Goodbye, radio — certainly your golden years are behind you. Run a quick Google search of anything to do with radio, and you will be met with not one but multiple headlines that begin “The sad, slow decline of [insert sector of radio here].” In the age of instant digital media, radio is in a period of decline.
Commercial FM rock stations are being sold off, National Public Radio faces being cut off by the federal government at least once a year, and the voice of the youth one embodied by radio is growing old. Now that we can make a playlist and get any music we want, why do we need someone to do it for us? Radio is in a make-or-break period of transition, and has been for the past decade. The dilemna is, in a essence, an image crisis: what is radio?
Even while I spent four years as a DJ and two years on the executive board of WKNH Keene State College radio, I still felt it dying.
Sitting in the station at midnight on a Thursday night broadcasting a local band to maybe 30 online listeners, I couldn’t help but feel that I has holding the hand of a friend as their pulse slowly faded. I was a flannel-wearing crusader, trying to keep college radio alive as the hip, underground, free airwaves for the people it should be. All the facebook groups and status updates in the world weren't saving radio. But I was having the time of my life! How could it die?