Local radio helps communities connect, and that connection is needed more than ever as we have been forced to withdraw from personal contact by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Somehow, some way, radio is best at building one-on-one relationships. We feel connected with hosts is a way that just doesn’t happen with other media. Maybe it’s because radio is unscripted and the performance by hosts is behavioral rather than contrived. Radio is the place where we visit friends and feel that we are not alone in these strange, strange times.
Social media is a nice interactive portal for us to connect with friends, but for community connectivity there is nothing to rival radio. Radio is live, authentic, and audible. Twitter deals in 280 character blasts of compassion or invective. There is something calming about the sound of another person’s voice, and the opportunity to hear calls from others who feel like we do.
When we listen to Dan Dakich on 107.5 The Fan, Hammer and Nigel on WIBC, Smiley on WZPL, or the Bob & Tom Show on Q95, there is a feeling we are not alone, and that connection is only going to become more important of the next several weeks and months as the virus continues to affect life here.
We have only been dealing with the most serious effects of the outbreak for the last week, and we likely have another eight weeks (minimum) of this to patiently deal with. Remember, it was only seven days ago when Bankers Life Fieldhouse was filled with fans to watch Indiana play Nebraska in the first round of the Big 10 Tournament.
And the likelihood is that the worst is yet to come . We will need a medium to receive and relay real time information and guidance from the government and health care officials, and radio will be there for us in that capacity as it has been for the past century.
TV is important too, but the crucial difference between radio and TV is the simplicity and immediacy of delivery. With radio, push a button and broadcast. TV is just a little more cumbersome and complicated.
Not only is radio an excellent portal to disseminate information, but it also helps provide a bit of a respite from the relentlessness of unpleasant news. Over the past two days, the Dan Dakich Show has presented a NCAA Tournament bracket to replace the cancelled March Madness. Obviously, that pales in importance to the dire news about the spread of this virus and its economic effects, but it’s important to allow us to feel normal for a few minutes.
We need to laugh, share, and communicate. Nothing does that better than radio.