Category: Careers in Radio

January 24, 2020 Off By Willie Hudson

Love Your Techie: The Unappreciated Jobs in Radio

 

Every industry has its unsung heroes, the little elves who actually keep the bearings greased and the lights on. Almost any company can survive for a month without a CEO without anyone but stockholders even noticing a difference, but almost none will be able to operate without that one person who knows where the files from 1996 are kept and how the building security code can be changed.

 

Yet these guys might end up feeling unappreciated when they realize just how much the “talent” earns, often without needing a formal qualification or even working very hard. While household names might be able to bank on their brand recognition, the writer’s guild strike of 2007 proved that the whole machine can come to a standstill if a single part stops working. Ultimately, everyone is replaceable, but refusing to acknowledge the contribution everyone makes is rarely a good management strategy, whether in the broadcast media or elsewhere.

 

Broadcast Assistant

When an announcer or journalist says “We have spoken to…” or some similar phrase, there is not always an I in that we. Few people know how much sheer work goes into making even a 30-second audio clip: research, planning, fact-checking, finding members of the public to speak to or tracking down persons of interest, chasing leads and rumors, as well as solving all of the myriad problems that seem to crop up out of nowhere.

 

From answering the phone to obtaining any needed licenses, broadcast assistants support radio producers at every step in the process. This job requires flexibility and charm as well as a wide-ranging skill set. Broadcast assistants are expected to know how to record and edit audio, help keep track of expenditure and even present short items on air. This is typically an entry-level position but tends to be far more demanding than just knowing how coffee makers and fax machines work.

 

Newsreader

One reason the news is read by a different person from the show anchor is to give the latter a chance to pee, but this isn’t the whole story. When listeners hear the daily news on the radio, the bare content is not all that matters: the presentation is equally important. Histrionics are clearly not acceptable, but the delivery can also not be so dry that listeners will lose interest.

 

Think of a simple sentence like “Today, the president announced that cuts to the federal education budget may be necessary.” Depending on which words are emphasized, the way the listener perceives it can change completely. Professional newsreaders will constantly study tapes of their own work as well as analyze the style of others in the same profession to perfect their personal technique.

 

Additionally, there is no room for stage fright or hesitation in this profession, especially when the wrong clip is played or some other error makes improvisation necessary. While most of the job may seem routine, the ability to think on your feet is a must, since there isn’t always time to prepare detailed notes on a breaking news story. Since much of reported news is controversial or upsetting, the ability to retain composure under any circumstances is absolutely essential.

 

Radio Engineer

Unless it’s part of a national network, the typical radio station can’t afford full-time technicians for every system they use, but they still need all of the technical bells and whistles larger organizations have.

 

This means that the same person might have to calibrate the transmitter when needed, administrate the email server, act as audio engineer, maintain mobile units for field reporting, run cables as needed, and be on call 24 hours a day in case any of a hundred things go wrong. Be kind to this person: technology isn’t something that just happens automatically, but something that only works when dozens of things are done right.

 

Whether as freelancers, interns or full-time staff, everyone working in radio is expected to understand at least a little about everyone else’s responsibilities and challenges. This is especially true in smaller stations where everyone knows each other. Some people may earn less than others, but if even one cog in the machine drops the ball, embarrassing errors or worse are likely to result.

 …

January 17, 2020 Off By Willie Hudson

Responsible Broadcasting How To Do All The Wrong Things

 

Something every single person working in the radio industry should understand is that the effects of a transmission spread out far beyond the walls of the studio, and can persist long after the “on air” light goes out. As curators of public opinion, it’s essential to realize that inaccurate or inflammatory reporting can easily sway the results of elections, create hatreds that can take on a life of their own or even result in violence.

 

Outside of fiction, it’s not often that one single individual manages to tick all the boxes marked “never”, but as far as broadcasting is concerned, Alex Jones is an example no one should want to follow. It may seem cruel to single out one person, but in this case he’s certainly set himself up for it. Few people in modern times are better examples of why basic journalistic standards matter. Mr. Jones, no one cares any more about an imaginary issue because you punched the table. And even when the issue in question is not wholly imaginary, presenting it outside its proper context, or accompanied by speculation that’s nothing short of preposterous, this kind of demagoguery does nothing for your cause’s credibility.

