Media Observations – Radio

You know that one kid who doesn’t try to be the center of attention at parties, but stands next to the popular kids and laughs good-naturedly at their jokes while sipping his root beer?

That kid is basically radio.

Radio began its time as a mass medium long before television, revolutionizing the world as the first non-print mass medium. It was cheap and easy to get, and the world started to figure out what kinds of content could go through it effectively. News could be more efficiently conveyed through newspapers; magazines were still better for deeper content-related articles; books were still the best storytelling medium.

Radio just didn’t have to fight with anybody, or outdo anyone. It could essentially just do its own thing and be perfectly happy doing it.

As it turned out, music and spoken-word programs (Ye Olde Mystery Hour, anyone?), were the most successful genres of radio broadcast, and have remained so since its inception. That’s why radio has persevered in the face of television and the Internet. The first radios were included in cars, and cars are still their prime location, as driving limits us to only the most passive of media, such as music. We don’t have time to manage a computer’s streaming audio while driving, so radio and satellite radio have become the norms for music listening in cars (unless you have an MP3 player…as most people do).

What do you use radio for? What do you listen to on it?


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