Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quiet . . . We’re On the Air

Today is a day that any radio fanatic would appreciate and love. We’ve heard about theory and best practices for about a week and a half and finally today the participants got to put it all together and form their own mini radio segment as an in-class exercise.

Since I have a background in public radio, KMFA to be exact (HI KMFA staff!!!!) the sight of microphones, laptops, and weird little audio gadgets was a wonderful homecoming. It was amazing how the groups just ran with it and already sounded like seasoned announcers. I mean they used a bed of music underneath their banter! They made PSA’s! They made up a phone number for listeners to call in! They took pretend phone calls from listeners!

Oh it was wonderful. And I wanted to wrap my arms around the cute, creative radio frequency they created for us today and snuggle with it.

Radio is a powerful medium to convey messages. Unlike television or cinema – it’s free, and the technology needed to listen to radio is relatively inexpensive. So whether it’s waking up to radio on your alarm clock, hearing it on the public bus, or catching it on a boom box – radio is literally all around us. Depending on the content of the program, it can make you laugh, pontificate or bounce around in your chair. I’ve traveled to Turkey, the Netherlands, and throughout Central America. In each of these places I streamed KMFA and KUT from Austin, TX. And though I was millions of miles away from home simply hearing the voices of my local announcers immediately took me back home.

Now that I live in Little Rock I have a whole new slew of NPR voices to get to know, and I’m still in the getting to know you phase. Though there’s nothing better than logging on to Facebook and reading a status update that says, “John Aielli was crazy this morning.” Outside of the Central Texas area this might not mean much. For the folks that listen and love John Aielli it’s a nice wink and nod to a colorful DJ on KUT (the local NPR station) who probably played 15 songs in a row about paperclips and used his velvety voice to make commentary about how these songs remind him about whatever is going on his life. For the times that I truly miss Austin, I’ll make sure to stream him during the hours of 9 am and 12 pm and hear about his tomato gardening or the latest play he just saw.

That’s what public radio is for me. It’s keeping it local. It weaves together powerful stories about ordinary people to the ordinary listeners that love hearing them. And that my friend, is no ordinary listening experience.


Ali said...

HI, Judy! We miss you at KMFA! :-)

Captain Judy said...

ALI!!! Hi there! I miss you and all the folks at KMFA too. = )

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