 

 

Broadcasting Questionable News Without Presenting Evidence

A full list of his “fake news” items would have to wait for a longer article, but some of the whoppers he’s told were:

  • That 9/11 was orchestrated or at least allowed to happen by the U.S. government. The same for the Boston Marathon bombing and nearly every other terrorist attack in recent memory. In actual fact, Jones’ website Infowars may actually have helped inspire the attack in Boston. This is not an isolated instance, and although Jones can’t be held responsible for the actions of others, the culture of paranoia he helps create certainly plays a role.
  • Obama was not only a Muslim but also a member of Al Qaeda (this in 2016).
  • That the Sandy Hook school shooting was part of a government plot to curtail citizen’s rights to own guns. Interestingly, the debate in the media was instantly and nearly universally framed around gun ownership, rather than improving people’s access to mental health services. Jones’s broadcasts around the event led directly to his followers harassing and threatening parents of the children killed on that day.

 

The problem here is that none of these represent credible alternative viewpoints as far as the evidence he accompanies them with goes. Jones often relies on inconsistencies in how mainstream media reports on these events, (in contrast) testimony from witnesses who saw what nobody else did, unreliable records or anonymous sources that cannot be corroborated in any way.

 

 

Manipulating His Listeners’ Emotions and Fears

Jones repeatedly refers to a coming takeover of the world by a powerful group of politicians and financiers, which seems to be the lynch pin of all his political and social theories. Another favorite topic is a coming citizen’s revolt in the United States. The parallels to totalitarian discourse in past situations will be clear to anyone who’s studied history.

 

Other imminent threats he regularly warns his listeners about include eugenics, conscious, directed efforts to break up families, destroy religion and promote pedophilia by allowing same-sex marriage, and the creation of a police state complete with concentration camps. While these threats would certainly be worrying, the only way to take them seriously would be to abandon rational thought and accept Jones’s worldview lock, stock and barrel. This isn’t commentary; it’s barely even entertainment, and fearful people are even less likely to think and act rationally.

 

 

Making Wild Predictions…and then not Owning up to Them

When a commentator makes a prediction, or allows an expert such as an economist or political expert on air to do so, the audience can usually expect that a great deal of raw data and experienced analysis went into such a projection. There’s also an implicit obligation to stand by them later, admit it if the prediction failed and try to explain why.

 

Alex Jones simply does not believe in this aspect of journalistic ethics. He and his guests regularly make outrageous claims about the future, that are rarely challenged, and which are simply never mentioned again when they fail to pan out. Whenever he’s criticized for his content or presentation, his default reaction seems to be to label any detractors as enemies of the people while reiterating his views passionately.

 

Why He Does It

If nothing else, we have to admire Mr. Jones’s persistence, who has been involved in the making of around three dozen “documentaries” aside from his broadcasts, which currently claim somewhere north of two million regular listeners. There’s no doubt that he’s an extremely skilled showman.

 

Whether he actually believes in what he promulgates, there’s little doubt that Infowars and its various related franchises are quite lucrative. While the site also accepts donations, much of the advertising on Jones’s show is directed at supporting his own online shop and dietary supplements in particular. These are marketed under intriguing brand names such as “Survival Shield X-2” and “Super Male Vitality”.

 

***

A person would think that, in a country where freedom of expression covers even madmen like Jones, the operation of the free market of ideas and information would quickly make his fans notice the various flaws in his broadcasts. There are certainly a large number of Alt-Right, Libertarian and Conservative options to choose from. Several of them cover what are called “conspiracy theories”, which have historically often turned out to be true when examined diligently.

 

The problem seems to be that there seems to be almost no crossover between the Infowars listener base and that of these stations. People don’t like to have their views or beliefs challenged, a natural tendency that can occasionally become pathological. When this happens, they start living in an ideological bubble in which any new message that supports what they already know is automatically accepted, and anything that contradicts it is rejected regardless of its supporting evidence. In a world where “soft power” forms of social influence and control are becoming increasingly important, broadcasters like Alex Jones may in fact be more dangerous to the societal fabric than lone mad bombers.

 …

January 10, 2020 Off By Willie Hudson

A Brief History Of Pirate Radio

 

What types of counseling do you and your neighbors receive on a daily basis through the airways? Is it propaganda, or perhaps censored? Perhaps how the daily news is presented is partially determined by the interests of large advertisers, or the playlist drawn almost exclusively from the three big music labels?

