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N.c.r.a.c. Sets Guides for Use of Mass Media Against Anti-semitism

June 6, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Organizations working for intergroup cooperation should consider the use of the mass media of communication–newspapers, radio, television, etc–as a means of advancing their programs, not as a program itself, a report signed by 85 social scientists, communications specialists and community relations experts, and released today declares.

The report was released in New York by Bernard H. Trager, chairman of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, joint planning and coordinating body for 41 Jewish organizations pursuing programs of intergroup relations and fighting against anti-Semitism. It was drawn up at three-day conference last January, held under the auspices of the NCRAC. The statement was submitted to the signatories and underwent several revisions prior to publication.

The statement says that the mass media may be used to good effect by community relations groups in conjunction with other methods of advancing their programs, as adjuncts to various activities undertaken in pursuit of specific social objectives, and “as aids in stimulating study, analysis and face-to-face discussion.”

The ideas of equality, mutual tolerance and acceptance cannot be sold like toothpaste or soap, the report declares, and scientific research has found exhortation and appeals to “good will” through the mass media to be of questionable effectiveness. Each communication through the mass media should be directed toward a specific social objective, it should be addressed to a particular audience, such as an age group businessmen, veterans, labor union members, and it should appeal to the members of such groups in terms of their own needs and interests, the report says.

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