The Like button is older than you think. Well, sort of.
Back in the 1930s, Dr. Nevil Monroe Hopkins, a research engineer at NYU, had an idea: He wanted to allow consumers of the mass medium of the time—the radio—to offer feedback about the stuff they were hearing on their newfangled machines. He wanted people to be able to do what the average user of Facebook or Pandora or Instagram takes for granted today: to express pleasure at something. Or dissatisfaction, for that matter. Hopkins was looking for a way for people to vote about the stuff on their radios. Using their radios.
And thus was born … the “radiovota.”
Read more. [Image: Radio-Craft Magazine via Gizmodo]
Here’s an online map of public radio stations across the United States. Created by Seattle-based photographer and designer Andrew Filer, it shows the broadcast range of every American public radio station—and not just NPR affiliates, but classical, pop, and other non-profit broadcasters.
Read more. [Image: Andrew Filer]
A genuinely original talent calls it quits, at least for a while.
Today, the Panjshir Valley is quiet. Once the heart of Afghan resistance against both Soviet invasion and the Taliban takeover, the valley now stands in peaceful contradiction to its war-torn surroundings. Whereas Kabul, only a short drive to the south, remains plagued by terror, the Panjshir offers only relics as reminders of its history of violence. Russian tanks lay, trackless and rusting, on the sides of the Valley’s prodigious mountains. A monument to Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military leader who famously preserved the valley as Afghanistan’s lone bastion from Taliban control, towers over the Panjshir river in quiet solitude. Even the airwaves, once littered with military communications in languages ranging from Russian to Dari to Pashto, have gone nearly silent.
But there is one exception. In a province without a single newspaper, magazine or television station, Radio Khorasan’s faint but consistent signal at 89.3 FM represents the sole media connection between the people of the Panjshir and the state of crisis that plagues their countrymen.
Read more. [Image: Matt Sienkiewicz]
Before television took over the airwaves, Rockefeller Center was home to the National Broadcasting Company during the golden age of radio. This promotional film from around 1948 chronicles the rise of the media company from a small collection of 20 affiliated stations, formed in 1926, to more than 170 stations two decades later. The 24-minute documentary, courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, introduces the network and goes behind the scenes at Rockefeller Center, peeking into the mail room, sound recording studios, and music library.
Before devoting himself to writing fulltime, Rakoff worked in publishing. At this time, he befriended Ira Glass, then a producer at NPR’s Morning Edition. When Glass went on to create This American Life, he invited Rakoff to read his deadpan essays on the show. Along with David Sedaris, Rakoff would help establish the show’s distinctive voice. Rakoff also began pursuing a career as a prolific freelance journalist for the publications like New York,The New York Times, and Salon. He wrote three books of essays,Fraud, Don’t Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty, and last year, he was awarded the Thurber Prize for Humor.
Read more. [Image: Pop!Tech via Flickr]
Right after releasing an ever-growing-list companies that don’t want anything to do with Rush Limbaugh on Monday (the count is at 140), the broadcaster’s distributor has sent out a memo telling affiliates to suspend national advertising spots for the next two weeks.Though Premiere Radio Networks did not specifically comment on why the suspension was needed, but it does address one problem in particular: In the past week, several companies were unaware that their ads had aired during Limbaugh’s show in the wake of his comments about Sandra Fluke.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]