Spaghetti Harvest and Mass Communication

Under the heading April Fools! watch the April Fools Video from the BBC. Research this hoax online. Viewers called TV stations asking where they could purchase the plants to grow pasta. Why do you think the British were fooled? I have also linked Mercury Theater’s 1938 radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds and an article about the broadcast. What aspects of mass communication might have caused viewers to believe untrue information at both times? The Spaghetti Harvest hoax was not dangerous, but the War of the Worlds program caused some people to panic. I am told that one of my father’s relatives drove from New Jersey to Wyalusing in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania to escape the invasion. How may various types of mass communication lead to misinformation today? Are some of these instances also premeditated hoaxes? Give examples. In your opinion are some of the instances of misinformation in the media actually dangerous? Explain.


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