The news director at the station in my home town called this morning to ask about my brother. Lots of folks in Kennett know he is in Indonesia and have been asking about him. I told him what little I knew. Just a little human interest story. Very local. A big city station or a “nothing but the hits” station wouldn’t consider this remotely newsworthy. I’m really glad to know they’ve started doing this kind of local news again (maybe they never stopped).
At about the same time, I received a pointer (from XM Ben) to an interesting article on the state of radio in 2004 (Radio in 2004: An Overview, by Lawrence Stoler):
“One of radio’s strong points that can not necessarily be achieved to the fullest extent on satellite radio is localism. In other words, being out and active in the community. Being at the scene of an important event at a moment’s notice and providing necessary information to the residents of where a station is licensed to broadcast. The industry has to resume this practice of being community active. Radio has to go back to providing information after 8:30 AM during the week or in the evening after #7 and on weekends too. Not every area of the country has a 24 hour all news station within hearable range.”
I honestly don’t see how radio stations (or TV stations, for that matter) will survive without a strong, serious commitment to local news.