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image via FDR library

image via FDR library

(Note: you can listen to this post here)

I recently wrote about how a new device has rekindled my love of radio.

I’m not listening to music stations, rather CBC news/politics, as well as other sports and arts programming. The audio only medium does these things well.

Radio’s beauty is that it is ever present but can be tailored to the user’s needs. By this I mean that it has a rather large participation scale. You can listen intently to radio or you can engage in other activities such as driving or cleaning your home. On this level, TV doesn’t adapt to a user’s preferences as well as radio. Indeed the former is rather demanding; to really get full value from a TV experience a consumer needs to devote considerable attention to it and passively let the images and sound waves roll over them.

Print is more demanding than TV. Indeed, absent an even higher amount of focus than TV, one gets nothing from it.

Does this mean radio is a lazy person’s medium? Not at all. Just that radio allows for more flexibility and portability. It also exercises the brain in interesting ways. You have to imagine radio’s visuals, a fact that makes it a very ‘free’ medium for the consumer of its content. This is in direct contrast to TV, which presents everything to the viewer and thus allows for no individual interpretation. Indeed of all media TV is the most tyrannical, in that it tells us what we should see and hear.

I will always love comsuming and producing words on paper and/or screens. TV and video are, likewise, powerful. I bear them  no ill will.

But, in the era of the internet, where video is seemingly the choice medium of the tribe, radio may be getting short shrift. That is a shame.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Krista says:

    Ah, radio! I too have started to turn off my TV set and turn on the radio for news at the end of the day. Mostly because it’s easier to listen while working in the kitchen than trying to strain my neck into the living room to catch a news brief from the tele.

    I don’t think radio will nor should it ever cease. It’s a valuable form of broadcast that has its place and has benefitted from the online options for people to stream or store on their portable music devices. I’m glad there are still advocates for the spoken word like yourself 🙂

  • Danny Starr says:

    The most used app on my Android phone is the FM radio. I listen to CBC Ottawa most of the the morning.

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