The American dream in the airwaves. The beginnings of Portuguese radio in the United States
Portuguese immigration
United States
Issue Date: 
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Pena-Rodríguez, A. (Alberto). "The American dream in the airwaves. The beginnings of Portuguese radio in the United States". Communication & Society. 33 (1), 2020, 153 - 167
This work is an approximation to the beginnings of Portuguese radio in the United States, a phenomenon associated with the Lusophone immigrant community scattered throughout the United States. Starting from the hypothesis that radio was an innovative communication instrument that could have altered the perception of the reality of the Portuguese diaspora in a delocalised and transmediatic context, the object of the study focuses on describing and analysing some of the relevant aspects of the beginnings of this sound medium within the Portuguese community in North America in the 1930s, when the Portuguese began to produce their own programmes. As the use of radio as a means of communication became more popular, several Portuguese-language radio stations called “Portuguese hours” appeared, which were housed in local radio stations in population centres with a significant presence of Portuguese, especially in New England and California. Some Portuguese journalists took up the challenge of devoting themselves to radio journalism with great success, while others interpreted the enormous interest aroused by radio programmes among immigrants as a threat to the advertising income of the press. Through the use of dispersed documentary and newspaper sources and the use of qualitative techniques of content analysis, the main objective of this research is to explain the characteristics of the first Portuguese-language radio programs in the United States, how the immigrant press reacted to their potential threat as a competing medium, and who were their pioneers.

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