Radio is growing well | The press

I think radio is a medium that ages well. She advances in good time without too much difficulty, braves the storms and faces the dangers with a certain nonchalance.

Posted at 7:15am

How many times has his death been predicted? A valuable source of entertainment for Quebec families for three decades, the boards of his coffin were nailed down a thousand times when television showed up here in 1952.

What did the radio do? She tapped on the grave that was meant for her.

Exactly one hundred years after its appearance in Montreal thanks to CKAC, then owned by The pressRadio, too, has to deal with the extreme change in the media landscape that we are currently experiencing. But this whirlpool, as well as the propagation of Hertzian waves over the last few decades, can’t change that: there are still just as many of us who remain loyal to this medium, and it stays with us.

While newspapers are being asked to seriously reinvent themselves to better navigate the digital sphere, and television is torn between content broadcast at scheduled times and what is broadcast à la carte, radio continues to simply offer itself to listeners, touching their hearts and stimulating their neurons, regardless of age or social class.

In recent years I have published a number of biographical works. I had to consult tons of archival documents, mostly healthy ones. It is noticeable that the way of making radio in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s is not very different from today.

Aside from the harsh tone that public radio hosts liked to use, little has changed. Radio is language. We can find new ways to speak, but we cannot reinvent the words, their power and their emotions.

What has changed today is the personality of the voices, the rhythm of the broadcasts, it is also sometimes the lack of restraint and filters of those who express themselves. But otherwise radio remains the Chanel tailor of the media world.

Radio moves forward in time, maintaining established habits. The concepts of tomorrow or homecoming hardly develop. At the start of their day, listeners want to know what’s going on in their community, they wonder if they should take their umbrella and if they’ll be stuck for 25 minutes on Décarie’s freeway.

Other listeners want us to change their minds and make them laugh. Finally, there are those who crave a calming presence, good music, and solid matter to feed their brain.

There is, after all, one thing that hasn’t aged well on the radio and that’s the commercials. While some campaigns (from professional agencies) sometimes show originality, many give the impression of still being in the CJMS era. Poor copywriters who have to sell the red, yellow or blue label eight times a year.

Like television, radio is no exception to the phenomenon of “free hearing”. Thus was born the phenomenon of podcasts, a widely overused term used in too many sauces. This concept of combining the worst and the best ranges from superbly made documentaries or series to comedian-hosted talk shows where emptiness and shallow humor abound.

Today everything is podcast. A show previously broadcast live and archived on a website becomes a podcast. We should stop fussing about it. A podcast is nothing more than a radio moment that you can listen to at your leisure.

Although I’ve become a fan of this flexible listening, nothing beats the incomparable joie de vivre. Also, I’ve stopped asking the hosts I meet if their show has been pre-taped because when I learn that it has, my joy wanes.

But the peak of the peak remains a live radio broadcast in front of an audience. Also, I don’t understand why there aren’t more shows presented this way.

I had a great time over the summer with some voices (greetings to Maxime Coutié and his team – special mention to Sarah Murphy who manages to make the traffic and weather exciting – and to Isabelle Craig from ICI Première as well as Marie-Claude Lavallée and Philippe Cantin from 98.5 FM).

But since the radio is also a ritual, I slip into the slowly advancing autumn and rediscover the voices and intonations that I like to hear. As this season is characterized by novelties, I will discover new ones. Some I will succumb to, some others I will quickly divorce.

In my kitchen or in my car, I will answer out loud to certain hosts, I will mentally correct the French mistakes of some others. I jot down a columnist’s book or record suggestion, I break sugar on someone else’s back at dinner with friends.

I turn on the radio when I need presence, turn it off when it’s chaotic and I feel like I’ve been kicked out of the group. I’ll be ruthless with a new show before I tell myself I should give it a second chance.

And then comes that moment of grace when a host asks a fair and relevant question to a guest, who responds with an equally fair and relevant answer. I will tell myself that this meeting had to take place. And that this dialogue, like any reasonable dialogue, is the marrow of radio.

Why change that? Why would anyone want to destroy what makes us human?

There are so many things in life that try to make us believe otherwise.

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