Understanding the Principles of the New Communications Landscape with Anton Schwartz

Here we explore the legacy of the late Tony Schwartz with his son, Anton. Tony Schwartz created commercials for more than four hundred corporations, five presidential campaigns, and countless social causes. Hailed as a guru of the newly emerging “electronic media” by Marshall McLuhan, he taught media studies at New York University, Harvard, Columbia, and Fordham. In 2007, the Library of Congress acquired Schwartz’s entire body of work. Bill Moyers has said of him, “He was a genius in his understanding of the communications revolution of the 20th century.” And Moyers further added that his interview with Tony Schwartz was one of his favorites and one of the most important of his long career in broadcast journalism. Tony Schwartz was the creator of one of the most famous ads of all time, “The Daisy Ad” which only aired once but was credited for the successful election of Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964. The ad was one of the first to go viral over the news media. Schwartz understood that viewers don’t come to media as a blank slate; they bring their own experience, biases, hopes, and dreams. He was the pioneer of modern media. Anton describes his father’s philosophy: “It isn’t a manipulation . . . The listener is an active participant in the creation of the message by how they respond to it, by what assumptions, emotions, and knowledge they bring to the table. [The message] reacts with the listener’s feelings, understanding, and knowledge. The listener is an active participant in this process.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)

Anton Schwartz is the son of the late Tony Schwartz, who was a pioneer of the communications revolution of the 20th Century. Anton is the editor of the second edition of Tony Schwartz’s seminal book on media:

  • The Responsive Chord: How Media Manipulates You: What You Buy, Who You Vote for, and How You Think (Mango Publication 1973-2017)

Anton Schwartz is an award-winning jazz saxophonist and composer based in Seattle. He has five critically acclaimed CDs and headlines such venues as SFJAZZ, The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Yoshi’s, plus countless jazz festivals. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in Math and Philosophy, and was a National Science Foundation Fellow at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence. 

To learn more about Anton Schwartz visit http://antonjazz.com/.

To learn more about the work of Tony Schwartz go to http://www.tonyschwartz.org/books/responsive-chord/.


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