The most common disease many radio stations suffer from is the fear of a product not working. The word ‘research’ also plays an important part when new ideas need to get shot down—those which could have made a difference in the on-air zone. Many stations are constantly worried about what the listener would think of a new offering and let me tell you that these units spend a substantial amount of time in just playing with their paranoia.
As listeners, we have other things to do than just be glued to the radio and feel good or bad about a new show that we may or may not like. However, that doesn’t sink into many individuals at various units who take themselves so seriously that it’s difficult for them to even crack a smile.
Sometimes one gets the feeling that a rocket is going to be launched rather than a show. The want for bringing about innovative concepts for the medium is lacking at many stations as most consider radio as a nine to five job. That’s what happens when you try and ‘corporatise’ creativity which translates to nobody wanting to take a risk.
It’s a safe and boring atmosphere that gets created which paves the way for monotonous programming which at the end gets the listener disappointed. The biggest risk that stations put themselves through is by not taking a risk. What can happen if a show or an idea doesn’t work? Will the electricity in your homes be switched of or would there be a nationwide bandh?
What many radio units fail to realise is none of the above would ever happen and the goal should be to go out there and try something which sticks with the listener for years to come. There is always a chance of not hitting the mark but that’s life isn’t it? It would be beneficial to the medium if the words ‘format’ and ‘research’ are deleted from every radio employees vocabulary. There will be certain changes thereafter for many stations and that will be experienced on-air by us listeners.
— Niladri@radiowave (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.