Monday, October 13, 2008

Securing the Airwaves

When I wake-up in the morning and commence my daily routine, I need some kind of entertainment in the background. Usually, I watch/ listen to CMT because I love country music. My taste isn't limited to this one amazing genre, but I listen to it alot and I'm sure my roommates will agree. If I'm not listening to music then I'll turn on the news and watch/listen while I'm getting ready.

Why don't I listen to the radio instead? I'm not sure why I prematurely eliminated radio as a news possibility, but I have like many people my age.

I am a 21 year-old college senior (journalism major) at Northeastern University. How often do i listen to the radio for news? Not often and by that I mean rarely. Yes, I will if I am driving or stuck in traffic. I'll tune into the a.m. to hear some debating on talk radio. But the radio isn't my first, second, or third choice. I depend on three news outlets on a daily basis: t.v., the internet, and newspapers. I think my tendencies reflect the majority of my peers (18-25), although I'm sure some people are familiar with the advancing technology of radio on the web.

Robin Lubbock, director of new media at WBUR is dedicated to drawing more people to radio shows and he's confident radio can be transformed into a new media (if it isn't one already).
Enter the WBUR newsroom and browse hundreds of archives. Not every radio station has a corresponding website with so many different tools and options, but NPR's website follows a similar model. Search news by topic just like if you were navigating or Everything is there for you at the click of a button, set-up in a simple yet sophisticated format.

I think the greatest challenge of radio journalism is persuading listeners to investigate the online version of their favorite program or news show. How can you do that and how can you ensure a listener will continue to tune in? One of Robin Lubbock's solutions is to encourage people to participate with several multimedia sections. I definitely think Robin's projects are ensuring the future of radio at WBUR. EVERYONE uses the internet. By encouraging listeners to become active in the WBUR community, he is solidifying and building his audience. The following is advertised on WBUR:

"Hey there! WBUR is using Twitter.
Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people using the web,
your phone, or IM. Join today to start receiving WBUR's updates."

Twitter is a program being used to initiate listener interaction and participation. It's a clever idea and convenient way to incorporate the internet into the radio world (similar to the path newspapers and magazines have followed).

I'm glad I heard Robin Lubbock speak about his work at WBUR because it opened my eyes to the evolving importance of radio. I now realize radio isn't out of date and it's a valuable resource for news and communication. "The video didn't kill the radio star", instead forced it to change with the times.

No comments: