Reading Susan Douglas’ Listening In brought about some new thoughts on what Radio was and has become. When it was first conceptualized and created, it was a new medium to connect people through the use of media like music and speech. I had never thought of a radio station or talk show as a “Community” but in a sense it truly is. The station, through the music it plays, news, sports and politics it talks about, the people that call in to voice their opinions, and the advertisements and other items that make its way to a listener’s ears all tie people together in one large listening community. I think my radio listening experience is the reason I never saw this concept. I do not listen to much radio; its the cold, hard truth. I believe traditional radio is dying, because people like myself and those of my generation don’t support it and have found new, better mediums to entertain themselves. I really only listen to the radio in the car and only music. When I’m home, I listen to Sirius XM Satellite radio rather than FM or AM because I know there will always be music playing, not the stupid talk shows, gossip news, and dumb segments that I just can’t stand. Many times I simply just hook up my iPhone to my car speakers and listen to my music. With the rise in personal music storage on portable devices, radio is dwindling and these communities that used to exist through radio are moving to other locations, mainly the Internet. People interested in things that were talked about on certain talk programs can find chatrooms, Facebook groups and podcasts online to fulfill their desires to find others with similar interests. No longer is listening to someone talk the only way to get other people’s opinion about a certain topic.
The rise of the Internet and the shift from traditional radio where there is little choice of what is played to internet radio where the listener controls all, is has lowered traditional radio participation and I believe the trend will only get worse for radio.