- July 24, 2019 at 12:12 pm #112107
Total posts : 483
Radio used to be THE primary method of communication, and certainly it was when many of us who participate in this Forum grew up.
Radio provided comprehensive news, sports, music and even entertainment such as sitcoms, dramas, adventure, etc.
The invention of television started the demise of much of what once was radio programming. Radio, at least in its golden age, required imagination, and forced its listeners to think. Television is largely passive, and allowed viewers to essentially tune out while being entertained or supposedly informed. Early television morphed from being radio with visuals to largely mindless entertainment and news coverage, with emphasis on appearance rather than substance. Even the so-called ‘news’ has fallen prey to this, with the creation of celebrity news anchors.
And now, the Internet, along with social media, is supplanting television. We have visuals, along with text, which is in very small portions. How much can you fit into 140 or (now) 280 characters? Or a Facebook entry that you can mindlessly post with your phone while barely thinking?
Facebook and Twitter are private companies with their own agendas and unregulated (unlike radio and television). They don’t care about their content, as long as they can make money.
With social media, the herd mentality is in full force. People look for subjects that are trending, or follow those that they agree with and/or enable their basest desires. I mean, why upset yourself by reading about unsettling truths? Most don’t read books or substantive articles (it takes too long), so there’s not a whole lot of hope that the real facts will ever get disseminated to the general population.
We’re left with a bunch of ignorant people who are lied to on a constant basis, enabled by social media and those who shape it.
And not just shading the truth, but big lies. Ones that run counter to easily available (if you want to look) facts.
As Adolph Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf,
“…this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.
It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”
If we (as in the people) aren’t careful, history COULD repeat itself.
Most licensed radio stations broadcast music, and those that don’t do sports. There are some talk stations, but they generally have a partisan viewpoint (religious, far right, far left).
Most Part 15 stations also broadcast music (I know of one exception to that, which broadcasts news).
Part 15 stations are supposed to be different. Wouldn’t it be nice if we, in a small way, could be a force to counteract social media, and use radio for what it was originally used for? Thoughtful news. Entertainment. Different music.
Maybe we could start a movement.
- July 24, 2019 at 4:09 pm #112112
Total posts : 444
When TV came, radio’s most successful era was still to come. The coming of the transistor and portable radios along with a new music…..the coming of rock and roll and the hit parade in the mid fifties led to the most popular era for radio, the late fifties and most of all, the sixties. It stood toe to toe with TV. some of the radio dramas stayed as the CBS radio mystery theater series which ran through the seventies.
I agree that we are “supposed” to be different and most of us are, even if we play music we play what you will never hear on commercial stations, no matter what the format. At least I and from what I have heard most here do.
Me, I will take a radio drama anytime over TV as you in your mind picture the people, and the scenery. I just love the CBS radio mystery theater series and listen all the time to episodes from youtube. And the actors did this in a room together as it was being recorded.
I wouldn’t call all early TV mindless entertainment. What about Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone. They weren’t bad. Carol Burnett was one of the best shows ever!
As for news I think most people get news from the newspapers whether then or now and it has always been slanted the way the reporter or article wants. You don’t know how much is really truth. I remember in the eighties when acid rain was big in the news and you saw articles dramatized the way the article writer wanted to slant it to get readers and I went to a group of scientists doing one of these studies in Muskoka here in Ontario and after a chat with them to find out the real truth I realized the articles were stretched far from the real truth. They were misquoted, what they said was taken out of context and a picture was painted in peoples minds that was not true. Everything wasn’t dead and dying.
News will always be questionable as to accuracy as long as it is written by people with an agenda. Whenever something is reported we don’t know how factual it really is, it’s a reporter’s interpretation.
The current president seemed to coin the phrase fake news and yes I think more of it is then not.
As for the answer, I don’t have one.
- July 24, 2019 at 9:43 pm #112119
Total posts : 483
Thanks for giving your thoughts, Mark.
I would disagree with your analysis of radio in the 50s & early 60s. TV was taking radio’s audience, most entertainment was migrating to TV only (other than a few holdouts such as Jack Benny, who did both) and radio shows were being cancelled en masse. Radio had to reinvent itself in the mid 60s as primarily music, but it was a pale shadow of what it once was – the family entertainment center. CBSRMT was one of the last North American entertainment shows (it started in 1974), but eventually it disappeared as well.
I don’t disagree that news in any form can be slanted. My ‘rant’ was against the gradual dumbing down of viewpoints (I can’t even call it news) to 280 (formerly 140) character opinions and acceptance of same as THE TRUTH.
People’s attention spans have gotten minute, and the few that can actually read and understand something other than glorified comic books (i.e., real books or in depth analysis) quite often don’t make the time or effort.
This makes society susceptible to The Big Lie(s), as Hitler called it. Textual ‘soundbytes’ that distort reality, and sway opinions on those distortions. Look what that got the world in 1939.
- July 29, 2019 at 1:30 am #112122
Total posts : 602
Just a few random comments.
Newspaper was the first form of sharing news. 200 years before radio.
There is no such thing as unbiased news, be it radio, TV, print, internet, or whatever. Never has been. Never will be. The most accurate news is the source that aligns with your beliefs. Always has been. Always will be. This has never been more obvious than with today’s political climate. If you’re a Trump fan you only consider news accurate and unbiased if it supports his actions. If you’re a Trump hater you only consider news to be accurate and unbiased if it’s against his actions. Clear demonstration of facts has no bearing on either side. This administration has split the country like no other has in modern times.
Confused about the comment about print being unregulated like radio and TV. Content on radio and TV has not been regulated for decades. The equal time rules went out ages ago. Your TV or radio station can lean as far right or left as you choose. Further, for TV, cable stations are mostly unregulated anyway. Which is why adult programming and uncensored TV shows are readily available. So “news” programs available on cable have even fewer regulations. And I know few households where their TV viewing is limited to over the air networks.
Couple interesting articles:
- August 4, 2019 at 8:22 am #112550
Total posts : 43
Instead of starting a movement, I would like to see us lobby Congress for low-power broadcasting on the upper AM band (as it was suggested in another thread). Keep it to 1-watt, etc, like it was suggested. I bet it would open up a whole new era for radio and keep the medium alive, out of big-business hands.
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