Radio’s Brave New World by James Cridland offers lessons for BBG

BBG Watch Commentary

Internet RadioJames Cridland has published a thought provoking article on radio. He is the Managing Director of Media UK, and described as “a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.”

We thought that Cridland’s article is especially relevant in light of the Voice of America’s (VOA) senior management’s push (mostly former CNN TV staffers) to replace experienced radio journalists, serious journalism and shortwave and medium wave radio broadcasts with amateur video productions that almost no one is watching, as noted in another article by another international media expert Jonathan Marks.

Members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which has oversight responsibilities for VOA, could benefit from reading these two articles and from watching the VOA video below and reading Mr. Marks’s commentary.

JONATHAN MARKS: “Sadly, VOA is living in a time-warp. It’s TV efforts look very much like radio with pictures. Look at this clip, broadcast on July 4th 2014. It looks like a local TV newscast from the 1970’s, both in style and camera work. No-one it scored only a couple of hundred views – No-one knows it is there!”

It’s obvious that VOA management is unable to arrange for production of high-quality television and video. It’s due to the lack of management skills and the lack of sufficient resources that U.S. Congress is unwilling to give to a mismanaged agency.

Meanwhile, VOA radio and serious news reporting are in decline.

But according to UK media expert James Cridland, radio can play a powerful role.

Here are some of the main points from his article:

“Radio has a unique place – in that we enjoy radio while we’re doing other things. No other medium can say that. Some people call radio ‘the secondary medium’. I prefer calling it ‘the multitasking medium’.”

“You wouldn’t get a march on Broadcasting House for a website being closed down. Or a Mobile app. But there’s something in radio that means we are intimately connected with our favourite presenters and our favourite stations.”

“And we can now make broadcast quality radio with nothing more than a mobile phone: recording, editing, and sending in to the studio. No other medium has the content flexibility that we do.”

READ MORE: Radio’s Brave New World, James Cridland, Media UK, July 2, 2014.

ALSO READ: Does America need the Voice of America?, Jonathan Marks, Critical Distance Insights & Opinions, July 6, 2014.

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