Bad – and Dishonest – PR for Radio – Part 1

Here’s the latest from a Business Week article:

There’s no denying a stark reality: Listeners, increasingly bored by the homogeneous programming and ever-more-intrusive advertising on commercial airwaves, are simply tuning out and finding alternatives.

I’m confused by this editorial and proof-less comment. Indeed I AM denying that “stark reality.” Or at least questioning it.

Isn’t it true that listeners are finding alternatives because, for the first time ever, those alternatives are available to be found? The notion that consumers value and gravitate to choice should not surprise us – nor should it be interpreted as an expression of their disdain for radio. This is sloppy journalism, pure and simple.

Do we blame the blandness of iPods for the fact that Apple shares its market with scores of competitors ? Even with a leading share it’s still a minority one. Do we blame the blandness of network TV for the fact that cable attracts more viewers (and I don’t mean HBO, folks, I mean CABLE)?

Is it really Radio that’s so bad? Or is it simply easy to pick on the music that tops the Radio charts produced in part by the same talent that audiences love to watch on American Idol every week? Fancy-pants print writers love to make fun of pop music, and since Radio caters to pop music tastes, we’re the sacrificial lamb.

I suggest that disgruntled media writers separate their loathing for what’s popular from their editorial judgment and responsibility. The result would be the kind of journalism they were allegedly schooled to produce.

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