Radio : ouvrez grand vos oreilles (open your ears)

3 out of 5 stars
Exposition 'Radio ouvrez grand vos oreilles'
© Radio France / Christophe Abramowitz

While the debate over the future of the Internet rages on between the diehard defenders of the untrammelled freedom of cyberspace and those with an interest in regulating the virtual world, the Musée des Arts et Métiers is offering an exhibition on radio. Anachronistic? Not when you realise how much the story of radio, the first tool of electronic mass media, mirrors the present development of the web – and how much it may be able to tell us about its future. Radio was first developed by amateur groups of wireless operators – not unlike the first hackers and computer engineers who developed the Internet during its early stages. And at the end of the Second World War, the powers that be took firm hold of this formidable tool of propaganda (the war’s real secret weapon) through a system of governmental controls. It wasn’t until 36 years later that pirate radio stations, only later followed by the officially sanctioned outfits, led the campaign for freedom of the airwaves.