“Unofficial Radio Hell-Raiser”: Radio News and US-Japanese Conflict on the Eve of the Pacific War

  • Michael A. Krysko
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series (PSHM)


As radio newscaster Carroll Duard Alcott was being chauffeured to work on the evening of January 12, 1940, he was ambushed. A car carrying two uniformed members of the Japanese military barreled in front of Alcott’s rickshaw as it moved through the streets of Shanghai. Having trapped the rickshaw, Alcott’s terrified puller bolted on foot down a nearby alley. A lieutenant grabbed the American radio personality with the intention of forcing him into his vehicle. Asked to confirm his identity, Alcott denied he was the man they sought. When a moment of doubt entered the officer’s mind, the 220 pound Alcott broke free and hightailed it down the same alley his puller used. Alcott arrived by foot at XMHA, an American-owned radio station, somewhat out of breath, but in time to deliver his scheduled broadcast.1


News Broadcast International Settlement Japanese Station Radio News American Radio 
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  2. Gerd Horten, Radio Goes to War: The Cultural Politics of Propaganda During World War II (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 22–40. David Culbert’s study on radio news and foreign affairs demonstrates the lack of objectivity that pervaded the presumably reliable radio newscasts during this periodGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Michael A. Krysko 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Krysko
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityUSA

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