Thursday, April 16, 2015

Radio Rant

Grumpy old man, frustrated potential radio announcer, listener to 'old man' radio... take your pick!!
   I was driving the car and listening to a little bit of ABC radio between bursts of iTunes music yesterday when I was reminded of actor/comedian/author/playwrite/announcer John Doyle's [aka Rampaging Roy Slaven]  'Newcastle Lecture' at the University a few years back. He was at one point talking about the lack of original content in the media. Doyle was lamenting the idea of a production team meeting that consisted of sitting around a few hours ahead the shift, reading the days newspapers to construct content for your program. It's only gotten worse!!
   Yesterday one announcer was asking people about who undertook the Opal card trick of walking between light rail stations at Pyrmont in Sydney. Opal card for regular train travellers offers you free trips in the week after [is it 8 or 10] journeys. It's promoted as 'travel all week, get Friday, Saturday, Sunday for free!! Enjoy city shopping, a tourist spot, travel home to Newcastle to visit your family!!
   A few hundred punters a day are walking back and forwards between stations at Pyrmont to tap on and off for multiple fake journeys. Let's face it if they want to walk 5kms cumulatively [according to newspaper reports] every week, good on them!! It could become the 'Pyrmont Park Run' or start a social club, 'The Pyrmont Trundlers' and in fact I have an idea that the whole thing could end up sponsored by 'That Star Casino' who pay money to 'Events NSW' to cover the lost train travel revenue of the longer weekend trips being taken for free!! Your free trips can be from Tuesday onwards... Straight journeys on different modes of transport are seen as transfers, these are new journeys, so the newspaper journalist, who spoke to trundlers. was explaining in their article!! People are very funny!! This is up there with setting up a picnic or fake flat tyre or dancing naked infront of the RTA mobile vehicle speed cameras so prevalent in the Upper Hunter!!
   I guess in this case it's legitimate for a radio station to cover an emerging story, trouble is I rarely hear the source credited as the Fairfax or News media in these cases.
   The second instance was a conversation starter about various trends in corporate team building culture e.g. paint ball, trekking, fitness sessions, drumming workshops... or corporate soccer tournaments where participants wear individual zorb balls to counter against skills and injury. What trend in this have you participated in, asked the announcer? This was a page 7 or so article in the SMH yesterday!!
   As I thought about this content it reminded of my other radio gripes... guest sports 'reporters' who give listeners and often less informed announcers a round up of the happenings in sport and sometimes an emerging issue for discussion. Insights into player welfare and mindset or their background are given. Little nuggets of previously unknown aspects to a story or the 'what was really said' angle are pursued. Only trouble is, I read the SMH, Tele and local Herald every day... I have read those insider, confidante, 'I've got the real story' pieces in the paper over the preceding week!! Even sometimes the guest presenter canvases the larger issues in all this, expressing an insight into what might have led a player to do what they've done... coming down on one side of the discussion or the other, only to reveal they obviously didn't read the follow up articles in the paper the following day which offers evidence that the other side of the debate might win 'on the facts' gathered by the author of the story!!
   OK, how does  regional sports enthusiast be 'everywhere' and do all the work to gain these stories? I get it, you need to rely on someone else's reporting of a press conference, you can't have one to one chats with the Todd Carney's of the world every week... BUT you could acknowledge where you'd read or heard your revelation first before claiming at your own insight by omission!!
   I know, it's distilling a wide variety of sports, events and information for a listening audience who can't be across all sport in that kind of detail... fine, just own up to the fact you didn't speak to Kevin Pietersen to get his take on the England Cricket Team. Robert Craddock did and here's what he thought about it all!!
   Don't get me started about 'Australia All Over' a grand gesture, a terrific idea and something to celebrated as a sharing of everyday Aussie places, stories and weather!! A sprawling snapshot of traditional Aussie values, ethos and characters. A rejection of change for the worse and an eschewing of technology, modern plastic culture, overseas ownership, cheap products...
   Except it can't help but embrace the technology it lampoons, ignore the richness of a multi-cultural country we have the potential to become and in broader terms participate in the holding down in poverty of third world countries who seemingly aren't allowed the opportunity we've had to develop industry.
   Yes 'free trade agreements' penalise Australia, it is a shame you can't get a metal zipper in a pair of tailored pants replaced at the local shop and imported fruit and veg, meat and grains seems crazy when local producers are being strangled by supermarket duopolies demanding pristine bananans or 'down down' prices on milk.
   Am I the only one who doesn't get the irony or playing the 'Technology' song and then inviting people to email or Facebook post about it? The program is and has for years been a free to air radio version of Dick Smith Beetroot!!
Ok, I feel ready too face the day now!!

No comments: