finding the core

by Hugh

Just posted a comment on Dan Misener’s blog (Dan now runs CBC radio, from what I can tell), that I thought was worth repeating here. Dan’s post was about connective tissue, says he:

On Spark, we’re trying really hard to make the show’s connective tissue live up to its content. That comes in the form of story treatments, editing techniques, music choices, sound design, scripts, segues, and all the other tiny little bits that go into making a radio program.

My comment was about the need to find the “core” of information-provision institutions:

i’ve been thinking about this lately: the changes on the web mean that many prized institutions are afraid of becoming obsolete. but i think the real problem is that the function they serve is not the one they thought they served … and they haven’t figured that out yet.

for instance, “providing information” is just one thing that say britannica, and mainstream media, and universities do. but it is not the *core* of their existence – and the core is where their importance and relevance lies. these institutions were fooled in the past century into thinking provision of information was the core of their existence, because information used to be scarce, and it’s distribution limited. now info is cheap and plentiful, and distribution ubiquitous … it turns out they aren’t all that valuable as providers of information.

and yet I feel deeply that professional media, britannica, and universities etc still have crucial roles to play in the world, they just haven’t adjusted yet to what that is.

they have to stop thinking of themselves as “providers of information” … they are something more (not sure what) and when the can confidently figure that out, they will find solutions to their angst about the future.

maybe your ideas here touch on something about where that core might be for radio.