Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is Low Power Community Radio In The Future?

I am not always in favor of a lot of the ideas floated by the established movers and shakers of Lexington.  Some of the latest could include the re-branding of Rupp Arena or the day-lighting of Town Branch.  These are fairly expensive undertakings and funded by the typical taxpayer.

Tonight, Mrs Sweeper and I attended a work session on training radio producers and developers of programing for WLXL and/or WLXU.  These are Lexington's new low-power community radio stations due to go on the air this fall.  Their whole non-profit concept is to be as different from "commercial" radio as my blog  is to actual news reporting and their programing aims to reflect that.

They are looking for ideas from folks that you just don't see on radio today.  Say that you knew how to explain something in such a way that one didn't need to visually see you do it to understand exactly how it is done.  That could be interesting, not to a commercial audience, but someone could be listening.  Maybe a call in show about a topic which you may be knowledgeable of.  It could be interesting.

Almost 8 years ago, when I began toying with the idea of collecting my thoughts on paper, or in digital bits, I was of the impression that few would ever see any merit in reading them.  My banter with others on some of the local online forums quickly became confrontational and antagonistic on some of the most trivial issues.  If I stuck to subjects to which I had good knowledge and experience, or if I presented just my observations, those problems went away.  Today, I continue to meet people who say that they read this blog on a regular basis and I still wonder why.

This blog began as a way to relate my observations about local happenings, sometimes with a little lesser known background that was not fully reported in the regular media.  Newspaper articles and columns do tend to gloss over (or omit) relevant details and connections to similar or past events.  Reporter turnover amid the ongoing downsizing of main stream media really hurts institutional memory.  I sought to correct that.

By not remembering or reporting what had happened and how it related to events popping up as breaking news, quite a number of our young professionals (who were taking much interest in our downtown) did not get the complete story.  I wanted to connect the dots.

I still wish to engage in some sort of dialogue about these observations, but the blog seems to discourage that.  Facebook enables and facilitates more of a running conversation that the comments section of a  blog, so lately I have spent a lot of time there.  Unfortunately, the corporate face of Facebook hates the use of nom de plumes on their accounts, therefore even those conversational adventures are less exciting than they were.

I have also diversified some of the subject matter and educated myself on topics other than development and history, the current status of rail transportation, food sovereignty and relocalized sustainability of living.  Most of today's observations have many more dots to connect.  So many dots, so little time.

This evening, I have begun to ponder- Can a blog such as this translate to a community radio segment?  Can it be more?   

Maybe time will tell.

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