30 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Mass Media

1MDZhB radio station

MDZhB is a Russian ghost radio station that has been broadcasting since 1982. No one claims it but it has continuously produced a buzz punctuated with someone making a short random statement once or twice a week since its inception.


2Popolo D’Italia

In 1941, an Italian newspaper named Popolo D’Italia reported that the Loch Ness Monster had been killed by a direct hit in a German air raid. However, when a family boating on the Loch in August 1941 sighted the monster, the Daily Mail made a point of noting that Nessie had survived the Nazi attempt on her life.


3Radio ads

In the early days of radio, advertisers were hesitant to invest in radio ads because they feared an ad where you couldn't just "turn the page" if you didn't like it (as you could in print) would come off as pushy and invasive.


4SMPTE bars

The "color bars" we see used on TVs are called SMPTE bars. These bars, which were created in 1951 and became widespread in 1978, are used to calibrate color and audio levels for taped recordings.


5Led Zeppelin

In July 2005, the British radio station Planet Rock invited their listeners to select a singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer to create the "ideal supergroup". The members of Led Zeppelin won in each category.


6German Corpse Factory

During World War 1, British newspapers falsely claimed that the Germans rendered down soldiers' corpses to make soap, candles and nitroglycerin. As a result, when news of the Holocaust reached Britain during World War 2, the government assumed it was another made-up atrocity story.


7Static tv

A small portion of television static you see between channels is caused by cosmic background radiation, remnants of the 'Big Bang.'


8San Serriffe

In 1977, the Guardian newspaper produced a 7-page supplement for April Fool's day detailing the discovery of a fictional island called San Serriffe that was in the shape of a colon. Thousands fell for the hoax leading to a tradition of April Fool's stories.


9Vrillon

On November 26, 1977, a television station in southern England had their broadcast hijacked by an entity referring to itself as Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command who disrupted regular programming to give a six-minute message about humanity's future. It is still a mystery who was behind this.


10Newspaper tax

Newspapers are so big (broadsheet) because the British government began taxing newspapers in 1712 based on the number of their pages.

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