The Times Are Changing

Radio is not dead. However, radio is changing; and students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Drake University had the chance to hear first hand exactly how that is happening.

Last week the Diversity Editor of National Public Radio, Luis Clemens, sat down with students for a discussion on the changing face of radio and future careers.

For Clemens there will be nothing quite like radio, “it’s such an intimate media… It feels like they [the talent] are right across the table from you.” Clemens said.

Clemens sees a future for radio not because of how well its doing currently but because there is still a need for people to get news through radio. Millenials do not just focus on one type of media when getting news. Rather, as Clemens pointed out, they find multiple sources and consume news that way. According to Clemens that is exactly what one should be doing.

“Consume media wildly, broadly, and right now.” Clemens said.

During Clemens’ speech he also touched on finding the job that is right for you. While most people associate NPR with only the voices they hear on the radio he reminded students that there are plenty of jobs behind the scenes as well whether it be in photography, video, or production.

“Somewhere along the line you get a sense of where your gifts are.” Clemens said. A reminder to students that just because your dream job is not what you thought it would be that does not mean there is no future for you.

Linley Sanders, a magazine and journalism major, attended the speech as well. Having listened to NPR her entire life Sanders was naturally intrigued by the prospect of what Clemens would have to say and how could appeal to her even though she is not interested in broadcast news. NPR had been a part of Sander’s life since she was little and has looked up to their journalistic environment.

“They are very rooted in what the ethics of journalism should be.” Sanders said.

As a magazine and journalism major Sanders understands how media is changing and understands that all media adapts to make the changes.

“I don’t think radio talk shows are as prevalent…. There aren’t as many radio shows but there are podcasts.” Sanders said.

Todd Evans, a professor of electronic media at Drake disagrees with Sanders.

“It’s [terrestrial radio] been there, it has always been there and it always will be” Evans said.

Evans had the chance to sit down with Clemens and talk about diversity and the changing ways of radio with Clemens before students. During discussion Clemens brought up the topic of diversity and how to address diversity in the different mediums on Drake’s campus.

“I think it’s too easy to cop out and say it’s a black and white topic…. Diversity means to me that we have a mixture of thoughts and opinions from people who aren’t necessarily like us.” Evans said.

NPR has been an influence in America for over 40 years. It is consistent in political views and has a unique way of telling stories to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. As professor Evans stated, “Your generation will choose what stays and what goes.” For right now it does not seem like NPR is going anywhere.

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