I mentioned in Friday’s blog the big event coming up this Friday to support Indy’s new community radio station. It’s an important cause, as such institutions remain quite valuable to the communities they service.
Yes, even in this downloaded/podcasted/streamed music world, you should still keep the old FM radio around for a few reasons:
- Ease of accessibility – you don’t need to beg off of Starbucks or steal somebody’s signal to take advantage of it
- Created by and for the local community – more than likely, the volunteers and neighbors know who you are and what you’re interested in; even in the infinitely customizable Internet, nothing works better than word-of-mouth and knowing your audience
- Variety of programming – a lot of the talk about the “death of radio” surrounds the use of confining playlists tailored to marketing focus groups and (let’s face it in a lot of cases) payola; community radio doesn’t deal with that stuff and consequently gives you some interesting stuff to chew on
- The nature of the beast – there’s nothing quite like free-form radio; it’s kind of like a Grateful Dead jam, except you know when it’s going to end and I can stand to listen to it
So there’s a few reasons. I really can’t emphasize the local character of this kind of broadcasting enough. This represents an entirely new avenue for artists, listeners, and all other concerned folks in the greater Indianapolis area. The thought of having something even approximating stations like WMFU in this area should be thrilling to local listeners (depending on who’s on the air, of course).
And this isn’t intended as a swipe at the local programming provided by local stations WFYI and WICR – there’s a lot of good stuff there, too. There’s just always room for more.