In 1971 Jean Garetto and Pierre Codou began to dream of a radio station that could calm even the drivers stuck on the Paris Périphérique. It would play wonderful, unexpected music chosen by people who knew their onions. The tracks would be drawn from diverse genres and chosen to seque enchantingly. There would be no jingles, commercials or self-aggrandising DJs - not even defined programs - just some announcers chosen for their mellifluous voices but paid to mostly stay quiet. The result was - and is - FipRadio
. Fans have included residents of Brighton in the UK who enjoyed an illegal re-transmission of the station
for many years - and journalist David Hepworth who describes the thrill of hearing "a voice you want to marry whispering words you can't understand
! [more inside]
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time
: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing
— foreign affairs
, social trends
, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.)
By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues,
) America’s entry to WWII
. Video samples are available at Time.com,
the March of Time Facebook page
and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required)
at HBO Archives. [more inside]
Rob Walker, who writes the "Consumed" column for the New York Times Magazine, talks with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich about the whys and wherefores of their popular WNYC science radio show and podcast, RadioLab
19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie
. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas
. [more inside]
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain
" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87
. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog
, Tom and Jerry
and Diver Dan
, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody
. His nephew has posted a remembrance
on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight
." [more inside]
"I leave with a heavy heart as part of the changes that have, in my humble opinion, destroyed the station that I helped to set up 29 years ago."
documents (mostly UK) radio bloopers and cock-ups.
Sydney radio station 2dayFM
earned the ire and backlash of the Australian public - rape counsellors
, Australian media
, and Community Services ministers
- after an on-air stunt by morning crew Kyle and Jackie O
went horribly wrong. During their regular "lie detector" segment, a 14-year-old girl was interrogated by the hosts and her mother over her sexual history, against her will, and revealed that she had been raped at 12 on air
(warning: possibly triggering audio clip embedded in news article). [more inside]
NPR's On The Media
presents a short set of pieces about comments on news websites and the challenges of "digital democracy," with discussion from Ira Glass
about responses to a show about teenage runaways, and New Republic editor and critic Lee Siegel
, who posted anonymously to respond insultingly to comments on his own blog. And a Roanoke newspaper editor
discusses how one paper sees the integration of comments into online news sites and whether it's a valuable reader service. [more inside]
("new dawn") is a phenomenally popular radio drama broadcast out of Kigali, Rwanda
. The soap, funded by Dutch NGO La Benevolencija
, follows the story of two star-crossed lovers who come from opposing villages involved in an increasingly violent struggle. Thought Rwandan law makes it difficult to discuss the genocide in the media, the show aims to open a dialog using the fictional villages of Bumanzi and Muhumuro as a proxy for Hutus and Tutsis.
A soap opera may seem like an unlikely vehicle to tackle a topic of such national importance, but it's actually not uncommon
. And, certainly, Rwanda is a country that knows all too well about the power of radio
has been called the Clear Channel of the low power FM's. One of the many broadcasting arms of Calvary Chapel.
It owns and operates over 400 stations. Apparently its board, consisting of two members, is about to self destruct.
But the story doesn't end there. Its president is being accused of sexual harassment
and is also being accused of defaulting on a million dollar loan.
The loan came from Calvary Chapel founder and Pastor, Chuck Smith
, who has a history
with the guy. CSN's president wants the board dissolved but that could be a problem. By some accounts,
next in line to head the board is one Pastor Skip Heltzig, who seems to be involved in a bit of a scandal of his own.
Church defenders say the troubles are private matters, critics
say the movement has a history of covering things
up. (Some links are .pdf)
Hanging up the microphone for a cause
He was a Fleet Street sportswriter and a boxer. His "Action Line"
show had Winnipeggers talking for 27 years. Since moving to the West Coast with the purpose of retiring, Peter Warren has kept busy with a national talk radio show
where his brusque replies to insipid callers have made him infamous. But after this weekend, he leaves it all behind to focus on investigative work
, including a dossier of 14 murder cases.
is a global youth arts initiative (under 25s) that develops and profiles artists and their work across television, radio, in print and online. Requires Flash. [MI]
Dropping an F-bomb on the radio, and in Canada you apologize.
