Until this morning, I don't think I realized how much time I put into contributing to the conversation at ROS. Not as much as many, but it took a good chunk of my spare seconds on the internet.
Now that ROS is on hiatus (that doesn't sound good and damn you unnamed brand-name media company), I'm wondering what the ultimate fate of the show will be. It doesn't sound very experimental, but a radio show with a blog (or a blog with a radio show) but actively trolling the internet and the listeners of the show has been refreshing.
I wouldn't listen to the show nearly everyday if it wasn't for that. I feel involved in the show, like what I say matters, so I listen. That was the secret that Joe Trippi was writing about at the end of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," that a project that actually listens to the people its focusing on (I wouldn't say audience here) will succeed.
What I'm hoping is that ROS survives as a public radio show and a blog and podcast. I'm also hoping that other radio products take on the ROS way. Not just putting up a blog and lamely tending it, but stoking the fire of conversation there and on-air.
If there's enough room in the world for The Sound of Young America and Jesse Thorn, there is enough room of Radio Open Source.
I think ultimately that ROS (a great show that I was proud to be on the time I was on) got a great deal from UMass-Lowell, and when that fell through, it was tough for them to recover. The Sound of Young America runs, right now, on about $20K/yr, total, and that might cover ten or twenty percent of Chris Lydon's salary. Which is not to say he doesn't earn it and deserve it -- but to say it's a matter of scale for a show like ROS. Ultimately, it's hard to find six or seven figures a year for a public radio show. Thanks kindly for the mention, btw. - Jesse Thorn
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