Podcasts >>>>>>>> Radio

Let’s not lie to ourselves here, commercial radio sucks ass. Especially in the context of music on the radio, it seems to me that popular radio stations today are just mediocre in content and annoying in presentation. From all of the unnecessary sound effects added throughout a program’s broadcast to the advertisements that seem to be played in rotation more frequently than songs, there is a lot to say about mainstream FM radio stations. This Family Guy clip shows exactly what I’m talking about:

Weenie and the Butt!

The negative qualities that are associated with radio of this nature, however, are to be expected. The overt commodification and commercialization of music exists simply because that’s what radio stations are meant to do: rake in dollar bills through ad revenue and sponsorships.

While podcasts are not completely devoid of advertisements and product plug-ins, they generally exhibit such qualities much less frequently than do radio stations. Also, many interchange the term “podcast” with “public radio”. Even though this term has the word “radio” in its name, public radio stations are very much different from “private” radio stations such as 100.3 FM (Z100) or 92.3 FM (92.3 NOW). They rely much less on money from larger organizations and much more on donations made by subscribers and listeners.

The most important point that the article makes, in my opinion, is the fact that podcasts can more easily cater to niche audiences, whereas private radio stations need to have some sort of broad appeal to even properly function. Also, since podcasts are generally accessible via download or an online web player, they are much more user-friendly than private radio. You can rewind them, skip the intro, go to your favorite part, whatever. This sort of accessibility is usually not something you find in typical private radio. If you miss something that the host says during the broadcast, ya dun goofed son! I personally utilize SoundCloud to peruse the very few podcasts that I follow and in the event that I zone out and miss something, I just rewind back a couple of seconds and I’m all caught up.

Podcasts are an excellent way for individuals, especially college students like myself, to expose themselves to various worldviews and perspectives as well as solidify their own. Some of the most popular podcasts/public radio stations are those with a political edge to them, and for a good reason. These stations usually house political opinions that are unlike those found in the mainstream. For someone who fashions himself as a pretty progressive guy, I find podcasts and public radio to be a great way to see someone’s take on a recent political issue and formulate my own opinion on it. Traditional news media is often overtly laced with corporate or partisan biases, and while the same is true for certain public radio stations, it is especially true with conventional news media (ex: CNN, exhibiting a neutrality bias, and FOX, exhibiting an 80-year-old-with-dementia bias)

As you can probably tell, I prefer podcasts to radio any day of the week. Private radio just sucks nowadays. There is never any risk-taking or boundary-pushing conversation being held on mainstream radio. There is never any groundbreaking record being played on FM radio. The only thing that is circulated in these airwaves is the most polished, sugary, absurdly accessible, and safe dialogue and music. For that reason, I implore everyone who avidly listens to the radio to perhaps reconsider and try looking for some specific podcasts or public radio station that cater to your particular interests or quirks.

Shit’s dope, trust me fam.

Accurate: 1aweird-radio-pie-chart

 

Podcasts >>>>>>>> Radio

Podcasts VS Radio

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I was began my life without much knowledge of the radio. As a millennial, by the time I was conscious of the world around me, we were listening to music on portable devices; be it from chunky mp3 players or portable CD players. I did not start listening to the radio until I was 17 and got my first car, a tin can on wheels from the early 90s that was equipped with only a tape player and access to the public radio. This was around the same time I first started listening to podcasts. I never associated the two together, but I also never preferred one over the other. In my mind, they were two entirely separate things. Adam Ragusea highlights some of these differences, but I feel that they go way beyond what he has mentioned. Podcasts and radio are two entirely different means of acquiring information.

I listen to podcasts and to the radio both for entertainment, but for two different forms of entertainment. When I want to turn my brain off for a little bit and just relax, I listen to the radio. As Ragusea mentioned, radio shows are a lot less personal because they reach out to such a wide category of people. To further that point, the attempt to reach out to a wider group kind of forces radio stations to “dumb down” whatever information they are providing. This is a common tactic of communicative; making something as simple as possible so as to reach more people. For instance, if public radio talk shows were more articulate and deep, they would lose all their listeners who struggle to comprehend intense information (I do not mean to sound harsh when I say this, but it’s a common way to appeal to the majority). This also attributes to radio feeling impersonal; the station is reaching out to anyone who will listen.

