Monday, July 27, 2009

No news is bad news

In less than a week the local uni-radio station will switch from the classical music during the day, news radio on the fringes format to all news all the time. I admit I am a big fan of NPR & am happy there will be more news programming, but I wish they had not gone quite so whole hog.

I understand the fiscal arguments (listener numbers plummet when classical music takes the air), the civic arguments (there is a dearth of fair & balanced news in our culture no matter what the for-profit news media outlets call themselves) & the music is still around arguments (the classical music 'station' will move to one of the HD radio channels) & agree with 99.9% of them. I just wish they had made a partial exception for those classical music programs produced locally.

It is not that I think the local programs are better then the national ones (I am quite sure they are not) but because I think that just as important as information from a source who is not making his salary from the guy trying to sell you a car (or a stock or a healthplan or a not-healthplan as the case may be) is knowing that someone very close by is in media. & I firmly believe that still applies, even if the area of expertise is not today's headlines but instead Gregorian chants or unfinished fugues or some other not-previously thought of aspect of classical music.

For the record I am also for keeping two other locally produced shows, neither of which I can stand: Connor Calling a christian-right view of contemporary publications from a bicyclers guide to north/central Florida to a biography of Albert & Victoria & everything in between (or not, I mean everything) & Sikorski's Attic, where guy attempts the antique roadshow over the phone. Why? It is that local thing again. The book-sjhow oftens features local authors or books of local interest, the antique guy does regualr F*R*E*E programs at the library. I do not have to agree with them or even like what they do to know that their just being here & being themselves is good for this community.

We need to stop super-starring the news readers & having the lady up the street talk about Mozart or Bach or whomever five days a week did that. Even if you do not care about Mozart or Bach or classical music period. Hearing voices on the radio we also hear in the grocery store, on the football sidelines & every where else around our lives is almost more important than what those voices say.

& that is why I wish that they had decided to keep the handful of locally produced music programs on the air, even if the hours were reduced, even they were tucked around the edges, even if they played nothing but Rachmaninoff (which I loathe), even then I would make sure I tuned in. Do not get me wrong, I will be delighted with more NPR news. But I am sorry it is at this cost.

1 comment:

  1. speaking of news being directed by advertisers, have you heard about this?: