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Sounds Familiar For a Reason [Washington Post]
[Brian] Wilson wakes each day, fires up his Web browser and reads the morning San Francisco Chronicle online for the latest news from clear across the country. He's so good that his listeners could be forgiven for thinking that he's in the City by the Bay rather than in a bedroom in Maryland. This is what passes for local radio these days.That's just pathetic.
[Alfred Liggins III, chief executive of Radio One:] "Is it tougher for the little guy, the mom and pop owner? Yeah. But that little guy could not provide the same level of talent and service. There aren't 10 Jay Lenos. Why wouldn't you leverage such a talent? Technology allows you to do it, so why wouldn't you?"It's kind of funny that: 1) a TV personality is held up as a good example of why radio's 'stars' should be available to so many markets. 2) Jay Leno is an example of Prodigious Talent? BWAH ha ha ha. Please.
But there is a downside to diluting the localism that has given radio its distinctive edge since the dawn of the Top 40 era in the 1950s. Radio for decades played a crucial role in building community -- from deejays visiting high schools to run record hops to news departments that provided essential coverage of storms, riots, elections and scholastic sports.The whole long article is worth reading.
On a side note, Tom Tomorrow has an interesting observation:
...if the media really was in liberal hands, then centralization of that power would be absolutely terrifying to the right wing. It would be all you ever heard about.And, funny thing, this topic is barely ever discussed on television. A closing quote from CNN's so-called media criticism show:
Reliable Sources, 18 May 2003 [CNN]
Howard Kurtz: Mark Whitaker, why is the Jayson Blair debacle so much of a bigger story than last year's revelation that a reporter for the Associated Press, Christopher Newton, had fabricated material in 39 stories?1 comment(s)
Steve, thanks for taking some time to speak into this intelligently wielded megaphone of yours about the important issue of media consolidation. Do you recall hearing Dan Rather exclaiming his reticence about asking the tough questions of this administration for fear of seeming unpatriotic? What a sad state of affairs this is. We need above all else for minority viewpoints, which as the Supreme Court's record shows often grow into majority ones, to be aired without the fear that the journalists daring to speak them, or even asking for truthful damn answers to important questions about national security, will suffer a professional death dealt by the mighty reservoir ink of a Rupert Murdock's snicker snee.Add a comment...
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