American Journalism, the peer-reviewed quarterly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association, has awarded its 2019 “Article of the Year” prize to Dr. Cynthia B. Meyers of the College of Mount Saint Vincent.
Meyers’ award-winning article is titled “The March of Time Radio Docudrama: Time Magazine, BBDO, and Radio Sponsors, 1931-39” and appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of American Journalism.
"I am very grateful to American Journalism for publishing this article and, as a historian of advertising and broadcasting,” Meyers said, “I am extremely pleased that it has been recognized by my colleagues in journalism history for contributing original scholarship to the field. I hope it will stimulate more scholarship into the interlocking histories of journalism, advertising, and broadcasting."
In her article, Meyers recounts “The March of Time,” a 1930s live radio docudrama. While ostensibly created to promote Time magazine, this show was actually produced by an advertising agency, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn. Meyers argues that while this show, which featured actors impersonating newsmakers in scripted scenes based on actual events, accompanied by live orchestration and sound effects, is often dismissed as an embarrassing detour from journalism, the program was innovative and influential in terms of showing the impact of sponsor control on the development of broadcast news in the 1930s.
Meyers will be officially recognized for her scholarship at the 38th Annual AJHA Convention, which will be held Oct. 3-5 in Dallas.