In the States, having this happen on your station would cost you many dollars.
perhaps the freshest show to grace our radio airwaves in recent years has been cancelled. Host Kate Sullivan
and a collection of friends mused on pop music and associated pop culture with passion, a strong does of "um" and "uh, like" and an always great soundtrack. You can listen (for the moment anyway) to the archives
State of the Media Report 2004
, which seeks to improve news coverage in a more neutral fashion than those who cry bias from the left and right. The group offers advice for average citizens
The report focuses mainly on US media and identifies eight trends.
The content analyses finds that newspapers
have more lifestyle news than in the past, but less government and foreign affairs, even with wars abroad. More front page articles about issues, less on crime and disasters. Network news
was heavy on foreign affairs, government, accidents, disaster, crime and health care. The cable networks
had a lot of politics and Iraq stuff, but also a lot more celebrity/entertainment/lifestyle stuff than the big four. Local TV news
treats crime as topic A.
audience is aging, and total pages are declining, but some, like The Economist and the New Yorker, have found success in niches. Internet journalism
is "still largely material from old media rather than something original." And it's still text-y. But it is clearly the future of journalism.
But don't pronounce the dinosaurs dead yet. Radio once ruled, and in a way it still does: 94 percent still tune in to radio news
at least once a week.
Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News....
Today is the 65th anniversary of the famous Mercury Theatre
presentation of War of the Worlds
, as adapted for Radio
by Orson Welles
. The infamous broadcast (listen in Real Audio or RealAudio or TrueSpeech)
caused no small amount
of uneasyness, and even some outright panic
as listeners, already unsettled by coverage of the impending war in Europe
, were all to willing to believe that Martians
had indeed landed in Grovers Mill, New Jersey
. The broadcast led to an FCC investigation
and remains a touchstone
in the evolution of the American media.
Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday.
I know a lot of mefites are passionate about this issue and it looks like Senators Byron Dorgan (D–ND) and Trent Lott (R-MS) are doing something about it. More info, free faxes, etc at the ACLU. Read S.J. res 17 here.
Move Over, Right Wing Radio - the Liberals Are Coming.
"The handwriting is on the wall for right-wing talk radio: To build profits, programmers must reach beyond diehard Republicans to unserved listeners."
So the FCC might let me be...
On June 2, FCC commissioners will vote on proposed changes to U.S. media ownership rules. Proponents
of eliminating a ban on "cross ownership" argue that mergers between local newspapers and radio and TV stations in large and medium-sized markets will boost the quality and quantity of local news reportage. The nonprofit Consumers Union
calls the ban "critical to the independence and diversity of our nation's media"
. Let the FCC know where you stand
(third item on list).
Habla Usted Clear Channel?
So Clear Channel wants to dominate Spanish-language radio? Nothing new.
From the first link, the final piece in a Salon series
on media consolidation:
The deal is big and contentious, and involves politics, music and media -- and, to make matters even more interesting, Clear Channel, the U.S. radio station conglomerate, has a starring role. Clear Channel is HBC's largest shareholder, and the company has been accused by opponents of the deal of maneuvering illegally behind the scenes to exert control over HBC, as well as spreading rumors of drug use about the CEO of HBC's chief competitor.
Sure, we've all heard the classic old time radio dramas
, but what about more recent classics, like the wonderful Jack Flanders series from ZBS Media
? And what is being produced
today? Bonus points if it's broadcast
This evening 20/20
broadcast a report on the new payola
.Names are named. This explains a lot about the current state of music radio. Ironically, one of those complaining the loudest was good ol' Hilary Rosen of the RIAA
who are doing their damnedest to destroy internet radio
, along with college and public radio, the only alternative to the institutional corruption she decries. But in this case, she's on the side of the angels, it would seem. This report is timely though and does illustrate what's wrong with concentrating media power in too few hands.
Voices, Explosions, Silence: The Middle East Turmoil On (And Off) The Air. "We apologize for the discontinuation of the transmission of the Voice of Love and Peace. The offices, studios and transmission equipment were destroyed totally by Israeli forces in their last invasion of Ramallah."
(from Radio Nederlands
Is NPR anti-Israel?
I listen to NPR all the time and hadn't noticed any (overt) bias against Israel, but I only listen in the mornings...maybe it's on in the afternoon.
BBC to North America and Australia: Drop Dead.
The BBC World Service is dumping all shortwave broadcasts to the US, Canada and Australia as of July. If you want to listen you'll have to get it off the net, or hope your local public radio station uses at least a few WS programs as cheap filler material. A couple hundred US stations do this, but did we mention they tend to do it at 3 in the morning? (Scroll down past the Angola stuff in the above link.)