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Thread: Public Radio Listeners

  1. #1
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Public Radio Listeners

    So while flipping through the radio dial yesterday I stumbled across our local NPR (public radio in the United States) station. They were in the middle of their spring pledge drive. The announcers smooth and low voices asking Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags to donate for all the wonderful programming they enjoy on NPR.

    I do enjoy NPR from time to time, I like All Things Considered (the afternoon news and general interest program). While living in Minnesota, I was a fairly regular listener to Minnesota Public Radio. MPR had a good news station and a great indie music station, The Current. I enjoy the news stations much more than the classical or jazz stations of NPR. I feel that NPR goes much deeper into news stories and gives the listener a deeper understanding of the world's events.

    So what say you? Do you listen to public radio? What is your opinion of public radio? Only for old people? Some people say public radio has a liberal bias, while others say it has a conservative bias. What is your opinion of public radio?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I try to listen to "Prairie Home Companion" every week. I also like "This American Life" with Ira Glass, but I rarely hear it because I forget to tune it. In our market it is on at noon on Saturday, and I am usually otherwise occupied at that time.

    I tune into the NPR news sometimes.

    This year I made my first-ever contribution to the station. Once in twenty-odd years seems reasonable.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    .....
    So what say you? Do you listen to public radio? What is your opinion of public radio? Only for old people? Some people say public radio has a liberal bias, while others say it has a conservative bias. What is your opinion of public radio?
    Public radio is awesome. Especially Science Friday and the BBC at night.

    However, the begathons annoy me. I like how they tell you to "donate to your favorite show to keep it alive", and then they switch the show to a new time slot 5 weeks later and you never get to hear it again!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  4. #4
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I've listened to NPR for years. All Things Considered, Click and Clack and Prairie Home Companion are among the favorites. I think that their reporting is actually pretty well balanced although I can understand the liberal tag being applied because they frequently cover governmental and social issues without railing against the conservative hot button issues. Also, they don't seem to have an in-house conservative commentator but air the very liberal Daniel Schorr's editorials with some frequency. I exercise my right to change stations during his commentaries just I like do with Rush Limbaugh on other venues.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I'm a bit disappointed in KUT, the public radio station in Austin. It's more music-oriented than talk and news-oriented. Granted it's funky Austin-ish music, but still, I'd rather be listening to the excellent talk and news programs NPR is known for. After Morning Edition, it's music through the late morning and early afternoon. We're missing out on Talk of the Nation, Diane Rehm, and some other good shows. Fresh Air at 3:00 PM, All Things Considered at 4, The World at 7, and then music again.

    Buffalo has a jazz-obsessed NPR station, WBFO, but there's a second public radio station on the AM band, WNED, that has all talk and news programming. Even then, WBFO still has Talk of the Nation. There's no such second option in Austin, unfortunately.

    This post is sponsored by the NEEKC foundation at a e c f dot o r g , and the Robert Woodjohnson Foundation. This is N P R. National. Public. Radio.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I like NPR but I find it to be too heavily oriented towards baby-boomer type interests, and obscure things at that. So I find myself tuning out quite a bit. Also, I think a lot of the segments try too hard to be non-mainstream, such as doing a 15-minutes interview with some irrelevant person.

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Also, I think a lot of the segments try too hard to be non-mainstream, such as doing a 15-minutes interview with some irrelevant person.
    I'll take that over commercial news outlet's (re)cycling every 15 minutes through the same 4 "big, relevant" news events of the day with the same script during each 15 minute cycle.

    I much prefer the talk oriented stations to the music oriented stations. Chicago Public Radio and Michigan Radio are two that excel in this regard (that I have experience with).
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  8. #8
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    NPR may or may not have a liberal slant, but it is something that liberals like to throw out there. A great deal of my friends, in "ordinary" conversation, use terms like "I was listening to NPR the other day and...", "I heard about this thing on NPR...", "Oh, they went in detail over this aspect on [insert NPR program here, usually All Things Considered or, until recently, Day to Day]..."

    I've tried to listen a few times. I, personally, thought their coverage of news was left-leaning (but that doesn't keep me from reading The Nation or watching Maddow) and often they'd report on obscure news for great lengths that served no purpose but to make their listeners feel good about being "more educated" in their choice of news sources. What turned me off the most was not socio-political in nature - it was the highbrow diction and inflection of the people on the air. It's just so boring. It's like listening to Christian radio morning shows or classical music stations' DJ's in between music. It's so calm and composed that it feels lifeless.

    That being said, venues like Fox News and other cable news networks over-sensationalize everything, and that annoys me to death. Can't there be a happy medium?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I like it. IMO its the only mostly unbiased news source out there. Most of their news segments are about as unslanted a you can get.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post

    That being said, venues like Fox News and other cable news networks over-sensationalize everything, and that annoys me to death. Can't there be a happy medium?
    Yeah, its called CNN.

    I have been listening to NPR since high school. I started listening because I wanted news and I hate radio ads and hearing the same 12 songs over and over again. Now I just hate ads. KJZZ (the Phoenix NPR affiliate) has done well in keeping its pledge drives short and use that as a selling point.