 

These and related issues have cropped up numerous times since the 1920’s and the dawn of publicly broadcast radio. However, when all that’s needed to circumvent arbitrary, restrictive laws is a soldering iron and a couple of vacuum tubes, it’s basically a given that someone will. When governments tried to regulate how and for what the radio spectrum could be used, a few rebels took up arms and gramophone needles against the system and played that which some people wanted to hear, even if a few laws and a border or two happened to be in the way.

 

Early Days (1890’s to 1950’s)

Initially, legislation surrounding radio had nothing to do with the content of broadcasts, but were motivated by the practical need to stop anyone with a spark gap transmitter from interfering with maritime signals, which could obviously become a matter of life and death. Radio hams were told to stay off certain bands, allocated their own frequency range and otherwise mostly left to their own devices.

 

One notable exception, in the United States, was that the president could shut down radio stations by fiat in time of war, which was done during WWI. It was hoped that this would put a crimp on both espionage and propaganda.This was perhaps not unreasonable: the German language, at the time the second most widely spoken tongue in the United States, was also banned in almost any public setting, leading to the arrest of over 18,000 people.

 

The principle had been set: freedom of speech was not above political necessity. Even in democratic nations, and certainly in Fascist and Communist countries, content ranging from news to music would now be controlled in times of both peace and war. In terms of propaganda, each side tried to demoralize its enemies while keeping its own population productive and loyal. In countries ranging from East Germany to Great Britain, it was actually illegal to listen to “unauthorized” transmissions originating from outside the country’s borders.

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll (1960’s to 2000’s)

As societal norms began to change at an increasing rate and transistors replaced vacuum tubes, an increasing number of disaffected youth got their hands on radio receivers. In Europe, iconoclastic broadcasters began to broadcast from boats anchored in international waters, leading to the term “pirate radio” becoming popular. In the U.S, “free radio” stations began popping up around the San Francisco area, broadcasting from secret locations on land.

 

While some of these stations specialized in playing banned content or promoting controversial views, a number of them were simply middle-of-the-road commercial ventures that didn’t feel the need to subject themselves to formal licensing requirements. What eventually killed them off was not any kind of massive government crackdown, but that mainstream, licensed programming increasingly began to resemble that of pirate stations as it proved the existence of untapped markets. In a few cases, particularly along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, some radio stations still obtain legal licenses in one country with the intention of broadcasting across the border, thereby evading restrictions such as those on output power.

 

Streaming and Podcasting (2000’s and Onward)

Just like compact transmitters made pirate radio possible, the UDP protocol and broadband internet reduced the barriers to entry in the radio market still further. Today, anyone with a microphone, a PC and an internet connection can theoretically set up his very own radio channel.

 

As these are completely unregulated and unlicensed, the quality and focus of these stations vary widely, from conventional, commercial radio stations providing simultaneous webcasts of their normal transmissions to the downright nutty. As with pirate stations in days gone by, the difficulty of forcing them off the air is completely out of proportion to the actual damage they can cause. Censorship is therefore dead unless a country is willing to cripple their internet access at the same time, and since the broadcast range extends to most of the planet, everyone can now have their say. Whether your interest is in Bornean folk music or chasing UFOs, there is probably a web radio station just right for you.…

January 3, 2020 Off By Willie Hudson

Things Talk Radio Hosts Dread

 

 

Talk radio remains one of the most popular formats around, providing information, opinion, intelligent entertainment and a surrogate for an actual company to millions of people. One common misconception among people who have never actually worked in the scene is that it’s easy. Work only three hours a day? Snap! And the work itself is just to keep blabbering, right?

 

The truth is that being a successful talk radio host is far from easy, and the only effective training available for the job is an experience. Even then, though, some things come right out of left field: a caller needing anxiety attack help and for some reason wanting to broadcast the fact to the whole city, cranks who won’t shut up until the rest of the world is as crazy as they are, and of course the occasional troll who just likes to hear his own voice, regardless of who else has to listen.

 

That a host will have to deal with these is a given; one of the main differences between a pro and a newcomer his handling them with aplomb and good humor. So, double-check that your phone really is on silent, make sure some cough drops are within reach, and steel yourself for the unexpected.

