I was headed for a mass communications and journalism degree in an age when instructors were all print guys back in the day. I started in radio but ended up in television news. Over the 16-year tenure at (first) WAEO for those who remember, then WJFW, we grew a good crop of reporters and anchors. Many of whom are still at it and doing very well. I'm asked every now and then if I'd go back and it's followed by a quick, "no". Things are much different. In the rush to be first, which everyone does, so don't let anyone tell you any different, plenty of mistakes get made. Now, local affiliates are taking after their network counterparts by not caring about what they say or who they impact by their stories. Today is a prime example.
A woman crashes a White House gate and the media, smelling blood ("if it bleeds, it leads") go into a feeding frenzy. Shots are fired. ABC says the female suspect is dead. The Associated Press says she's in custody. CNN says all the shooting was done by law enforcement. If that's true, how did one officer get wounded? "Friendly fire" on the grounds of the Capitol? The vehicle was chased by police for 12 blocks before crashing into the barricades. There was a child in her car. By the late news tonight we'll know where this woman went to grade school because they'll interview the kid who sat behind her..."she was always a quiet girl". I can see it now. I can't do news like this. I find it difficult to watch and most often become embarrased that I'm a member of that media fraternity. I'm old school. I told my staff if they stick a microphone into someone's face after their house burned down or a tornado just shattered their lives and says, "how do you feel right now?", I'd fire them. Getting things right is gone. The Internet is making everyone an amateur reporter. There are literally hundreds of court cases across the country now supported by cell phone video. Surveillance cameras pop up like mushrooms and are now more a neighborhood watch tool than anything else.
I bring all this up because I'm back in my first love...radio. I can be me. If I want to tackle the issues of the day, fine. If I want to pick on some bonehead move of a town council, fine. Maybe I just want to play music, give away tickets or burgers, post stuff on Facebook and try to help you get through the day. That's fine, too. I enjoy interacting with people, promoting causes and events. Informing listeners about weather, fishing, sports, the latest kind of toothbrush, that's important. This woman in Washington probably just heard what her new insurance premium was going to be and lost it. We'll know in short order.
As the "Morning Hodag" evolves we'll be including you more and more. It actually began this morning with, "Throwback Thursday". I mentioned it on Facebook and on the air and, ZAP! I had numerous requests for some great tunes. Tomorrow (Fri) we debut the "Facebook Friday Free-For-All" where you can request your favorite country tune and once an hour we'll feature what's chosen. After all, it's just as much your station as it is ours. In the coming months we'll be tinkering with all sorts of ideas. Some may work and hang around, others may not. If you have an idea, share it!
That's it for now. Thanks for visiting...and for listening!