    I like the in depth reporting but like Tex-Okie I hate some of the obscure stories that last forever. I also dislike the "touchy-feely" stories like the "This I believe" or "Story Corps" and any Terry Gross interview done over a week ago. Replaying an interview from 1995 is just being lazy. NPR sports coverage is terrible so I supplement my NPR listening with sports talk radio.

    I like the morning and afternoon news show, Marketplace, Diane Reem and Car Talk. When I lived DC WAMU would do a local politics show once a week that I would download on iTunes. The local Fresh Air has some good local stories but I cannot get them on iTunes and my employer has blocked most streaming audio to preserve bandwith so I never get to listen.

    I will agree with the conservatives that NPR no longer needs to be subsidized by the federal government at any level. There was a time where it made sense but not anymore. Most listeners live in urban areas and have the means to support the station.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    Really no reason to miss your fave pr syndicated shows, what with podcasts and online listening...

    I'm an off and on contributor. Blessed with many stations to choose from, Michigan is well covered. Currently supporting Blue Lake but I get more news programming at Michigan Radio

  12. #12
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    KQED in Northern California (Bay Area, Central Valley from Merced north to Chico or so) is one of the better NPR stations that I've ever heard. They're obviously well-financed, as evidenced by the number of local shows, the quality of the signal everywhere (many times in some of the mountainous areas I can get KQED where the entire rest of the dial is static), and the pretty fancy schmancy website:

    http://www.kqed.org/

    I don't listen to NPR too often and have some of the same complaints as TexanOkie. During my times outside the country, I've always listened to BBC World - I wish we had something like that in this country.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    Yeah, its called CNN.
    I agree. I actually prefer CNN when I turn in for live news (i.e. to cover presidential debates, State of the Union addresses, etc) and CNN Headline News for morning and bedtime updates on what's going on in the world. For TV commentary shows, I float between Glenn Beck (right - and somewhat non-mainstream thinking for a libertarian-oriented conservative), Anderson Cooper (relatively centrist and always has good guests), and Rachel Maddow (left - when she's not pulling an Olberman-esque tirade against some conservative [which is somewhat rare - she prefers smaller sarcastic jabs], she's actually a good "ambassador" of applied progressive philosophy, IMO).

  14. #14
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    KQED in Northern California (Bay Area, Central Valley from Merced north to Chico or so) is one of the better NPR stations that I've ever heard. They're obviously well-financed, as evidenced by the number of local shows, the quality of the signal everywhere (many times in some of the mountainous areas I can get KQED where the entire rest of the dial is static), and the pretty fancy schmancy website:

    http://www.kqed.org/
    Minnesota Public Radio, MPR, is a very well funded public radio network. They are the state-wide public radio provider. They have an impressive studio in downtown St. Paul and an equally fancy website: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/ MPR plays both NPR shows as well as locally focused programs. Even though I don't live in MN anymore I tend to listen to them online.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Car Talk on Saturday mornings.

    I like those guys.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Classical, rhythm and news

    Started listening to non-commercial radio while in HS. Detroit's long-gone classical station, WQRS, had a great wake-up call routine, Fanfare for the Common Man, and the morning deejay was the announcer for the Michigan Marching Band.

    On to college, discovered NPR somewhere in the mid or late 70s. I might have tuned in to the first few broadcasts of All Things Considered.

    In southeastern Michigan, one can get WDET, WUOM, WEMU (sometimes), and CBC Radio 1 and/or 2. And one from south of the border out of Toledo. Guess where my four-wheeler presets are glued.

    Here in west Michigan (from which I will not be relocating!!) there's a repeater for WUOM, plus WGVU (all day during the week, AM and FM), WBLU from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and a local hippie station with about a five-mile range, WYCE. I can also get WKAR from East Lan-sing (pronounced like that) and WCMU out of Mt Pleasant. Again, all on presets.

    Since I do not watch TV, all my news comes from NPR.

    I have Mother Stanberg's cranberry relish recipe memorized. A fan of Garrison's since 1980 (Saturday night folk programming follows PHC). Click and Clack (eh) are broadcast several times on different stations through the weekend, along with Whaddya Know (not worth two hours). My favorite show is Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and I miss Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe (but I have discovered podcasts). He is like a Great White North version of Garrison, but a lot cuter.

    I wish Terry Gross would pronounce the letter H. The word is hu-man, not you-man.

    Usually I have not pledged. When WDET axed their most popular and best-listener-supported folk music program in 2004, WEMU picked it up, and I pledged to them for saving Folks Like Us.

    If you live well outside the broadcasting market and call in a pledge, the on-air guilt-trippers have a field day with it. "C'mon, folks. If someone from GRAND RAPIDS can pledge, where's the rest of Washtenaw County?? Ann Arbor??? Pittsfield Township???"

    Last year I unloaded a four-wheeler with more than 250k miles on it, and through the magic of public radio donations, it went away. WGVU thanked me with their dining & entertainment two-fer card. (Met their general manager at my bike club buddy's funeral.)

