Monday, October 13, 2003

The Ubiquity of US Radio and Its Overall Meaning

Gonna make a wonderful logical jump with this post, but go with the flow and you'll see my point. Maybe.

Anyway, when I am writing, I like to rock out. It is just one of those things - I need to have a beat going and it gets me into a writing groove.

Since I am writing a byline today for a POP! client, I have been listening to the BBC's 1Xtra - and it made me notice something about US radio - it's boring. 1Xtra is an interesting station - they have DJs that talk, they mix and play what they want; maybe there is a playlist, but it is not the same 20 songs over and over.

In the States, though, it does not matter which city you are in, the stations sound exactly the same as your hometown radio. And, the ubiquity of Clearchannel or Infinity or Emmis makes sure that what you hear in Phoenix is the same that a radio listener is hearing in Los Angeles, or New York, or San Francisco. There is no originality, or risks, and that sameness is mirrored in the written press. No matter what city you are in, the amount of local stories seems to be insignificant and fluff, while the same party lines are repeated over and over in the written press.

Is that a slam on reporters? While there is some laziness in journalism - just like there's laziness in public relations - journalists have a hard job as the last line of truth for the public, even if the public does not necessarily understand that.

One of the bright points of blogging and the Internet is that there is a new line of 'journalists' - people that dig and find that new angle or new story, which the 'mainstream' media then picks up.

This plays into what should PR people be pitching? Stick with the mainstream, or target blogs as well? The online publicaitons have been a target for awhile, but what about the personalized blogs? And, what affect have blogs had on the public? Have blogs been changing the public and media, or is it more that mainstream media have been using blogs as background for larger stories?

If you look at the dot-com era, a few sites (while not atypical blogs) did change the face of journalism and were referred to in the media.

While I may not like these sites, and would love to sucker punch some of the people, these sites have dug up the dirt which has lead to more articles.

In no specific order, they are: The Drudge Report, DotCom Scoop, The Smoking Gun, F**ckedCompany, Debka - I am sure there are others out there, but these sites had and have an impact.

See, I told you that the radio would point back to a point!
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