Radio Media That Matters Origional
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RadioSocial Media: local enough to
I’ve chosen radio as the subject of this slide show on Social Media in part because it seems adaptable and user friendly
Listeners viewing or
Viewers listening?Familiar, easy to use, available,
social, robust, meaningful, and
localized to serve small groups
with particular interests that may
be outside and hungry for media
that speaks to THEM
Radio can give voice to disparate groups. Can familiarize by voice where appearance may drive people apart.
Voice crosses age, literacy and language lines and can respond instantly in tone and volume to sooth, comfort, persuade, excite , teach and hold attention.
Radio can be a space for sharing experience, mixing and cohering.
Commercial Radio Broadcasts toT
Much available on commercial radio is loud, annoying, serves a model audience that is inauthentic or underestimatedand seen as receptive to mindless shock appeal.
Unique groups go UNREPRESENTED
Authentic, Actual Community?
Drawbacks to radio: •
Accessibility and reach - Where live, just past of the North - South Continental Divide, we can only receive two local commercial stations that “serve” the community by broadcasting crowd-pleasing pabulum.
•Upfront barriers - Large investment required to set up a broadcast facility plus permits and permissions – hence the above situation
•Tends to be one-to-many, even when “shared “ through call-ins.
Getting past a few Barriers
• MP-3 and Podcasting suggest ways to cross media even if it’s done by passing sound chips around ,
• loudspeakers on a moving truck, boom-box on a skateboard, “talking beer can” technology, discarded Tickle-Me Elmo’s , any small playback device or cheap radio with a few adaptations.
• Truly local broadcasts require very little upfront investment or sophisticated equipment. Capturing and distributing voice may work best at small scales.
Highway 36 north of Kikino
Advantages to Radio:• Learning how to be “heard” is a useful. Barriers can be more empowering than simply posting whatever on Facebook (for
instance) and presuming that qualifies as participation in the social dialog—value is still measured by effort.
• Radio has presence and physicality. Studios actually exist. People with skills work there.
• Voice is human. So native to us that the monstrously complex learning of language is usually set aside for childhood.
• Early on radio created a new platform and reach for voice, music and “news”. Newspapers, storytelling, entertainment converged in a medium that narrowed as it grew and now seems to be pushing broadcasting towards conversation with listeners through blogs, tweets and a general attempt to rejoin the community.
• MP3, podcasting and high quality portable digital recorders lend voice to the ambient activity of being. Fidelity of new recording equipment adds dimensionality to background noise—odd notion but as foreground seems to become ubiquitous-sonic-poo, background and small-voice can shine out. [A very poorly worked out observation].
• As someone from a family of hearing impaired individuals I’m directly aware of the muffling of voice, the casting out from the group and the tricks involved in pretending to understand rather than annoy by asking for clarification—the slow process of disappearing and becoming a non-participant (too slow to respond, always breaking the flow; like the kid who couldn’t catch, the impatience that hurts). There’s something about the realm of voice that’s very precious that sits at the core of social media. Stephen Pinker stated there are no “ignorant languages”. Languages that lack expressive power and comprehension—don’t know how to say themselves—do not exist. By extension, there really are no ignorant conversations either.
Our hypersociality comes about because information is a particularly good commodity of exchange that makes it worth people’s
while to hang out together.
…It seems clear that we do use our faculties of social cognition to ration our conversation to those with whom we have established a non-exploitative relationship; hence the expression ‘to be on speaking terms’.Language, therefore, meshes neatly with the other features of the cognitive niche. The zoologically unusual features of Homo sapiens can be explained parsimoniously by the idea that humans have evolved an ability to encode information about the causal structure of the world and to share it among themselves. Our hypersociality comes about because information is a particularly good commodity of exchange that makes it worth people’s while to hang out together. Our long childhood and extensive biparental investment are the ingredients of an apprenticeship: before we go out in the world, we spend a lot of time learning what the people around us have figured out….Humans depend on culture, and culture can be seen in part as a pool of local expertise. Many traditions are endemic to a people in an area because knowhow and social conventions have spread via a local network of information sharing.Language as an Adaptation to the Cognitive NicheSteven Pinkerhttp://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/papers/Language_Evolution.pdf
As Ferdinand de Saussure pointed out, a word is an arbitrary sign: aconnection between a signal and a concept shared by the members of the
community. Steven Pinker ibid Radio can be a vehicle for words
SHARED SPACE emptied by distance, ready for the sound of voices forming words
Voice is ancient: Though language difference may divide, voice in use is THE universal affordance. Radio facilitates this.
Access: As a universal coding system, language affords access to virtually all resources. Voice and text access the human creators of the resources. Radio facilitates voice by broadcasting to all potential receivers. Receivers aren’t passive, they select from different sources which adds choice to the affordance of access. (Except where I live, only 2 stations can be received on the AM or FM band—both are junk though variety can be had through satellite and the net).
