Previously I’ve written about radio people who “deny the verbal reality” and how they harm the audience’s listening experience.
One of the examples I gave was of a traffic reporter at a public radio station in Los Angeles.
The same week that blog posting was published, she continued her practice of destroying whatever pictures are in the minds of the audience.
She has begun the traffic report, then momentarily is at a loss for words.
Then she explains, “I’m trying to scroll down more on my monitor to see what’s happening there….”
Hey, Traffic Reporter. Let me explain it to you:
The magic of radio lies in the fact that every day we do things our listeners cannot do themselves.
Your listeners don’t know exactly how you’re able to tell them what is happening on what freeway.
Some assume you’re got a hotline to the California Highway Patrol.
They don’t have a hotline to the CHP.
Others are certain your radio station has a weather balloon, providing you with continuously updated, real-time traffic images.
They don’t have a weather balloon.
But wait! You’re…looking at your computer monitor? That’s where you’re getting your traffic information?
Guess what? Your listeners have computer monitors, too.
They can go to websites that display real-time traffic patterns.
You, Ms. Traffic Reporter, have taken away the magic of radio.
Radio without magic = just another appliance.