As The Buggles stated in their 1979 song, “Video Killed the Radio Star”, many thought that new media such as TV, would make radio loose its grip among audiences. As new technology kept emerging, radio not only did not die but quickly adapted and by taking advantage of New Media is ensuring that the relationship with its listeners is as avid as in the radio’s early days.
CBS broadcasting of Orson Welle’s “Invasion from Mars” in 1938 causing panic among listeners as everyone thought this was ‘real’, proved that radio was a powerful tool to reach the masses (Sonos Staff, 2012).
Radio nowadays, has not lost its power since but its embracing of new media is helping broaden its audience alliance in all levels. RadioLab, a public radio station in New York City that broadcasts over 300 stations in the United States, is a perfect example of radio benefiting of new media. According to its Website, “Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience” (RadioLab, 2012).
RadioLab, with its great sound effects, themes, guests, interesting plots, voices, choice of music, and stories, make its science repertoire fun for all audiences. “Enhancing public understanding of science and technology in the modern world” as part of its motto, RadioLab has secured listeners throughout the country, especially a young audience (Lewis, 2011).
This is where new media and young audiences come hand in hand. RadioLab ensures that every new show that airs bi-monthly is fully accessible to everyone in different formats and applications and making it easy to search, find, download, and share. RadioLab offers all shows through its Podcast page where users can listen to their favorite episode, download it, comment on it, or add them to a personal playlist. One can also download any episode on iTunes for free and subscribe to their RSS feeds for podcast updates.
Additionally, RadioLab offers a “widget” that users can install in their websites or blogs, giving them instant access to more audiences to RadioLab. Listeners can also share and recommend any podcast over 330 social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, just to mention a few. RadioLab also makes it easy to bookmark, embed, download, and stream each podcast thus making their great content accessible to anyone for free.
Personally, although I do not have much time to listen to radio, thanks to RadioLab’s Website, I am able to listen and enjoy any show in its Archives page where all seasons are listed there. The latest podcast I listened was “Putting together the puzzle” with guests Dr. Teri Brentnall, Dr. Mary Bronner, Louis Garcia, and Ly Olkowski. With captivating sounds, carefully chosen music, sense of humor, and an excellent plot flow, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich describe how pieces came together on two real life stories: how an ex NYC Fire Marshall uncovered the real cause behind a fire in the Bronx, and the adventures of two doctors trying to find the cause of pancreatic cancer in a family where several members died from it.
Sonos Staff. (2012, February 6). The history of radio. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from Sonos – The Wireless HiFi System: http://blog.sonos.com/culture/the-history-of-radio/
RadioLab. (2012). About RadioLab. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from RadioLab: http://www.radiolab.org/about/
Lewis, S. (2011, November 8). Radiolab: An Appreciation by Ira Glass. Retrieved April 2012, 2012, from The Transom Review: http://transom.org/?p=20139