 

Thinking You’re Prepared for an Interview…and Finding out You’re Not

In one case, a talk show host was going to interview a crime mystery writer on live British radio. She’d made extensive notes, researched the author and his work and was feeling confident. So, her first question was about the link between people who vicariously read newspaper reports on crimes and those who get their kicks from novels in the same genre. No, says her guest: those two groups of readers are motivated by totally different things, and there is almost no crossover between them. Whoops! The interviewer had to shuffle through her notes frantically, looking for questions that weren’t based on that assumption. Luckily, the writer turned out to be a talkative type – it would have been some bad radio if he could only answer “yes” and “no”.

 

As another example, a scientist once went on talk radio to argue that the coal-fired power generation industry has less of an effect on global warming than people tend to think. Thinking that he had a sure-fire way of undercutting this assertion, the interviewer waited until about two thirds of the spot was done before asking the scientist where his funding comes from. Well, he replies, my specialty is power station design, but most of my clients are in the nuclear sphere, so I’m kind of speaking against their interests. I don’t think they’ll be mad, though.

 

The moral of the story is that, however carefully it’s planned, an interview can often go off into completely unexpected directions. Doing research for only one possible scenario is not a very good idea, unless an interviewer is really good at improvising.

 

Having to Tip-Toe Around Advertiser’s Interests

It’s sad but true: radio is a business just like seal clubbing and investment banking, and a host occasionally has to decide how far his professional ethics are able to stretch.

 

Most talk stations try to walk a line between controversial and uninteresting, and where exactly that line lies is determined by what will critically offend its target audience. In fact, advertising on talk stations only costs about half as much as on music stations, given similar audience metrics, precisely because of this risk. The increased importance of social media also means that fewer advertising dollars get spent on radio spots overall, while a station associating itself with a controversial brand – or vice versa – is obviously less than optimal.

 

Any conversation that involves politics or religion will probably offend at least a few people, but even subjects such as urban speed limits or celebrity divorces can cause tempers to flare up. The most important thing here is perhaps to respect the audience – losing one advertiser is nothing compared to losing 10% of listening share. Still, some slip-ups are bound to occur, such as the host who come on the air directly after an ad for a rock concert with the words: “Oh my…was that music? Do their parents know they talk like that?”

 

When Fanaticism and Facts Collide

Occasionally, someone on the show – whether a caller or an in-studio guest – will make a point that is simply so dumb that it’s impossible to argue with, such as that Islam is a country or that rape cannot produce pregnancy. In a perfect world, these little hiccups would be addressed through reasoned debate and empirical proof, and I implore anyone who finds this utopia to send me a postcard.

 

Simply cutting someone off is considered bad form. In the first place, this can and will be seen by some as suppressing the rights of others to have their views heard; in the second, these individuals provide quality entertainment for free. A true master at the talk show game will often handle such a situation by keeping calm and making fun of the fool. Asking enough questions, as respectfully as possible, will eventually show up the absurdity of such a position while keeping the host’s reputation intact.

 …

December 27, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

The Principles of Broadcast Advertising

 

Everyone reading this is probably familiar with the story of how a broadcast of H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” caused mass panic, with people fleeing their homes ahead of the Martian invasion they thought was coming. The thing is, it never happened. The entire myth arose on the basis of falsified newspaper reports: print media was simply scared to death of the impact radio would have on their advertising revenue.

 

As the wheel turns, the radio industry today finds itself in a similar position, with television and especially web advertising placing pressure on stations’ profitability. The best radio station isn’t the one with the most listeners or the finest content. At the end of the day, keeping the doors open and the lights on relies on booking advertising revenue. If I want to find a therapist near me, a hardware store that delivers, or an idea of what to do Friday night, why would I tune in instead of googling it?

 

I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half.” – William Lever, founder of Unilever

 

Competing with Internet and Other Channels

Spending on clickable ads is seen as a great deal cheaper than purchasing radio spots and recording a professional-sounding commercial, but how does their relative effectiveness stack up? In the first place, we should be wary of comparing apples and oranges: online ads are good at promoting specific products and offers, but they are less useful for creating brand awareness. Positioning a company’s name in the mind of the consumer requires repetition and engagement. Radio can do this sort of thing by grabbing listeners’ attention through humor or sound effects, but browsers are by this point so conditioned to ads that they get scrolled right past.

 

One way to grow a station’s advertising revenue is to play up this less tangible aspect of the medium. It’s extremely easy to quantify the performance of online ads, with every click being recorded. However, regular radio listeners soon memorize taglines and jingles, making them that much more likely to convert into long-term customers.

