Family Values and the Radio

The 1937 Radio Elections and the Miniseries France

in French Politics, Culture & Society
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In early 1937, French radio owners participated in elections for governing boards of their local public stations. The election, which had occurred once before in 1935 to little fanfare, became a locus of political and social debate about the state of both government and radio in France. Two parties emerged; one, Radio-Liberty, was supported by the Popular Front and had an overtly democratic and political mission and slate of candidates. The other, Radio-Family, was supported by a coalition of right-wing groups and claimed to champion French listeners and families in a nonpolitical fashion, protecting listeners from far-Left political rhetoric and immoral broadcasts. Radio-Family handily won the election, and state radio responded to the conservative message by producing radio plays like France, a miniseries that espoused a conservative vision of French history, seemingly at odds with the left-wing coalition in government.

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