Localism being the Key to Success and Conclusion for the Future of Radio

Once again, the key to successful radio is on the voice and the personality of radio personnel that keep stations surviving. This emphasizes the need for local broadcasts that allow the community to hear local music and listen to talk about local issues. Further support of this thought is confirmed in Hubbard’s study “Putting Radio Localism to the Test…” where the need for more low power FM stations that served local communities was concluded. Simply stated, people just wanted radio programs that they liked. In a similar vane, Congress echoed this sentiment through Bernie Sanders, an Independent Representative from Vermont, as he acknowledged that radio’s strengths could be restored since “people own the airwaves; they have a right to demand that radio be better.” Radio has weathered years of competition from technological advancements and has accepted the challenges to be current and relevant in today’s society. The public sphere has proven effective in influencing the success of radio despite modern technology. Corporations have learned that psychographics, in addition to the interpretation of ratings, is an important tool in addressing the needs of all people regardless of their social class. On WONC 89.1 FM, our radio station here at North Central College, we sound out our logo ‘proudly serve our community’ as we recognize the importance to localism. We understand, as well as those who have made unsuccessful attempts at syndication, that commercialization in radio is not always the acceptable means for broadcasting. “Radio” realizes it needs to stay connected to young audiences as they pave its future. My research identified the young listening audience as fans of live radio who note that stations promote artists and add contests so they could win tickets to concerts. Should that listening population continue to support radio, radio’s survivorship has to be guaranteed at least another generation: 50 years!

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