Monday, September 19, 2005

Radio Radio

There's an interesting report on Yahoo News about the role of radio during Hurricane Katrina, and how radio stations had to scramble to get reporters and provide local coverage:

Click here for the article

"At one time, most stations employed at least a single newsperson. But deregulation of the industry in the 1980s and 1990s cleared the way for mega-companies to gain control of large numbers of stations and move away from programming aimed at a local audience.

"The programming became consolidated so that it's the same programming that you're listening to" whether you're in Memphis, Tenn., or Los Angeles or Washington, said Paul Sparrow, director of broadcasting at the Newseum, an interactive museum of news coverage that will open its new Washington headquarters in 2007.

Syracuse University's Rick Wright said many stations now rely on computers to run the programming, in some cases from faraway cities, instead of DJs or newspeople.

"As long as the sky is blue and the weather's great, everything is all right," said Wright, professor of radio and television at the Newhouse School of Public Communications. But when disaster strikes, stations cannot always provide the needed local coverage, he said."

- Jean Chen


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