On the contrary, podcasts are reaching out to much more specific audiences and are accessible at any time. It is because of this that they are able to be a lot more complex. When I listen to podcasts, it is because I want to think and learn about something new.

When anyone listens to a podcast, it’s not usually something they just “stumbled upon.” You actively choose to listen to any given podcast and are informed prior to as to what you will be listening to. When you listen to a radio show, it is much more spontaneous. This is why podcasts possess much more complex discussions. Those who are truly interested seek them out.

While it kind of sounds like I am ragging on radio shows, I do not mean to. The differences between podcasts and radio shows are much like the differences between apples and bananas. Sure, the two are both fruits, but the preference is really up to whose about to eat them. xxGdAaH4wA-8

Some people may like both the same, some people may want an apple one day and a banana the next, and some people might just avoid fruit entirely. This is just the same for podcasts and radio shows. The two might be in the same category of “entertainment” but this is such a wide category that neither are really comparable. The only similarity between the two is the category they are placed in.

Click this link to read about some more differences between the two!

 

 

Podcasts VS Radio

One is Silver and the other Gold

Podcasts are very similar to radio, in my opinion. We’ve listened to podcasts in class that were created solely for the sake of podcasts and also podcasts that are actually clips from radio segments and I really haven’t noticed that significant of a difference between the two. However, the author of “Three ways Podcasts and radio aren’t Actually Quite the Same” disagrees.

Adam Ragusea cites the following as key differences between the two: podcasts have no time constraints, they don’t have to be as concerned with pleasing such a wide and diverse audience, and they are more directly targeted in the sense that everyone who clicks on that podcast wants to listen to that podcast. By these arguments, it’s clear to see that the writer is very pro-podcast. Although, he does concede that he agrees with the popular argument that podcasts and radios are very similar. He is only arguing for the knit-picky 10% of his mind that disagrees.

In my critique, I will be just as knit-picky in arguing the pro-radio side. One huge advantage that radio has over podcasts in terms of authenticity is that radio is usually live, Radio listeners are able to call in directly to hosts when they challenge them to games or prize contests or to comment on whatever the radio host is discussing. Podcasts don’t have this feature. There’s also a feeling associated with live radio, the same feeling that is associated with live television or the feeling that comes along with seeing a live play as opposed to watching a movie on a screen. It’s the same reason why Saturday Night Live is such a successful and popular show.  It’s the thought that what one is listening to or watching is going on in real time. It is a phenomenon that just adds to the quality of what one is experiencing. Live broadcasting allows viewers to hear unedited versions of what previously recorded broadcasts do not show.

Even for some radio broadcasts that were previously recorded can give a similar feel because they are not rehearsed and are more naturally occurring conversations than what are one experiences in a podcast. Podcasts can be scripted and are more organized. Similarly to the point I discussed in last week’s blog post about Oral History, content becomes much more relatable when you hear it from a primary source. In terms of history, it can really never be live, so a personal narrative or document is really the next best thing. However, podcasts have the opportunity to be live. The podcast we listened to in class about the boy who collected the Superman comic books was interesting in the story format through which it was presented, but it may have been more engaging if we were able to hear naturally occurring discussions as they went along throughout the actual events as opposed to the summary afterwards. Hearing something from the past gives a very similar feel as hearing something live as long as it ws recorded in real time and unedited. For example, watching a repeat of Saturday Night Live doesn’t mean that you won’t still see the bloopers or the actors breaking, which obviously wouldn’t happen in a scripted program.

While podcasts and live radio might be different in some ways, they are similar in many. Audio entertainment overall is used for the same purposes and recorded in similar ways. So, there may have been minute differences pointed out by both the author of this article and myself, the differences are not so overwhelming that it changes the experience of listening all that drastically. Podcasts are indeed more modern but are clearly modeled after the way radio broadcasts work, and radio broadcasts have evolved to keep up with the competition of broadcasts. Both are equally entertaining generally and offer similar listening experiences, their differences simply provide ulterior options based on minor listening preferences.