    Since I am often working my hands (craft projects, sewing, repairing things, gardening) during weekends and evenings, radio programming is a nice way to fill up the airspace. I am one of those people who starts humming a program's theme song just before it comes on the air.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I listen to some NPR here and there. Mostly when it is music based or an interview with someone that I find interesting.

    As for the bias, it goes both ways.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    NPR

    I'm lucky in that I listen to two NPR stations WKSU (Kent State) - classical and folk music, and WCPN (Cleveland) Jazz and more talk. The best music station is WAPS (Akron Public Schools). Pittsburgh has a couple of good stations, WDUQ (Duquesne University) and I forget the other one.
    WALSTIB

  19. #19
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    the Car Talk guys actually worked on our car once! their garage in "our fair city, Cambridge, MA" is the best!

    big NPR person - listen to it in the morning and again at night - not during the day, it's classical in Maine - Prairie Home Companion and Car Talk on the weekends

    I like most of the folks on the news but i will admit that Ari can drive me mad at times -

    on and off with my giving

    CANNOT believe that APA in Minneapolis did not get Prairie Home Companion as an event or something - so upsetting!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    . I can also get WKAR from East Lan-sing (pronounced like that)
    ROTFL! I know exactly what you're referring to here! Scott Pohl?

    I was a WKAR/WOUM listener for 15 years. I loved Radio Reader (AM WKAR) and miss it because I can't get it anywhere else. Michigan has a fine tradition of pubulic radio stations.

    I'm a gigantic NPR nut. I have pictures with Karl Cassel on my facebook site and I've been to as many of the shows live as I can. I was last at Wait,Wait Don't Tell Me - I've seen PHC - and the last time I was in Boston, I tracked down Car Talk Plaza.

    Now I listen to WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) and I think they also have good programming. My husband and I love Sound Opinions (the only rock and roll talk show). I didn't get to listen to Dick Buckley's Sunday afternoon Jazz show for very long, but it was one of the best things about moving to Chicago before he went off the air. I also listen to another Chicago public radio station that plays only classical music, but I don't know what the call letters are.

    WBEZ changed their programming about 6 months ago, but late Sunday afternoons (when I'm usually cooking dinner) was Tavis Smiley -- who totally cracks me up. That man can talk faster than an auctioneer. It was a nice multi-cultural break for me...I sorta miss it now.

    I'm not a member. Free rider here. I feel guilty about it, but the kids need shoes, you know?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    ...... NPR sports coverage is terrible so I supplement my NPR listening with sports talk radio........
    Yeah, that is WAY TRUE! It doesn't just suck, those poor ... people ... at that radio network do not even get the idea of sport in general!

    Thankfully the am dial picks up and does sports the way its supposed to be done!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  22. #22
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post

    CANNOT believe that APA in Minneapolis did not get Prairie Home Companion as an event or something - so upsetting!
    Garrison Keillor delivered the keynote address at the 2007 National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference which was held in the Twin Cities. Here is a link to his address, which was quite good:

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/dis...10/05/midday2/

    I heard it after the fact on MPR!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    NPR is definitely not just for "old folks". I ended up being selected from a survey I did online to come down to NPR's national HQ here in DC last year to be interviewed (not on the air). They wanted to know about web usage and news-gathering habits for my demographic (female, 20s). I asked if they had a lot of respondents in that demographic, kind of jokingly, and it turns out they did.

    I love NPR. And I'm proud to say I'm not the only 20-something at Prairie Home Companion when they come to the DC area once a year.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dcstacie View post
    NPR is definitely not just for "old folks". I ended up being selected from a survey I did online to come down to NPR's national HQ here in DC last year to be interviewed (not on the air). They wanted to know about web usage and news-gathering habits for my demographic (female, 20s). I asked if they had a lot of respondents in that demographic, kind of jokingly, and it turns out they did.

    I love NPR. And I'm proud to say I'm not the only 20-something at Prairie Home Companion when they come to the DC area once a year.
    From another 20-something NPR listener that is wonderful to hear!

  25. #25
    Occasionally I listen to All Things Considered or Marketplace. But as mentioned earlier, sometimes the stories covered are just too obscure for me to care, quite frankly. But I do like their coverage of the mainstream news stories. I don't listen to them all of the time though, only when I'm on the way to work and I'm in the mood to listen to news stories.

    As for whether or not NPR is liberal, look if you want truly unbiased political coverage, watch C-SPAN. They show you EXACTLY what goes on, no commentary whatsoever. The problem is, there's nothing more dull than sitting in on a congressional session (unless it's a hot-button issue, which most of the time, it's not). Anything other than C-SPAN is going to be biased one way or the other, period.

    Anywho......I used to listen to Click & Clack, but I don't work in the mornings anymore and so I have no reason to turn on the radio at all. But you know, as corny as those guys are, they do manage to crack me up whenever I listen.

    BTW, I'm 22 years old so chalk that up as one more young NPR listener.

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