Teaching Examples


Making a good thing even better: NPR
February 16, 2007, 2:15 pm
Filed under: news, online, radio

Jeff Jarvis wrote about how to improve NPR. Not the content, but the organization. He’s got some excellent ideas.

I love NPR’s programs. I wish they were on a radio station that interspersed new and diverse music with their stories. But like many NPR affiliates, mine is all day classical and (retch) opera. So I listen to a tiny number of programs and then turn it off. The jazz and other music I would like to listen to is only on at night, mostly late night.

Jarvis points out that NPR is not “radio” — it’s a network. While I agree completely, it’s also the case that a radio is easy to use and offers that wonderful bonus I can’t get from my iPod — serendipity. But not when it’s turned off.

I know, I know, I could “build my own” by downloading podcasts and putting them into a playlist. I’m sorry — that is too much work! I’m talking about in a car, spinning the dial, and finding something. Spur of the moment. Ad hoc. Spontaneous.

So I would add one thing to Jarvis’s list: Give us some radio stations we can actually listen to if we are younger than, like, 80 years old — and we hate opera.

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3 Comments so far
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it’s also the case that a radio is easy to use and offers that wonderful bonus I can’t get from my iPod — serendipity. But not when it’s turned off.

I actually like Pandora (pandora.com), for finding radio-like serendipity in the musical sphere. I’ve discovered a number of artists whose styles are closer to the ones my ears appreciate through this streaming service.

But it doesn’t have a news component, which is something that I like about NPR’s general interest programs.

Comment by Murley

Yes, I have used Pandora too. But I would really like the combination of audio stories (a la All Things Considered) and news and music. I would listen both in the car and while I’m working online.

Comment by Mindy McAdams

I know, I know, I could “build my own” by downloading podcasts and putting them into a playlist. I’m sorry — that is too much work!

Sounds like something for NPR or its stations to provide for you – custom, on-demand podcast playlists.

Comment by Derek




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