. Marshall recorded this for playback at the August 29 broadcasters’ meeting in Chicago.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 560-561.