How did World War 2 change entertainment on the homefront?

Any time there's a war, entertainment always adapts to the mood of the country. When World War 2 broke out, songs become more patriotic, as did many of the programs. News reporters from radio and print flocked to cover the story, and public interest in the news increased as more Americans were sent over to fight. There was also a new government agency that news reporters had to work with -- The Office of War Information (OWI) was created to oversee (or to censor) what was on the air-- the purpose was to make sure the radio stations and newspapers weren't unintentionally giving information that could damage the war effort or reveal too much to the enemy (like where our troops were or how they were doing). Journalists were not happy, but they understood the reason for it and dealt with the restrictions as best they could. As for radio (and to a lesser degree, in print), the war opened up a lot of jobs for women (and minorities), since many of the entertainers and radio announcers had been men and now they were overseas fighting. Some stations ended up with all female air-staffs. And some stations put women with sexy voices on the air in the morning to cheer up troops who might be listening. (By the way, I am not passing judgment on whether this was good or bad-- I am just explaining what happened.) There were also a few newswomen who went overseas with the men and distinguished themselves with their on the scene war coverage. Out of the contingent of news reporters who risked their lives to keep America informed, it was Edward R. Murrow whose broadcasts from London and later from the concentration camps made such an impact, and are still remembered today.

A number of famous actors, actresses and movie or radio stars volunteered their time to entertain the troops, and some even enlisted or went out on USO tours. As I said, music got very patriotic, as often happens during a war. Many of the hit songs were either about missing your man who was fighting overseas, or about defeating the bad guys-- even the comedians got into the act, with the Three Stooges and Spike Jones among the many who had comic routines that mocked Hitler. There is a website called Old-Time Radio (www.old-time.com) which has some of the songs and shows and information from that era. Entire programs were devoted to sending requests and dedications to the troops, and radio especially became a lifeline. People at home needed something to take their mind off of worrying about their loved ones overseas, and hearing some comedy or enjoying the hits provided catharsis and helped people to keep their courage up. Movies too became more patriotic, with story lines about lovers separated by the war or brave men going off to fight the Nazis. Magazines too showed that war was on everyone's mind-- the news magazines like "Time" devoted much of each issue to war news, but even many of the advertisements featured celebrities asking you to buy war bonds or to support the troops in other ways.