Radio, Radio

Yesterday evening, I received an e-mail from Mitch Perry, News Director at WMNF Radio (88.5 FM) in Tampa.  He informed me that one of my lifelong dreams, that of becoming a radio personality, had come true.  I will start my orientation early next month and, in February, I will join our community radio station and cover stories regarding discrimination and civil rights involving people with disabilities and the elderly.

This will probably lead to Blind Confidential having a bit more of a local Tampa Bay feel as, for the most part, I will be reporting on local issues.  I do expect that I will cover issues involving people with disabilities apropos to a national and international audience as WMNF  is a Pacifica and Free Speech Radio News affiliate.  The station is also connected with National Public Radio but I strongly doubt that npr will find my volunteer broadcast pieces will meet their standards.

Although I didn’t know about the community radio gig at the time I scheduled it, I will be interviewed on Main menu by Jeff Bishop today.  I don’t know when ACB will be running it but I very much look forward to discussing a variety of issues with the guy is smart and insightful as Jeff.

As I am entirely new to radio, I hope that some of my old friends like Jeff, Marlena and maybe Jonathan can call or write with a few tips.  I have taken a couple classes in journalism and understand that when reporting for the news I can’t enjoy the flexibility of bias and playing fast and loose with the facts as I can in a blog.  I don’t know how this may affect Blind Confidential — it may become more journalistic as I start thinking that way or, to contrast my radio work, it may become more gonzo and contain more fiction in the future.  In all probability the results will be somewhere in between as I will not be able to cover access technology issues on the radio as, frankly, few listeners would actually care.

So, look forward to me posting about my training and providing links to podcasts of my stories in the coming months.

— End

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I'm an accessibility advocate working on issues involving technology and people with print impairment. I'm a stoner, crackpot, hacker and all around decent fellow. I blog at this site and occasionally contribute to Skepchick. I'm a skeptic, atheist, humanist and all around left wing sort. You can follow this blog in your favorite RSS reader, and you can also view my Twitter profile (@gonz_blinko) and follow me there.

3 thoughts on “Radio, Radio”

  1. Congrats to you BC on landing the gig.

    A long time ago in a career far far away I too was in radio. Growing up legally blind had it’s wealth of vocations and I thought at an early age that my love of music and vocal oration talents would be perfect for the exciting world of broadcasting. Then I grew up and learned about this need for money that’s all the rage these days.

    I kid of course but my time in radio was one of the classic “hobby turned job” moments of my life. I worked all through college, did some pro work and I too knew the joys of Picifica as I had tons of friends who worked at Houston’s KPFT 90.1 FM. That channel was the only station in the nation to cary Dr. Demento commercial free in the 80’s by the way. The Pacifica approach and attitude in the 80’s and 90’s shaped my outlook and world view in too many ways to list here. And I think you will have a ball doing the show.

    I also must stress that objectivity is a hard road to travel. My blog is read by many in the AT Industry. I know and work with a lot of these venders daily on my job or through years of Beta testing. They value my opinion on prototypes and I value my opinion being important to them beyond the general ego stroke. But to be worth it to all in the field I have to be open and accessible to all. Which means I have stark views about each program and device in AT. This brashness can only be displayed behind closed doors as if I were to unleash the fury on the net I would then void so many of these relationships I have worked for so long to build. And that would effect my job which in turn effects the level of food my wife will let me buy. And I like food. Expensive food. So sue me I am from New Orleans where everyone loves food.

    The radio audience is harder to hold because insincerity is easier to spot through your tone of voice or mannerisms. On the web I believe it is harder to convey a feeling or tone in a given post. Oh sure we all have devised acronyms and smiley faces and all that, however, I always view these with sarcasm as years of Lincoln/Douglas debates in Communications classes have taught me to always view the speaker in the speaking environment. The old Kennedy vs. Nixon syndrome applies as well. So just keep that on the burner for now.

    And I leave you with this advice. You will be your own worst critic. Pauses, fumbles and “er .. um” are natural until you find a breath pattern that works for you. I say keep those first air checks around for fun but don’t compare them to your current style for long as with anything else in life you evolve to new levels of radio identity over time. It’s an odd thing but the ability I learned to convey information in 30 seconds of copy or less hasn’t left me when I have to create presentations for the office. Now that doesn’t always translate on the web though. Here I LOVE being verbose!

    Let us know the air dates and good luck..

  2. Howdy Comrades!
    BC, you’re going to turn into a pod person? Say it ain’t so! I endorse your radio gig, but I loudly echo the Ranger’s advice: Don’t beat yourself up when you miss a beat. The objectivity thing will be the hardest challenge, and I think it’s perfectly acceptable for you to approach the stories you cover as advocacy journalism. In my past life as a Career Counselor, I can’t count the number of blind guys who wanted to be DJ’s. Dealing with that is one reason I suffer from acid reflux disease. I recall one who could do a great Dr. Dimento, but he’s not in radio. I got him into college instead. Onward through the fog! Regards, Chairman Mal: Power to the Peeps!

  3. Wow – you really feel strongly about this subject don’t you? Take it easy – no need to get all wound up…

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