Last week I had the honor of being Radio Survivor‘s inaugural guest on their first Google Hangout. Radio Survivor’s Paul Riismandel and I have known each other for more than a decade; I was a frequent guest on his Mediageek radio show, so in many respects for me it was like traveling back in time to simpler days.
That said, our 90-minute conversation went deep into two major projects: my ongoing tribulations with the Federal Communications Commission regarding its crazy foray into defining journalism, and my new book, Radio’s Digital Dilemma.
There’s been some new developments on the FCC front, thanks in part to inquiries made by at least two members of Congress on behalf of myself and Workers Independent News. In addition, there’s been a glimmer of interest from the public-interest legal community about the apparent unconstitutionality of the FCC’s news determinations. No commitments, but it leaves open that option if this absurdity can’t be resolved commonsensically.
While Paul and I were able to unpack the essentials of Radio’s Digital Dilemma, I’m most happy with the fact that we got beyond the story of HD Radio itself. In reality, that story just happens to vividly illustrate the larger forces at play which determine how pretty much all media policy gets made (and too often, made badly).
For the last twenty minutes or so we even tried mapping out the future of radio. TL;DL: it’s complicated, there’s no easy answers, but there needs to be more unity/consensus around what particular values of radio broadcasting from the last hundred years we want to preserve in the next hundred.
I’ve booked my early-bird reservation for the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual Radio Show, which will take place in Indianapolis this September. Sure to be an eye-opening experience, I also expect to be a target of suspicion and scorn. So I’d just like to say, for the record, that I come in peace, seeking many of the same answers about radio’s evolution that the industry is. And if there really is no room within the radio industry for meaningful criticism, that ultimately says more about the state of the industry than anything else. Here’s hoping for a feisty time.