 

Scheduling and Demographics

If you want to sell car repair services, you have to reach car owners. If an ad is about teenagers’ clothing, you ideally wouldn’t broadcast it at 10a.m. on a school day.

 

This principle means that advertisers who want to get the best results for their spending work together with a station, as well as perhaps a public relations firm, to design coherent campaigns and not just individual spots. Detailed, regular market research is needed for this, which also allows the station to improve its programming. Simply stating that you can claim around 10,000 listeners at some particular time is not enough: are they married? What proportion of them are female, or under 25? One of the comparative strengths of web ads is that they can be accurately targeted based on a person’s search history, so radio station management should up their marketing game if they don’t want to lose market share.

 

Targeting the Right Advertisers

Promotion via the airwaves is far from dead, and the outlook for 2018 is actually quite positive. At the same time, a lot more can be done, in some cases, to raise the amount of revenue a station earns.

 

While larger networks can typically expect ad agencies as well as individual companies to come to them, local stations are in a different position. What they lack in reach, though, they can often make up for in flexibility. Although pricing structures are reasonably firm, radio management can assist more or less formally with scripting, campaign design and production, essentially giving away studio time in return for paid transmissions. Every station will already employ writers, sound engineers and every other specialty that’s needed, and these people might just have time on their hands.

 

The thing to remember is that different advertisers have different needs and budgets. Some may only need five seconds a few times a day to read off a web address, some will require a well-known announcer to read their text, while some will be willing to spring for an ad with all the bells and whistles. All of these can be accommodated, and in fact a client who requests an ad in the morning can have it ready to air in the afternoon.

 

***

Although the people who’ve “watched the sausage being made” will have few illusions, advertisers are still drawn to the immediacy and glamour of radio. A magazine or newspaper might have a few regular features, like on gardening or restaurants, but the ads on those pages tend to fade into the background even for people specifically reading the articles. Radio, by contrast, and specifically talk radio, guarantees an audience at least marginally interested in the topic, with some of the lowest cost per customer rates.

 …

December 20, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

How to Start an Internet Radio Station

 

One of the less appreciated shifts that the digital age has brought about is the rise of truly independent media: citizen journalists, bloggers, and even those people who make a living by creating Youtube videos. Whether you have a Ph.D. in economics or just a couple of strong opinions, everyone can now have their voice heard, leading to an unprecedented level of competition between different viewpoints.

There are a number of reasons that can motivate a person to look into setting up their very own web-based radio station. Often, a person will want to set up the kind of radio they themselves would like to hear but can’t find, whether it consists of discussing Greek poetry or vegan cooking. Others are natural entertainers and would prefer friends as well as strangers to tune into them instead of spending their time in a depression chat room. Whatever the station’s intention and mission, a little more than a broadband connection is required to start jamming.

 

The Easy Way: Streaming Services

Suitable for both audio and video, streaming services require no technical skill whatsoever and start at around $100 per month for professional packages. This may seem like a lot for a hobbyist, but a reasonably popular station can easily charge as much for a single ad. All you’ll need is a decent microphone and an MP3 player, and you can potentially start broadcasting immediately.

 

The Less Easy Way

If someone plans to start broadcasting as a career or doesn’t want to be exposed to policy changes on the part of a third party, it’s not all that difficult to set up your own server. This doesn’t even need to be a rack-mounted monstrosity that requires its own air conditioning since an ordinary desktop PC will likely be all that’s needed to handle initial traffic volumes and production tasks.

Essentially, what is needed is installing an application that can play music, another to convert audio into a real-time stream, and a third that turns your computer into a server. In addition, a computer with a dedicated sound card (rather than using the chip on the motherboard) and professional quality microphone are recommended, which will allow good audio quality at least at the source.

There are a whole bunch of options for the various software functions, including open source alternatives. For easy configuration, a budding broadcaster can look into Winamp with its Edcast plugin, while Icecast2 creates a no-nonsense radio server.

 

Getting Started

The only data rate your ISP normally specifies is the downstream capacity, whereas you will mainly be broadcasting, not downloading. The bandwidth you’ll need is affected both by the broadcast quality and the number of simultaneous listeners, so you may need to upgrade to an enterprise internet plan. Alternatively, part of a cloud server can also be rented to handle all of the data requirements, with high availability at a reasonable cost.