One is Silver and the other Gold

Technology: Mankind’s New Fire

Typically, when a new innovation is created, rather than embracing and using the new technology, we tend to live in fear of it at first. Humans are very quick to assume anything out of the norm will harm us. We are so focused on this concept, in fact, that we lose sight on the benefits the innovation could provide. It’s important to be aware of the things that can harm us, but it is also important not to let these fears drive us into insanity.

It is in our nature to find errors when approached with a new development… or anything new, really. Our minds way of protecting us from potential harm is by finding potential causes for said harm, beforehand. tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640For example, the growing popularity of video games leaving parents worried what these games will expose their children to rather than embracing the benefits these games can provide. Yes, there are games that contain violence, nudity, profanity, etc., but not every video game does. Like most forms of entertainment, there are ratings to deem what is appropriate for who. Parents are willing to check if a movie is rated PG, but when it comes to gaming, they would rather abolish the whole idea altogether. They do not realize they are also taking away potential improvement to their child’s cognitive and perceptual skills.  Video games test a child’s abilities to make decisions, use their hand-eye coordination, act quickly, etc. all for an issue that can be fixed by simply looking into the video games one’s child is playing.

 

There is no such thing as “all good” or “all bad”; every person, place, thing, EVERYTHING consists of at least a little good and a little bad. With so many ways to approach each subject, there are always different views on how beneficial the subject can be. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are “good” to a hungry 6 year-old, but would be considered “bad” for his/her classmate with a peanut allergy. tumblr_mu6vs7jcku1sqjbnbo1_400Each individual is different in their own ways, meaning everything effects each individual differently. Ruling out something entirely takes away any chance of it being put to beneficial use. By taking away Wikipedia to prevent gullible students who easily accept false information, you take away an extensive and endlessly expanding source of information from the rest.

Humans natural urge to find disadvantages in every situation protect us from making potentially detrimental decisions. However, this “protection” also takes away any potential benefits if taken too far. By excluding something entirely rather than finding a balance between it’s good and bad qualities, we take away any chance of useful advantages occurring.

Technology: Mankind’s New Fire

Talk a Little More

Two-people-talking-logo1History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs (Google definitions). Every child from K-12 learn about history in school. Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson, through my interpretation, seem to believe that history is only created through governments and historians but that it should not be learned solely through those views. History can not truly be told one sided though. For all we know, we could only be learning once side to a story; most likely we are. Because we live in America we only learn the American view to history. We learn American accomplishments and this and that. There are many different forms of history because I’m sure each country has a different view on everything. We can learn a lot about history through text books and what teachers teach us in class but the best form of learning history is through experience. Since obviously we can not experience events like World War One or World War Two or the Great Depression, we must learn through someone else experience. It is the best way to connect to that time period of when it actually happened.

In high school, my senior year, I took a Holocaust and Genocide class that was being offered by a professor at Stockton University at my high school. To this day he is still the best teacher I have ever had because he never taught anything one sided. He never generalized an experience or event. He always gave us opportunity to hear a survivor of the Holocaust’s story. We heard from multiple people to get multiple views on the past. Each and every person went through the same event yet came out with a different experience, lost different amount of family members, or was sent to different places. Not one story was the same as anothers. This is real live history. Being able to hear how individuals experience the past is the best way to connect to it.

I remember a field trip we went on to a lunch with survivors and each4d6dd005520b1.image person in the class got to each lunch with a different survivor. Throughout the duration of the lunch, the woman I sat next to, Rosalie, told me all about her life. She spoke about her life growing up in Czechoslovakia, her experience throughout her unfortunate stay the the many camps she was sent to and how she survived the Holocaust. I
remember as she got emotional about talking about her deceased family members
and how they died, I cried with her. Now I realize, in that moment with Rosalie, that is what history really is. There is only so much a single book can tell you about an overall subject but it generalizes it and takes away the parts that make it relatable, interesting and personable. Many people have learned about the Holocaust but I do not think it is truly possible to learn any type of past event without listening to an individuals account of what happened to them during that time.

