Journ391: Talk Radio


Eric Bogosian’s assumption of Talk Radio is like a polar opposite of how I feel on the subject. His angry, attacker, cynic-like style of play on how the world appears is embarrassing. Using others like Champlain is a God-awful way of expressing his beliefs. It is just a morbid thing to read. Man, was this a little dense to read through. I actually laughed once or twice but other than that, not anything impressive from him. He’s a lot different from the talk radio hosts that I’m comfortable with (but hey, everybody can’t be what you thought they’d be.) He does however; share some similar traits of talk show hosts. He is ticking time-bomb, definitely a rabble-rouser – never afraid to let his opinion lose, passionate and very quick with his teetering projection on air. He seems like her could be a really bad example of what we would normally see on the air these days.

But his being so opposite, I found the entire thing quite entertaining. Talk radio is 80 percent opinion and since talk radio is all about that, we should be embracing the opinions we are exposed to. Every host offers something different and can usually project well enough to make the bit interesting stimulating. Additionally, since every host acts a different way, it evokes a new, unpatented reaction from the current set of listeners. You have listeners tuning in and out, but what keeps the regulars is consistency. And I am talking about consistency as a host, and his or her delivery. Content is exempt in this discussion. If hosts keep the same style, he/she will attract listeners every week. Emotional connections are the biggest factor in dealing with digital mediums like radio. There is no picture. So all the power comes from words. That’s why radio in the 1920s featured so many skits, plays and orchestras. This is what makes the show, what makes the host and what promotes an audience!

Bogosian represents a large audience, a large scale viewership. With so many different personalities on one show, he gains as many viewers as he can that way. But since he doesn’t limit his ‘staff’ and I use that very loosely, he can potentially hurt himself more than help. Most of the characters he portrays are over-the-top stereotypes. The list of stereotypical portrayal is absurdly long and insanely cliché. It’s just like a movie, where the action hero prevails. Can the guy really regain the Crystal Skull while saving the girl. Can a guy use his powers against the most powerful enemies that demolish anything in their path? We are expected to believe that they are special and that they have talent. But they don’t we can’t actually feel as though this is real, and we see how these stereotypes and exaggerations translate onto radio and other platforms.

Talk Radio Shows…WEEI anyone?

I think normally, in a situation like this, I would agree that this talk radio is journalism. However, all of the clips presented to us to listen to are labeled talk radio and we were asked to give our thoughts, there just isn’t much thought necessary.

For starters, I really liked the WEEI “Whiner Line” Clip, not just because it is associated with a primarily sports radio network, but because it reached upon a couple of different things. I listened to some of the previous shows as well and I found that it is just a big joke with these guys on the show. They mention Charlie Sheen, the Heat, etc. This kind of talk on the radio IS journalism and it is stimulating.

Why? Simple. Journalism these days is one of the broadest, most undefined facets of culture. Journalism cannot simply be contained to newspaper, magazines, internet, radio and TV. It goes anywhere there is a legitimate medium to support it. The reason why it is journalism is its broad categorization. Anything in contemporary society can be call journalism, even Twitter (dare I say Facebook.) The fact of the matter is we live in a world where journalism is bred through the dominate medium and the dominate opinion makers. Therefore, just about anything can be categorized these days as journalism

That said, the reason why I liked the WEEI clip(s) is their coverage. For a New England (sports) talk show, there is a lot that is covered on the show. Whiny celebrities, whiny teams (the Heat) and any other “whiner line” that these “journalists” dig up/ This is what makes the show stimulating, they produce content that everyone wants to hear, then they get coverage, it showed up in the class blog, where else did it show up? (Wish I had Google Analytics for that one.)

If you want to debate their (meaning the hosts) roles as journalists, I will engage because what describes a journalist is NOT the same thing as what journalism is. Journalists are gatekeepers who produce newsworthy content. Not only are the hosts not finding the content on their own (there is a team for that,) they aren’t even presenting it in a serious enough way. The sad thing is, people take this kind of jargon and interpret it as true news, papers then suffer and their legitimate, resourceful content in lost with every impeding Google Search.

These guys, and producers of all similar content are not journalist, but their material is journalism. Though this post seems paradoxical, it actually makes a lot of sense.



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