Once you’ve wrestled with concepts such as ports and encoders, it’s time to actually start deciding on programming. There are few hard and fast rules when it comes to attracting listeners, whether you’re broadcasting as a business or as a hobby, but high-quality, consistent content is obviously a must. It’s better to only broadcast an hour or two per day and keep people interested in what’s being played or said.

Secondly, specialization is the name of the game. A quick look around the internet will easily reveal the existence of web stations in every niche you can think of. Competing with them is almost never possible by diluting your efforts across multiple genres. Instead, focus on what you can do well and wait for like-minded people to find you.

As one example, copyright fees can easily cripple a small station that tries to play the most popular tunes, but it may be possible to negotiate good rates with individual artists looking for exposure. Another route which can be followed is to focus on listeners in your town or even a single neighborhood, which helps keep content relevant and interactive, as well as making finding advertisers easier.

 

 

 …

December 13, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

What Every Radio Station Operator Needs To Know About Copyright

 

Different radio personalities specialize in different things: the fictional Frasier Crane provides talk therapy over the airways, millions of people trust the news as they hear it from Glenn Beck’s lips, and Howard Stern is presumably up to his own thing.

However, there are some commonalities that have to be taken into account whatever the program’s format, including internet broadcasts and podcast. One of these principles is that creative artists of all kinds are entitled to compensation whenever any of their work is used – unless you’re in a country such as Turkmenistan, which has no copyright law whatsoever. At least, in theory, copyrights both allow the actual creators of the work to make a living wage, while the corporations they’re tied to continue to have an economic reason to invest in new works. This principle is even mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

As a freelancer, the copyright on articles and recordings literally make up a large portion of my livelihood. As an author, torrent sites offering copies of my books make a real though unquantifiable dent in my earnings. As a broadcaster, ignoring the basics of copyright law can have serious legal and financial consequences, and small independent broadcasters are in no way exempt from understanding and enforcing these regulations.

 

What Is Protected?

The Copyright law or practice is ridiculously complex. As a general guideline, any work that isn’t specifically stated to be licensed under a Creative Commons license or older than 100 years should be considered as being the property of its owner, whether it’s an actual sound recording or something more abstract, such as a musical composition or written text. Some countries require works to be registered for copyright to apply, but merely the act of creating something is usually sufficient, even without including a phrase such as “all rights reserved”. This is the case in all countries that subscribe to the Berne Convention.

The good news is that non-profit or student radio is often given a long leash as long as it acts in good faith. In addition, it’s understood that only a particular way ideas are interpreted can be copyrighted, not the ideas themselves. There are also various different types of rights that can be assigned from the owner or creator to a broadcaster, including reproduction, public performance, and control over derivative works.

 

Enforcement

While a few countries have laws that make copyright infringement illegal, government resources are usually devoted primarily to actual forgery. This means that the copyright holder has to bear the costs of protecting his intellectual property itself in a civil suit rather than involving the police. In practice, this means that large, financially muscular organizations such as the “big three” record labels receive more advantage from copyright law as it stands. Due to the costs of initiating a trial, violators are usually first asked to stop using copyrighted work through a letter or phone call.

The actual scale of intellectual property theft is unknown. Should it be determined on the basis of the nominal value of all pirated works, or as a number representing the actual lost sales an industry suffers? In fact, it has not been proven that technologies such as file sharing actually harm music vendors, many of which have embraced Youtube with open arms.

 

Copyright in Radio

As mentioned, copyright law is a minefield at times, and anyone who needs to pay royalties might well need legal advice before letters of demand start arriving.

Fortunately, rationality has prevailed in the broadcast industry. You might think that a radio station needs to keep a record of every song they play, find out who holds the copyright and how much they charge, and finally send out hundreds of little checks each month. This would clearly lay a heavy administrative burden on everyone involved, so companies such as SoundExchange and Live365 were founded to take a lot of the pain out of paying royalties.

The two examples mentioned are focused on digital broadcasts, but national or regional equivalents exist in nearly every jurisdiction. These are typically industry associations rather than organs of government. Essentially, each radio station pays a monthly fee based on size (typically determined by output power), with discounts applying to community-based stations or those tied to educational organizations. The proportion of funds that should go to each performer and record label is then calculated through a complicated algorithm, and in principle, everybody gets paid according to the contribution they make to broadcasting.

