Is Radio at a Crossroads?

Video and article put together in collaboration with Emily Cosgrove.

Find her work at chicagomuseblog.wordpress.com.

Is Radio at a Crossroads?

Over the years, the field of journalism has evolved immensely. There has been a dramatic shift from print to online publications. We have also seen the rise and supposed fall of radio.

The truth is that journalism is an ever-changing medium of communication that will always have innovations throughout the field. One of the most fascinating changes have noticed recently is in broadcasting.

Broadcast is a vast field in journalism that includes many different aspects. There is filming footage, being in front of the camera, radio, and the newer medium of podcasting.

All of these fields are alive and well today, some gaining popularity, and some “dying out”. It also happens to be a source that a lot of journalism students today want to get involved in, and perhaps even make a future career out of.

Many students are afraid to pursue their dream of broadcasting because of what publications and other sources claim. People say that “journalism is a dying field”. This rings true especially in broadcasting and radio.

Let’s try to debunk these rumors and myths. There had to be some reason why so many students still pursue this “pointless” degree, so we found some sources who could prove this claim wrong.

In our pursuit of proving the importance of broadcasting, we talked to an on-air radio DJ, a student, and a podcaster who very much believe in the future of radio. Specifically, these people were:

Remy from the Mason, Remy, and Alabama Show on Chicago’s Big 95.5 FM

Seth Smith, a college student and radio host from Radio DePaul

Jaime Black, creator of Dynasty Podcasts

Remy

Remy is a radio DJ for the new Chicago country station, BIG 95.5. Although it is a newer station in Chicago, it is already extremely popular. It has beat out the other country stations in Chicago, and is the top pick among country listeners in the city.

Remy got his start in radio at 15 years old as an intern. He worked his way to being live on air in Bloomington-Normal and then took on a role on a drive time country station in St. Louis.

He landed his big break in Chicago within the past few years, and is a major on-air personality  working for iHeart radio in a time where these personalities seem to be becoming fewer and fewer.

Although his show is a traditional FM local live show, Remy’s station utilizes many tools to adapt to the ever-changing broadcasting industry. BIG 95.5 is an iHeartRadio station, which means that it is aired live, but can also be listened to on-demand on the iHeartRadio app.

This allows listeners to be able to tune in to “Mason, Remy, and Alabama” whenever they want, even if they are not necessarily able to listen live every day.

This is a crucial step that radio shows must take in order to stay alive. This step has made the line between podcasting and radio blurred, but allows radio to survive in this day and age.

Seth Smith

Seth Smith is an example of someone pursuing his dream in broadcasting. Smith is currently a senior expecting to graduate from DePaul University in 2017. He is majoring in Journalism, and has a huge passion for broadcasting.

He has been involved in multiple activities on campus, participating in the television broadcast Good Day DePaul, the student run newspaper The DePaulia, and Radio DePaul.

Although Smith explores all facets of journalism in his work, his true love in broadcasting. Whether it be in front of the camera, or in the Radio DePaul studio, he pursues his passions everywhere.

Radio DePaul is important to Smith because he is able to delve into his passion of sports on his sports-driven show. Without college radio, Smith would not have the experience he currently has today.

Like many other students and professionals in the industry, Smith has experienced what it is like to be told broadcasting is a dying field. In the video above, he expresses the importance that broadcasting still holds.

Smith believes that broadcasting is pivotal in the world in order to efficiently be able to tell a quality story to viewers and listeners alike.

Smith is looking positively and optimistically at the changes that are coming with broadcasting. Although broadcasting may not always be radio as we see it today, it will almost certainly always exist in some form.

One way radio is evolving is going from the traditional form of live radio to the newer, innovative form of radio—otherwise known as podcasting.

Jaime Black

Podcasting is very similar to radio in many ways. It has all the audio elements of a traditional radio show, but with one big exception: you can listen to a podcast on-demand, whenever you want.

Unlike a radio show, to listen to your favorite podcast you do not have to tune in at a specific day or time. Podcasting has been becoming rapidly popular and favored by listeners of audio storytelling.

An amazing source we spoke to is a podcast host by the name of Jaime Black. Black founded Dynasty Podcasts, which is the longest running music podcast in Chicago. Black started his endeavors back in 2005.

This completely blew my mind. After all, I was not even aware of podcasts up until a few years ago. The fact that a podcast existed almost ten years before Serial was completely wild to me.

Black has a ton of experience in broadcasting. He worked at radio stations for years before turning to podcasting. He explained to us that he came across podcasting by combining his passions of music, radio, and technology.

When asked about how to succeed in the broadcasting industry, Black emphasized how important it is to create something that is your own. If you do that, you are able to have complete control over it. Whereas if you are working for somebody else, you do not.

Broadcasting has changed greatly throughout the years. We have seen innovations in radio and television, and the inception of podcasting. Although some may say it is a “dying” platform, I disagree. I would like to think that it is evolving, just as everything does.

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