Bill Haenel

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in publicmedia

Just a quick note here about something that... MORE

Posted by Bill Haenel on 06-Sep-06

Everyone knows how much I love public broadcasting and internet radio, and how much I appreciate the melding of the two. My thoughts here are not about any of that. Well, sort of. Anyway, just read this:

"On Radio Paradise, he offers about 59 minutes of music per hour, compared to about 40 to 50 minutes per hour on most conventional commercial FM stations. Even former commercial-free FM areas such as National Public Radio now repeatedly air sponsorship announcements akin to advertising."

This statement came from a news item I read this morning on Yahoo, entitled, Internet radio offers sex and sermons. It's a Reuters story by Adam Tanner. The general idea is to explan how internet radio is taking over the world (duh).

Oddly enough, although I am certainly perplexed by the catch-up effect we're seeing in delayed adoption of internet radio, the most interesting thing about the statement I quoted above is the "former commercial-free" part. Needless to say, I have lots of friends in the public radio world who would be quite interested in hearing that they are no longer commercial free!

I'll make no comment on whether or not this snippet is accurate in its claim. I only ask one question: Is public radio still public?

It seems to me that if at least one major publisher of news and one distributor of same are saying that public radio is formerly commercial-free, we could certainly begin having an intelligent discussion about the current public perception of "member-supported" public broadcasting. Perhaps we could even reach way out there and suggest that a good portion of the public finds that the public value of public radio comes in the content, not the support blurbs that surround the content.

One thing is sure. While you might feel that you are listening to (dare† I say it) ADVERTISEMENTS on PUBLIC RADIO,† you can still visit npr.org online and have a reasonably ad-free experience while you browse.

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