 …

December 6, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

Radio Show Giving Psychiatry Advice

Counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists are examples of health professionals people to run to during problems with relationships, self, and mental illnesses. While social stigma on mental diseases is slowly weaning, people are still hesitant about the idea and do not often seek professional help upon identifying early signs of problems. The stigma of mental illness “Is in the same category as racism and sexism,” according to Patrick W. Corrigan, PsyD, distinguished professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

People Are Finding Ways

Despite studies and research stating that mental illnesses should be managed and treated as a clinical condition like that of cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, society still believes that mental illness is something that can be controlled or can be overcome by an individual as long as there is sincere willingness to change or to improve oneself. “Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed of their symptoms because our society places illogical taboos on mental health issues over physical conditions,” according to clinical psychologist Nikki Massey-Hastings, PsyD.

Also, treatment modalities for mental illnesses are expensive. Hourly rates of mental health consultations are sky-rocketing per the hour as well as the medications. Therapies can be costly and time-consuming. According to Marla B. Cohen, PsyD, “Some therapists may charge as much as $200 or more per session.” Thus, it is an entirely common practice for people to seek help through affordable methods. For instance, more people turn to the internet and mobile applications, help hotlines or facilities funded by government or NGOs.

In fact, many radio shows and streaming stations are bringing in the experts on psychiatry and mental health to help the public in information dissemination and promulgating awareness about different mental health issues. Also, it encroaches on topics on how to handle anxiety, overcoming stressful situations and reducing on modifiable risk factors. In short, these radio shows are trying their best in keeping us sane. Topics can range from latest updates on psychotic medications to how a healthy lifestyle can also translate to vigorous mental health.

Psychiatry Made Available Through Radio

One of the prominent radio shows under psychiatry radio is Psychiatry Today. Dr. Scot Bay hosts it. Dr. Bay is a medical doctor, board-certified in psychiatry. He is also maintaining a private practice in Georgia. He graduated from the University of Rochester majoring in Psychology. Later, he attended medical school at New York Medical College. He underwent residency program in Psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Hospital and became clinical director of the outpatient clinic of the said hospital until 1995. He moved to Georgia where he began his private practice. He specializes in evaluation and management of mood and anxiety disorders. He had the chance to lecture all over Southeast on topics such as practical and inventive usage of psychotic drugs. He also played a role in clinical research on unique uses of medications available in the market as well as the potential of new medicines. He started with the radio show specifically to help listeners cope better with stress and emotional turmoil. Examples of topics of “Psychiatry Today” are (1) Depression In Pregnancy Can Alter The Babies’ Brains, (2) Access To Gun Increases Risk Of Suicides And Homicides, (3) Drivers Diagnosed With ADHD More Prone To Crashes and (4) Use Of Smartphones At Night and many more.

While having radio shows discussing stereotypes and debunking myths about mental illness is advantageous, it is still best to seek individualized professional help for specific problems. This radio shows give off general advice and information that may or may not work for your situation or problem.…

November 29, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

Counseling Programs: The New Hype in the Radio Industry

The earlier generation lived on radio and television as entertainment. While TV is a still a permanent fixture in the household, radios are rarely seen in people’s homes nowadays. Many people are saying that it is the end of the radio industry, while it is true to some extent. People are not buying radio players, cassette tapes, CDs, and its various accessories but it doesn’t follow that radio is considered as a dead industry. “The radio can have odd functions for patients’ (and all of our) psyches.”, according to Peter D. Kramer, an American psychiatrist.

 

For the past two decades, the world has been witness to the advancement of technology and the magnitude of its effort to people’s daily lives. Music can now be accessed through various means and different avenues. Any song can be found online in a matter of seconds, and the consumer can buy the song or stream it through YouTube, Spotify or Apple Music.

Due to these changes, it is safe to assume that the radio industry is dwindling down; however, studies show the opposite from the expected projection of the industry. Nielsen revealed a report which states that the second quarter of 2015 has shown the highest number of people listening to radio ever recorded. Also in the 1st to the 3rd quarter of 2015, it was recorded that 245 million people had the chance to listen to the radio at least once a week. The number is 91% of the American population above twelve years old, and this fact is a gem to the advertisers.

The New Radio

The vital reason why radio still exists in our society is due to its accessibility and availability. Most people with cars listen to the radio on their way to school or work. After travel or commute during peak hours, the number of listeners drops as they turn to a different mode such as mobile phones, computers, mp3, etc. occurs.

