Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Public Radio

A sad, sad story from the Weekly Standard on how NPR has moved away from classical music and towards talk shows. As a youngster, I spent countless happy hours listening to our local NPR station's classical music programming. The first time I noticed a shift in programming was around the time of the Gulf War, when I was about 16. As I recall, the NPR station started running news for about 5 minutes every hour, on the hour. I was highly annoyed by this interruption, and I even suspect that it made classical programming more difficult (after all, classical pieces come in all different lengths, yet now everything had to fit neatly into 55 minutes). I have noticed a more dramatic move towards news over the years, now full-fledged programming that displaces classical music altogether.

I instinctually despise this shift. There is plenty of news available from all sorts of sources, including the Internet -- more news than it is healthy for a person to consume. Most of it is trivial, and 98% of it will be justifiably forgotten. (Pick up a newspaper from 20 years ago, and see how much of it is worth remembering.) But there is no good replacement for a free classical music source available to all citizens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart, it's once again impossible to comment under one's own name without registering with Blogger. That was fixed a week or two ago, but I thought you might like to know that it's un-fixed.

I thought I'd share an editorial by my co-editor & founder of San Francisco Classical Voice, Bob Commanday, on the many online streaming-classical-music audio outlets now accessible. Given that the piece is about a year and a half old, I'd guess that there's even more out there today. Anyway, it's chock full of good links.

Michelle Dulak,

5:14 PM  
Blogger gt said...

npr and the classist, er, classical music station is another example of taxing the poor to subsidize the rich elites. town orchestras run the same way- how many towns have publicly funded heavy metal bands?
welcome to the post-scarcity economy - have you tried googling for classical internet radio?
one perk is that much of it is in the public domain.
any you can select for a variety of propaganda streams, or none, instead of that mindnumbing gore-speak. like rush limbaugh, i can listen for a few minutes with interests, then it gets increasing irritating.
hell is a job where someone else chooses the radio station. classical + npr might be the lesser evil in such a setting - but it's an evil, unless there's genuine consensus and unanimity.
One reason for the decline is more commercial classical stations. classical music doesn't need nationalism or socialism to keep it alive.

9:34 PM  

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