It's hard to believe you need me to make a case for why we need local radio stations but then I read recently that there are people in China who don't realize that in order to get ivory the elephants have to be killed (they don't shed their tusks). So, what seems obvious to me, may not be to everyone.
We need local radio stations for the same reason we need local newspapers and locally owned shops and restaurants. We need them because they support the communities they are in. They report on events like agricultural fairs, road races, July 4th fireworks and tomorrow's Christmas parade. Without promotion maybe these events would go away. Maybe someday we will live in a world where we all shop at Amazon and we all vacation at Disney World.
Last week WMVY radio announced its frequency (92.7) has been bought out by WBUR, Boston's NPR station. This in itself is ironic since I've often complained of not being able to hear NPR without radio static which just goes to show that one should be careful of what they wish for.
Sure I don't love everything about WMVY. There are songs they over play, I could use less Blues at Eight, and some of the stuff on the Local Music Cafe just isn't very good, but, like a long-term relationship you've made a commitment to be in, you vow to take the good with the bad.
On a personal level, in addition to supporting the local community and playing new music along with the old, WMVY keeps me company Monday through Friday. By the time I get up, Ken has already turned the radio on; when I go to bed, it's the last thing I turn off.
Often I feel that I'm not old enough to be wringing my hands in despair and wondering out loud "what's this world coming to?" Where will we be when there are no more radio stations except those we pay for and no more news outlet except for the ones online? What happens when there are no more magazines that people can read and then pass along via the free magazine box in the front of the library? What happens when the chasm between the have and the have nots widens even further?
Even if WMVY raises enough money to continue online, I'll have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the radio internet era. Not to mention the expense. It's one thing to go searching for a replacement radio at the thrift shop among the dented saucepans and mismatched mugs, it's another thing to have to play the radio through your smartphone or other iDevice.