Many experts believe that the essence of radio might change over time to adapt to the different improvements; for instance, streaming service and subscription might gain most considerable audience traction.  The goal of the radio industry is to promote listening to the radio in general through coming up with ingenious ways to capture audience interest. Other radio stations venture to different genres other than music to tap a diverse target audience; after all, not all people driving want to listen to music. Some would like to learn new things and even seek counseling in dealing with their relationships through love advice on the radio.  Maybe spiritual talks and discussions are also available. Dr. Joy Browne, a psychologist, states that radio talk shows are a good start towards healing. “It’s a start,” says Dr. Browne. “It clarifies things and moves people in a new direction.”

Still a Long Road Ahead

The radio industry is striving and no way near extinction. Just see the earning of one of the world’s highest paid radio host, Howard Stern. It is believed that he received around 90 million from June 1, 2016, to June 1, 2017, which only proves that talking can make you productive.

Maybe opting to turn on the radio for music is not the best alternative for listeners since they can use their phones or computers to direct them to the song that they want to listen. Therefore, the best strategy for the radio industry is finding the sweet spot that interests the listeners that they would be willing to stay tuned for a long time and making listening to radios a part of their daily routine. Increased number of listeners would mean the influx of advertisers, therefore creating a vibrant industry for the radio community. “Psychologists on radio and TV shows are now part of pop culture,” says Sheenah Hankin, a Manhattan psychotherapist.

November 22, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

Psychotherapy On Radio: Boon or Bane

In his early 40s and by societal standards labeled as successful, Bob is a corporate executive who loves his wife of 20 years and children; however, torment is evident in his voice when he shared the fact that he has a secret that he has taken exceptional measures to hide from his family. Bob imparted to the psychologist that he receives pleasure from trying on his wife’s undergarments. Bob is deeply concerned that his family will know about his most profound secret. Also, he worries about what they will think about his mental health status. The therapist then emphatically inquired about his background and declared his condition as a harmless fetish. It might be eccentric but nothing problematic enough. The therapist urges him to talk to his wife and free himself from the burden of this secret.

 

This is an example of an intimate conversation between doctor and client. However, this is neither private nor happened within the confines of a doctor office. The discussion was broadcasted on local radio in Los Angeles. The patient is on his office telephone, and a clinical psychologist was on the other line. Eavesdropping on this private conversation is the 122, 000 radio listeners in the Los Angeles area. According to Peter D. Kramer, a psychiatrist, “Patients can feel diminished by radio talk for a contrasting reason: it exposes the limits of their knowledge.”

Radio Therapy Shows: Are They In Or Out?

The question of societal fascination with psychology-oriented talk shows is rising. Whatever is the functional purpose it serves is not overstepping the ethical boundaries expected from professionals. We live in a period where gurus are straightforward and direct. Because of this, people wanted to eavesdrop. Therapy through the media is not something novel. In the 1950s and 60s, Dr. Joyce Brother started pioneering television, and live radio talks show discussing topics on frigidity and impotence. These topics are taboo subjects on the air. Some critics exclaimed that direct on-air consultation is not entirely for psychology and the primary purpose of such is not giving sound advice but instead, all done in the name of entertainment. In fact, David Bartlett, former president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, once said,

“The best way to ensure the failure of a radiotherapy show is to concentrate on psychology. Good talk radio is done for the listener, not the caller. That may not always be compatible with the role of a therapist” (Independent, 2018).

“Psychologists on radio and TV shows are now part of pop culture,” says Sheenah Hankin, a Manhattan psychotherapist who treats media personalities.

With compromising obligations and objectives, can a radio psychologist place the best intentions of the caller over the need of the radio station and advertisers to entertain? Thus, it is essential to ask if the psychologists’ loyalty is in that of the patient’s welfare. Ethical issues arise for the profession because no sound advice or help transpires when one only knows tidbits of facts about the person and draw a conclusion from this information. Moreover, the input of psychologists might influence these callers and can affect their lives. Hopefully, advice given to them is appropriate for their condition or situation.

Always Check With Your Doctor

It is always best to seek traditional professional help. Inquiring about general information with regards to different mental illnesses and condition is perfectly fine in radio shows but when dealing with private and sensitive issues, investing in a good therapist is still irreplaceable. “You will need to talk openly and honestly with your therapist about your thoughts and feelings, so it’s important to find the right specialist for you,” says Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist.…