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  • Robbie James

Radio won't cure a Global Pandemic...apparently

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Despite current boredom levels, it seems like a fair point to say we’ve not lived through boring times. The millennial, 2012 Olympics, Brexit, and now a global pandemic in the form of Coronavirus - I don’t know what that says about me that I’ve picked out those events, my mind is just as cloudy as yours probably is at the moment.

Amongst the terribly devastating outcomes of this pandemic for so many people, we are rediscovering the sense of community & the medium of radio isn’t half helping that.

In a time where it’s easy to feel lonely, disconnected & distant, radio is finding it’s feet once more to thwart all of these things.

Radio is the most intimate medium. Netflix, TV, YouTube are all great, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll leave you feeling connected in the way radio does. Radio is conversational & allows your brain to not only use your imagination in a way similar to that of a book, but it also provides you with a interrelation to a real human, someone you know is physically talking to you in that exact moment (assuming it’s live, which the vast majority of radio should be at the moment). And that’s before we’ve even begun on the role music can play in uplifting moods.

'The last thing we need is people to be basic'

I’m a firm believer it’s important to be able to ‘read the room’ on the radio, which can be easily overthought & overcomplicated, but in theory is very simple because it’s a world we’re all living in, we’re parallel to it.

We want the show to be a gentle distraction at the moment, that’s our role. We want to keep people updated, of course we do, but we also want to take people out of the worry, anxiety or low mood they might be feeling, but be subtle about it, and understand it might only be temporarily successful.

Instructing listeners to ‘be positive’ whilst boasting about how buoyant a radio show doesn’t do the trick for us. I don’t want someone to tell me to be positive, I’ll make that decision for myself. If we deliver a show that has silly stuff & joyful bits in it, someone’s mood will hopefully follow suit. I miss the pub, I miss people that I feel at ease with, I don’t miss people being patronisingly upbeat.

It feels like a time where the last thing we need is people to be basic, or inauthentic, we don’t need your social media boomerangs, or a crap video to tell you to listen to your radio station just because you’re on it, we need it to be creative because unless it’s different a lot of people won’t be investing their time in you right now. They’re not as busy so it might not be a background noise anymore, so they’ll pick Netflix, or even worse, Amazon Prime.

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