Search This Blog

Friday, July 22, 2011

Radio's Lasting Impact

Radio Ranks #2 on A&E's list of "101 Gadgets of all Time."

It's right behind the smartphone - a gadget that increasingly will also function as a radio.  Arbitron supplied some research data to A&E and makes a very valid point - we take radio's ubiquitous nature completely for granted.  We grew up with it, it's always been in our lives (unlike an iPod or BlackBerry), and when we use a little less of it, we somehow think it's dead or dying.

The A&E special, produced with Popular Mechanics, even ranks radio ahead of television and personal computers.  The Arbitron data carries another message we forget about - the huge numbers of listeners a Rush Limbaugh can aggregate in a national audience, compared to the measured audiences of TV programs that get ten times more publicity.  Emmis' Jeff Smulyan talks about how radio's lost a little of it's mojo - not its talent or creativity, necessarily.  But its confidence and even swagger.  The "101 Gadgets" program is a useful reminder of a medium we take for granted - and we really should know better.

No comments:

Post a Comment