*Side note*
Rosalie has written a memoir of her life called Girl in a Striped Dress. If you’d like to check it out the link below will lead you to a summery of her book and where you can find it.striped_dress.jpghttp://www.comteqpublishing.com/book_detail.php?129

Talk a Little More

The Purpose of History

“Oral history is not necessarily an instrument for change; it depends upon the spirit in which it is used”

I always assumed the purpose of history wa to give an honest account of an event, as to preserve it valor for future generations. After my first lesson in Black history, i learned how untrue and unfair history could prove itself. The spoils of history always goes to the victor, and often times, embellishes his conquest. The ways in which Africa has been degraded within the media eye is a product of a historical narrative, usually expressed by the means of oral proliferation. The idealisms held about the majority of white culture is no mistake either. y telling stories in a certain manner, one can shape the world.

This quote resonates with me images.png oral historybecause of its ambiguity and pivotal message. It puts into perspective the ways in which we learn. Most people hold true to the hardcover books placed in front of highschool students. I did not question them because I assumed the written more legitimate than the spoken. Being told of my history and the history of others seemed less real and more like folklore. I believed the black and white text more truthful than the vivid words spun into great story of triumphs. The harsh tone and straight forwardness offered a stern history written, offered a more realistic account. The boston massacre seems more violent and gruesome than most stories I heard of slavery or the genocide the Native Americans faced. These stories were harder to believe for me because they were not properly documented and did not offer the full story.

Oral history is a means by whichimages.jpg orl story 2 a story can change and take life. I thought this aspect of change meant the story had no legitimacy, but the fact a story can be told a thousand times and the same sentiment resonate the same truths speaks volumes. The colorful words and ideas complicated by cultural motifs and personal biases paints a fuller picture for the viewer of history. The fact that a story can be changed does not limit it, rather it opens its possibilities, mending the to it reader. The personal narrative gives a introspective look at the world through the eyes of history, offering anecdotal evidence accompanied by the larger widely accepted facts. This is true history. The untold and sometimes supernatural, speaking to the themes and ideas that are rooted in a shared experience.

An intimate conversation between  few people can change the course of history, simply by the way the story is told.     download

 

 

The Purpose of History

Oral History, for today and forever

When writing an essay, the author will most likely consider many different types of resources, but to build their work on a reliable foundation, an author will probably pick a written source to cite over oral history. It’s obvious that written documents are more reliable than oral history due to the many factors are involved: things could get lost in translation, a part may be forgotten, or the information isn’t edited or filterered. An oral account of events is raw, probably biased, and very individualized– but that’s what it makes it such a great source.

Despite its many potential errors, oral history has been passed down centuries after centuries and it has an emotional appeal that people identify with. An example of oral history is interviews and (unless it’s scripted) all of the reactions are raw and initial reactions. The time between a question and an answer can’t be too long so the answers have to be truthful. When people are genuine in their reactions, people can connect more easily to what they’re saying. Today, everything seems so fabricated and produced to evoke a certain reaction, so it’s difficult to tell where the truth actually is. When we are presented with a source that is truthful and real, there’s something more human about it. For instance, audiences relate more to a celebrity when they make guest appearances on talk shows and come across as very conversational and casual, because it seems they are being truthful. If a celebrity declines an interview, or address their fans with written announcements or press releases, we feel so disconnected. Jennifer Lawrence, a rising young actress, is loved by so many fans because what she says seems like it’s the first thing she thought of. No filtering, no influence from her publicist. Watching an interview with her feels like you’re listening to your best friend talk, which makes her so likable.

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Even though it seems frivolous, these interviews are apart of history. When teens go to school and talk about her to their friends, Jennifer Lawrence is becoming more and more apart of our history. The more she’s talked about or the more we share the story of her falling at the Oscars (which can be found here), the more she gets imbedded into our memories as a famous actress. Of course there will be endless articles, videos, and pictures of her online, but what triggers all of those sources are the fans who talk about it out loud first.

Oral history is so important for our generation who has essentially grown up in front of a screen. Every thought could be recorded with the use of the Internet, but we continue to pass down stories through each other because we value sharing information aloud. The connection we make with each other when we share a story or fact is something that can’t be achieved with written sources. Therefore, oral history is a source we should continue to use and not undermine.

Oral History, for today and forever