Radio sees the Future of Digital Media


I hate commercial radio. Debilitating music interspersed with idiotic commentary which is there only because it's cheaper to pay minimal wage to some attention-whore speaker than royalties to music industry. But I'm a minority. In every cafe, taxi, and most cars you hear non-stop commercial radio stations emitting their program. And if you speak with waiters, taxi drivers, or regular people, they kind of enjoy the show, listen to the music, and laugh at the jokes of speakers. Obviously commercial radio caters well to the need and desires of majority of people.

As I drove today with a transfer service to the Brnik airport I was forced to listen to one of the commercial radio stations. The show was a prototypical native advertising show sponsored by a renown automotive brand where radio's editorial stuff drove around and drivers got a chance to win a car lease if their license plate was chosen and read aloud on the air. If it was up to me, I'd immediately change the station or turn off radio, but the driver obviously enjoyed the show so I had no other option but to contemplate if shows of such type are the future of all digital media.

Nobody expects serious journalism from commercial radio stations. Similarly, nobody expects serious journalism from commercial television stations. Why the heck would anybody then expect serious journalism on the web? Having Internet eating away readership of established newspapers is not a good enough reason to expect in-depth on-line journalism. And declaring serious journalism as the fourth branch of democratic governance doesn't pay salaries of journalists either. If journalists will want to keep winning their bread through writing they will have to adapt to the new reality of shallow content that is entertaining to the masses and conforming to the whims of advertisers. A grim prospect indeed, but the only one commercially viable!