Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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The Future of Radio
January 12, 2009 |
I absolutely love Prairie Home Companion. I will forever remember dancing a jig to the Powdermilk Biscuit theme song and listening with intrigue to the news from Lake Wobegon. Journeying back from a soccer tournament down windy country roads while enjoying the annual joke show is a favorite memory of mine.
I want to know what your views on the future of radio shows such as yours. I am sad to say that I am one of the few people in my high school who are aware of the wonders of NPR. As far as I can tell the future of radio is bleak.
Do you have any thoughts on what will be the destiny for radio?
I'm happy you like our show, Erin. The future of public radio is shining bright if only we can wrest it out of the hands of people my age and into the hands of people forty years younger. The problem isn't the medium the technology is light, portable, easy to use the problem is the heavy hand of tradition that keeps innovation at bay. There is so much that can be best conveyed through audio, Erin, and that won't change. The music industry is getting flattened by the Internet, but there's a great future for radio. I see reality radio as the next big thing eavesdropping radio, the microphone picking up things you weren't meant to hear and then I see radio drama coming back to life, but radio drama that attempts to impersonate reality. And for bands and songwriters who want to reach a broad market, there's nothing like radio, especially as record production goes flat. Do a whole concert on the air, let people tape it for free, and sell copies to people who can't make their own. That's the way to advance your music. Get it out there first and worry about income second. A whole new business plan. And radio is where you can do it. As far as news goes, radio is the province of the Authoritative Voice, and people are always ready for the next one. We are creatures who love to listen to our own kind. We're intrigued by the sound of ourselves. When I see people walking around with little wires running into their ears, I have to think radio has a future.