From very early in life, humans have access to language, and to each other through voice which is enhanced by meaning-supports like facial expression, gestures and tone. Humans are very good at extracting meaning from voice alone: for instance, people can indentify falsehood in voice long before it would be caught in text.
Affordances of Radio
Affordances of RadioPresence: Humans are “tuned” to attend to spoken voice: to draw meaning and to project meaning. Voice openly declares presence. Radio practitioners are often called “announcers”, which may neutralize presence as they are declaring not for themselves but for others. Not sure how speaking the words of others disembodies, but it does, like text, create a not-quite-present effect. “Here, so says this script, I AM!”
Expression: Potential on radio for declaring “this is who I am” is way higher than, say, Second Life. There is a separation between speaker and the words by being processed through the medium of radio. The suspension of disbelief is relevant here. As with Presence above, radio is still not the real thing, but the dynamic qualities of voice do make radio a more directly human vehicle for messaging than second-lifer action figures with their low-resolution images and minimal facial expressions.
Creation: Before we were “enabled” (read “obliged”) to enhance everything with song, dance and thrilling Technicolor imagery, you could let people imagine willy-nilly from what you were saying. Now that we need to specify how exactly our audience “gets-it”, radio might be at a disadvantage.
Affordances of Radio
Interaction: Radio stations do interact through call-in shows and posting web sites. It can be argued that this form of interaction is restricted, edited and not very authentic. If “interaction” is judged as voice enabled by effort, how interactive is the content on most of the net? Interaction has to have some sort of scaling system to be valued. A “peep” heard round the world is still a small noise.
Aggregation: Features of voice and language can be collected, edited ,changed into song or sermon, poetry or curse to facilitate or distribute under-standing. This isn’t aggregation though . Because radio is rather transitory or ever-becoming . I might have to go with radio as a reverse aggregator: a song may draw an emotion from a listener; a speech may draw a “lost” memory. This is a somewhat unpredictable process though people do have “favourite” stations and shows, so maybe there’s a generalized deliberation here to “extract” certain feelings or replicate moods or thought trains? A radio station could aggregate things of interest to a particular audience in a general, impersonal level.
Rubric Usage in current Work/Personal Environment: Though I have access to a wide array of media production devices at work, radio isn’t one, yet. In spite of my snooty attitude to our local radio station, it is a community resource with underused potential. Alberta, and this North East area in particular, has a peculiar sense that “education” is something for “others” and not relevant or expressive of home culture. Part of this is fostered by the ease of finding work here over the last while: “if you’re breathing, you’re hired”, and the rest is a mix of suspicion of strangers and the need to service close, trusted relationships in a hostile physical environment.
Continued development in the oil industry here draw people from all over the world. As diversity grows, there’s an ongoing experiment in social organization and affiliation to place that could turn the whole place into a learning space all its own. I’m not content to live here as a visitor. I can’t afford the luxury of time spent in stasis while working here.
I want this to be part of my life too and radio is a way to reach educational goals that allows localness and touches people.
Why this particular tool?: I worked in radio years ago so it’s familiar and comfortable. There’s low literacy here and radio fits into the oral knowing styles common here. Isolation has made this place very self-referential and though the net is popular, it’s out of context, “away” and doesn’t have any knowledge handles to grasp.
Context and support for future work/personal use: Unsure of the exact role radio will play in future projects. I have an image of education as performance or public art—I believe many in this course have that feeling which is the driver behind trying out non-traditional learning tools and facilitation resources? Access to the joy of learning has been in the clutches of the educational industry long enough.
Pros and Cons associated with use of tool:
CON: Expensive to set up; monopolized by private interest; extensive licensing needed to broadcast.
PRO: Can be unapologetically “local” giving a sense of here-ness that the WWW lacks; listeners become less passive about content when it’s directly about them—activates interest, participation, ownership and responsible use; right now, radio seems oddly subversive to the mythos growing around the net: “We don’t really know what the net is, but it must be important because it’s the future. Isn’t it?”
Presentation comprehensible in sync and asynchronous modes: Recording and delivery as downloadable pod-cast make it available anytime / anywhere. Discussions could be asynchronous by logging into voice recording utilities, texting, answering machines.
From “Learning to Live Together: using distance education for community peace building” Commonwealth of Learning http://www.col.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Learning_To_Live_Together_web.pdf “radios … do not rely on electricity or literacy. They can be used by anyone anywhere, unlike other communications media such as telephones, the Internet, television and printed media.” “Community radio”, a concept popularized by the efforts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), introduced into several low-income regions of the world during the 1960s, has had significant success in tackling poverty, ill health, malnutrition and a number of other social issues. UNESCO’s community radio experiments demonstrated that involving people and local communities and creating a sense of belonging and participation could effect social change. The Bush Radio initiative in South Africa is a good example of how radio can be socially responsible.
* Central to Bush Radio’s philosophy is the notion that children and young people ought to be equal partners in building a better world through radio.
*An important idea is to enable and empower children and young people by providing them opportunities for self-expression and freedom to imagine the world in their own ways. Programming is structured around community concerns that are local and particular to the region of South Africa it serves.
