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Radio listening assignment–Feb. 13, 2012...

Listened to February 13, 2012 NPR Morning Edition Morning Edition covered among other things Romney’s healthcare reform bill in Massachusetts as well as Catholic churchgoers reaction to the controversy over Obama’s healthcare bill mandating access to contraception.  Both of these were very “newsy” pieces delivered with no banter just straight news. They covered Whitney Houston’s death with great ambient of some of Houston’s greatest hits—they opened with “Greatest Love of All” and also incorporated some of that ambient with the larger story.  For example, they talked about the record-setting rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” while the song played.  They used soundbites from 2 experts, rather than fans.  Jason King, a professor at Tisch School of the Arts, spoke on the power of her range and ability to bring out the best expression of a song.   While Christopher Farley, music critic talked about her cross-over success.  Ended with “I will always love you.”  The piece was about 2:30   WWRL Listened to February 13, 2012 Real Talk with Al Sharpton Definitely a different kind of feel from NPR—first of all Sharpton has a call-in show so there’s a lot more room for improvisation; this extends to something as simple as the opening of the show which was much more conversational and showy than newsy “it’s Feb. 13th what time is it?  It’s time for Aaaal Sharpton.”  As is fitting of the progressive talk theme of  WWRL, his show covered a protest he led on police brutality, a march that was taking place from Selma to Montgomery and Whitney Houston’s death. They covered Whitney Houston’s death also but without ambient sound of her music.  He had a live interview with an expert Dr. Earl Hutchinson who discussed the treatment of her reputation in the aftermath of her death.   He felt like there was way too much coverage of her problems with substance abuse and not enough of the positive things she did, for example her non-profit for children.  Also, since Al Sharpton is a known civil-rights activist, his guest reflected that and also commented on his belief that the coverage of her reinforced an image of the irresponsible, out-of-control African-American.  The show then took calls from the audience, who ranged from fans of Whitney Houston to callers who discussed whatever; Sharpton also read tweets.  It was a completely different angle from NPR.  This is due to both the nature of a call-in show, the format of the radio station and the length of time devoted to this story (nearly an hour vs. 2 minutes).   1010 Wins Listened to February 13, 2012 broadcast This is a fast-paced hard news show.  It’s clearly designed to give listeners with little time an overview of what’s going on in the world…in 22 minutes.  They covered a hit and run on Staten Island, an app that helps people find their i-phone and how that helps police fight theft, suspected pedophile Jerry Sandusky being allowed to spend time with his grandchildren, traffic, weather and President Obama’s latest fiscal plan all in less than 10 min.  There was interesting use of ambient sound with what sounds almost like someone typing on an old typewriter in the background. There was a mention of Whitney Houston’s body being flown back to New Jersey for her funeral.  They included a soundbite from a minister who commented on the possibility of her funeral being held inside the Prudential Center.  This was followed by coverage by a field reporter of a memorial...
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Three takes on what defines conservatism in 2012...

This is an NPR piece from Talk of the Nation which tries to define conservatism during an election year in which Republican presidential candidates have brought this topic to the forefront.  I believe that this is an example of an essential radio program because of the tendency of many people to ignore politics either through exasperation or indifference.  However, politics affects everyday life in very fundamental ways: it determine how much of our paycheck will go to taxes, what our children learn in school, how much financial aid we receive for higher education just to name a few.  Politics may not be scintillating and save for the latest sex scandal, it may not always be sexy but it’s essentiality can’t be overstated. Listen to the program here:...