Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ban-Ki Moon on Radio - what on earth were they thinking?

Imagine if Helen Boaden, soon to be Director of Radio at the BBC, went on TV with a message about the medium of radio rather like Ban-Ki Moon did this week. 751 views so far. So, no-one has watched it.

And the background speaks volumes. An analogue tape recorder which is doesn't seem to be recording (so why is it playing back) and a table full of equipment which few people in radio would recognise these days. Empty tape reels grabbed from an archive somewhere. Looks like the set of a CIA espionage thriller or the set of Thunderbirds. (If you like old tape-recorders, do check out Dusty Gizmos. If, like me, you lugged around a UHER tape recorder on radio interviews in the 1980's, you'll be in heaven when you see this). Is this the image of radio that the UN wants to propagate? Apparently so.

But seriously, this sort of nonsense is helping to marginalise radio, not position it as a relevant part of a much larger media ecosystem. It's all about the past. Irini Bokova of UNESCO was even worse. It's a passionless statement. When good radio is all about creating an engaging conversation. If radio is in trouble, how will this help to turn the tide?

Funniest subtitles I've read in a long time.

Subtitles on radio don't work. This might explain the nonsense subtitles that are on this UNESCO video. My favourite is the little known service radio provides: Invoice the Voiceless.

Several readers pointed out that I have complained about this Radio Day nonsense before. Exactly a year ago. Yet everything still holds true. What a pity.

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