National Radio Day is a time to honor one of the most longstanding electronic media and its role in our everyday lives. Radio delivers information, news, entertainment and company to millions of Americans every hour of every day. We invite listeners, broadcasters, producers and stations to celebrate on August 20th.
Of course, National Radio Day is a time to celebrate the medium, and we're proud to collaborate with other non-commercial stations to share content and celebrate wireless signal: LPFM/full-strength, large/small, rural/urban - community radio is an important aspect of the whole radio landscape.
I think about the nature of community radio often, and I'd like to share a favorite quote on this occasion.
The radio would be the finest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if it knew how to receive as well as transmit, how to let the listener speak as well as hear, how to bring (them) into a relationshop instead of isolating (them). On this principle the radio should step out of the supply business and organize its listeners as suppliers. Any attempt by the radio to give a truly public character to public occasions is a step in the right direction.
This was written by Bertolt Brecht, and was excerpted from "Der Rundfunk als Kommunikationsapparat" in Bjitter des Hessischen Landestheaters Darmstadt, published in 1932. I imagine it's a popular quote among the community broadcaster set, as it speaks to the communities that power our signal. Yet, there's another important quote from the text:
As for the radio's object, I don't think it can consist simply in prettifying public life.
Radio is so often, in the case of commercial stations particularly, treated as a transmission of consumable material, appealing to the listener in much the same way the arrangement of items on the shelves of stores appeals to the shopper. And life certainly has it 'pretty' parts, but it also has those real parts that aren't pretty. Our conversations vary radically in content, in seriousness, and we keep having those conversations together out of necessity.
Community radio is a dialog involving an infinitely variable range of tone, participation, and depth, yet a dialog it remains.
There's one more quote I'd like to leave you with:
Tomorrow, general-interest media, in a multimedia universe, interactive and cluttered with networks, will have an even more important role than yesterday, because they will be one of the few links in the individualist mass society.
Dominique Wolton, in L'audiovisuel public en danger.
To speak of the importance of community radio will take longer than I have for this particular entry, but I urge you to think about how KBOO influences you and the conversations you have within and outside of yourself. Support this inspired dialog.
Want to start a conversation? Tweet with us using #nationalradioday!
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