Don’t touch that dial…..dial? What’s a dial?
When I was a kid, I used to lay in bed at night, in the dark, and listen to WOR radio, 720 AM.
Every night, at 10pm, Jean Shepherd ran a show.
It was a talk show, but not like the kind of talk show you think about now. Not ‘Tyra!”
It was a show where he just talked into the microphone. He told stories. And boy, could that guy tell stories. He had an unlimited supply. His stories were all about growing up in Indiana during the Depression. They were about his family, his friends, his life. He wrote a book called “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash”.
And one of his stories went on to become a made for TV movie. Is became pretty popular. It was the story where Ralphie goes to Santa and asks for a BB gun for Christmas and almost shoots his eye out, the family looses the Turkey and has Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. You know the one. It airs every year.
It was an OK story, but not one of Shepherd’s best. Curiously, it survives.
In those days, listening in the dark, radio was magical.
The photo above is my nephew Brett. He’s a sophomore at Dalton, a private school in NY, but he’s on the baseball team. He’s also got his own online radio show: Dalton Sportstalk.
OK. He’s not Jean Shepherd, but then again, he’s 16. And sports, (not the Depression years), is his passion. But the amazing thing here is how at his age, he can get access not just to the media to create his own content, but also a global audience – for free. The barriers to access are not just coming down, they have been completely obliterated.
Now, anyone is free to take a crack at radio, or video, or filmmaking (or blogging for that matter) – all at no cost. Yesterday, the NY Times announced that for the first time in their history they are going to lay off 100 journalists ( or offer them early buy-outs). The Times is from an era when access to an audience was both difficult to achieve and expensive to carry out. That no longer is the case.
What is the new architecture of media in the 21st Century?
You can find it in NY, but probably not at the NY Times’ expensive and massive new building on 8th Avenue. I think its a bit further up….. maybe on a bench on a ballfield in Central Park?