Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Talk Radio as Public Therapy

The proliferation of talk radio provides two clear benefits for people: access to information directly with very little effort and the ability to participate in public discourse easily. This has opened the door of democratic participation in ways unimaginable even ten years ago and, in my view, far more dramatic in its impact for communities than any of the social network sites populating the internet.

The medium of talk radio has, however, become a place where far too many participants have substituted calling-in for social and political activism.  This group believes the passion with which they articulate their argument is sufficient for them -- that they have played their part in helping to address important issues. This is the clear sense I get having now hosted Bermuda Speaks for a couple of years now.

Upon closer reflection, it may well be this medium provides a necessary outlet for both the frustration and powerlessness so many people feel in modern society. There may be, then, a deeper role talk radio plays as part of the range of tools available to the people in a democratic society.  

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