* Program Example: To curb and reduce crime and to build opportunities for young people involved in criminal activities, Bush Radio developed a unique programme called “Township Heroes”.
*Rather than attacking young people who are prone to criminal activity for a variety of reasons, Bush Radio, through “Township Heroes” seeks to bring young people into dialogue with each other and the larger community. It is a socially responsible strategy not only in tackling crime, but also in discussing the underlying causes that led to it in the first place.
A young person from the local townships of Cape Flats, a neighbourhood in Western Cape, is selected as a hero. S/he talks to other young people through several radio discussions and open phone line conversations about his or her life. The programming is open-ended and participatory and sensitizes listeners – adults as well as young people – to the complicated nature of the issue. The dialogues between young people and also some older listeners from the community who participate in the phone-in conversations, leads to a recognition of different points of view and understanding of the issue. “Township Heroes” enables young people to take charge of their own lives and the media.
*One Outcome: For example, the station brokered a peace agreement between the gangs that control the local taxi services after the Taxi Talk programme got the gangs talking to each other. In addition, during a crisis between the gangs, the police and the vigilante group PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs), the station hosted a debate in an attempt to bring peace to the region.
What could be more social than community?
• VoiceThread program has features to host a synchronous discussion around an image or any sort of file.
Visuals, voice and facial images humanize it. Interesting way to send out just about anything for critiquing by posting it ,collecting comments, then retrieving it.
Another option: to send it “out into the world” (someone can tell me how to do that) to collect voices and images.
As people find it and pass it along the thread could mature, procreate, multiply and mutate .
Must be a way to tag it for occasional retrieval? Could be a program gone feral on the net or a bottle cast into the sea or....?
Seriously, it looks like a nice tool—welcoming and user operable.
Good for collecting feedback like a small survey mailed around the department.
VoiceThread demo : http://voicethread.com/#home.b409
Highway 55 to Cold Lake AB
Affordance? [not sure what this would be called] Requires knowledge of bicycle operation; screwdriver to download onto destination platform and imagination to
achieve full effect. Infrastructure precautions: may not reach optimum speed on muddy or pitted surfaces.
sound effects by blowing air out of pursed,
moistened , lips or by attaching standard
playing cards to rub against wheel spokes
while in motion.
Press HERE for the effect you choose
AS seen on RADIO
Sources• Center for Social Media at American University - PDF report PUBLIC RADIO”S SOCIAL MEDIA
EXPERIMENTS: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/files/pdf/public_radio_report3.pdf • Language as an Adaptation to the Cognitive Niche - Steven Pinker
http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/papers/Language_Evolution.pdf • Public Radio Exchange (PRX): http://www.prx.org/about-us/what-is-prx • The Moth http://www.prx.org/the-moth#allstations • VoiceThread demo : http://voicethread.com/#home.b409 • The Radio Manifesto - addressed by young people from around the world to radio broadcasters
everywhere http://www.worldradioforum.org/manifesto/RadioManifesto.pdf • From: The Radio Manifesto - PART III - ANNEXES• INDIA, Butterflies Broadcasting Children (BBC), Butterflies Organisation of Street & Working Children, New
Delhi. You can listen to radio everywhere; we cannot watch TV while working but we can listen to radio while working. Not everybody can read books. For TV, electricity is required, but it is not required for radio.
• CAMEROUN, Petit Bonando group Adults would be more affected if they were to hear children talking of their experiences, and in this way they would become aware of the fact that the child is a sensitive being in all these situations.
• GUINEA, Kindia Children’s Radio Group, Konakry. In order for children to be able to express themselves on the radio, they need to be sure that they are not taking a risk. It is very important that they are given responsibility and that they have a role to play in the world of adults. With youth journalists, more children would listen to radio; in fact no one knows better how to talk about the problems children face than the children themselves.
• Other clips: • Berkeley Centre for Globalization and Information Technology• http://bcgit.berkeley.edu/index.html • IT and Diasporic Communites How IT sustains transnational relations; issues of digital marginality;
sustainability of diasporic identity; and virtual diasporas. • IT and Development How IT can be used in the process of economic development, in delivering services to
remote villages, in providing access to information in rural areas, in enhancing the performances of public administration and in alleviating poverty in general.
• VOCALO: WBEZ Chicago (since suffered from cut-backs; may be a technology-savvy audience but they’re
politically powerless)• WBEZ is launching Vocalo, a new over-the-air and online station where content is created by its audience.
At Vocalo—a portmanteau of the words “vocal” and “zocalo,” the Spanish term for public square—listeners upload reports, conversations, music, and more to a Web site that serves as the online platform and destination for a community. The best Web content will be transmitted over the main analog channel. Hosts will navigate listeners through eclectic content while noting the voices and stories of the Chicago regional culture. Vocalo is aimed at a younger, more diverse, technology-savvy audience that Chicago Public Radio has not yet been fully able to capture. http://www.current.org/radio/radio0708malatia.shtml