How does radio fit into the 21st century?

Act I:  This American Life’s 100th anniversary podcast “radio”.

In the podcast, I enjoyed how Ira Glass touched upon the different ways in which people fall in love and bond with the radio. Whether it’s hearing certain charismatic DJs that draw you in on a personal level, or the interesting material and dialogue the hosts bring, radio is effective in a local market. In Act 2 of the podcast, the host of the radio show, Gordon, touched on a good point when he explained, “We really stick to local news if we can– Merrimack Valley news, southern New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts, anywhere within our listening audience. But it’s always local news because we feel– and I think, Mike, you’ll agree with me– they can hear the national and the international news on their regular radios or televisions.” Radio is the only piece of entertainment that keeps locals in the loop of what’s going on in town, especially if you don’t have social media to keep you in the loop, you don’t read the newspaper, and the local news is blahh ,and focuses on crimes and roadwork. Radio is where you can here positive, fun stuff that keeps you informed and happy.


Act II: Radio in my personal life

I love the radio. I remember growing up falling asleep to country music. I remember in middle school when it was cool to call into the local station KKXX and give shouts out to my friends, or rep my middle school the night before we played our rival team lol. Radio and CDS (or Tapes lol) use to be the methods for listening to music. Now with technology and the internet, there is no need to spend 17.99 on a CD, or the need to listen to radio stations purely for music. We can find any song online that we want, and we can even watch the music video while we’re at it. We can simply plug our iPhones into our car, and play any song and any time from our phone. No need for radio right? Wrong. Radio plays an important part in my life when I’m driving. Sometimes, It gets old playing the same burned CD’s I have in my car, or is complicated when trying to drive while trying to find the song I want on my phone. Radio lends itself to me on a personal level as well as provides an enormous amount of spontaneity. I don’t always know what songs playing and at what time. At any moment I can flip through stations and get a nice surprise like hearing Nsync’s “Bye bye bye”. I can hear songs that I love and totally forgot about.


Act III. Where is radio headed?

I think radio has a place at the local level. Radio stations really do a swell job in smaller cities like Humboldt County where local business are willing to pay for advertisements, which ultimately keeps the radio stations afloat. As much as people say they don’t listen to the radio, that’s a lie, if you have a car, you listen to the radio. Seems like college kids in Arcata probably listen less, because most of them don’t drive. If I didn’t drive there is no way I would hear the radio, but making my daily commute from Eureka to Arcata 6 days a week, I am forced to listen to the radio. Which I love! I always hear Sabina on there from HSU, and other fun, positive DJ’s and it gives me a sense of home. The only thing I fear for local radio stations, is that small local businesses may start to go out of business from being replaced by bigger companies like Walmarts and Auto zones, and the big businesses don’t need the advertising provided by radio at the smaller local level , which could mess up the revenue for radio. Not really sure how it will all play out, but I think radio has a better chance at thriving in the 21st century than say …newspapers do.


6 thoughts on “How does radio fit into the 21st century?

  1. Heh heh the iPod DJ thing reminds me of how Cliff is always talking about that in our meetings, about how the only thing that separates us from being obsolete because of ipod/pandora/mp3/spotify is personality and relevance. If you can create a connection with listeners, then you’re better than an iPod


  2. I really like the evolution of radio picture! It fits perfectly with the topic. I remember calling in to radio stations throughout middle school as well. Good point about there not really being a point to pay so much for CDs anymore. A couple years back, the antenna on my car broke so I get terrible radio reception. While I can’t necessarily say that I miss it, it can be refreshing to hear it when I ride in someone else’s car. Excellent point about the small businesses being willing to pay for advertising in this area. As long as that continues to happen, radio will continue to stay afloat in Humboldt. Great post!


    1. I really liked when you said sometimes you like spontaneous subjects or music. Sometimes I don’t want to choose the song I want it chosen for me. There’s times when the radio just puts a song that you haven’t heard in a while and it gets you in a good mood. Another thing that your blog made me think about it is when local radio stations have some good random conversations and you get drawn in. I really liked your blog!!! I like the ideas expressed and how it was well put


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