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Anticipating the 2013 What is Radio? Conference in Portland

What is Radio? conferenceIn today’s San Francisco Chronicle, writer Ben Fong-Torres devoted more than half of his radio column to the topic “What is Radio?” Prompted by an invitation to speak at the What is Radio? conference, Fong-Torres opted to write about the question in lieu of attending the event. I agree with Fong-Torres that it’s challenging to define radio. Despite that, he does a worthy job addressing the query by outlining radio’s strengths (it’s “intimate and immediate,”) as well as its weaknesses (in commercial radio “revenue is the only motivation”). He argues that radio is “at times annoying and self-destructive; other times, entertaining, enlightening and vital.”

It’s for those very reasons that I’m excited to be attending (and speaking at) the What is Radio? conference in Portland, Oregon in April, 2013. Hosted by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, the conference will,

“feature a unique coalescing of radio professionals, media scholars and students, government and community officials, as well as interested community groups and the public. The event will feature keynote speakers, roundtables, paper presentations, and other events, in an attempt to answer questions about the changing nature of radio.”

Very few academic conferences (with the notable exception of the Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum) concern themselves with the topic of radio, so this will be a great opportunity for radio scholars and radio enthusiasts to dissect the medium.

At the What is Radio? conference, I plan to speak about the history of radio at Haverford College and hope that it will illustrate not only the ever-changing nature of student radio, but also its ongoing relevance. Although the conference schedule is not yet posted, I’m excited to spend several days delving into the topic of radio. My Radio Survivor colleague Matthew Lasar will also be speaking at the conference, so you can be assured that we will not only keep you updated about the conference program, but we will also be reporting from the event.


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3 Responses to Anticipating the 2013 What is Radio? Conference in Portland

  1. John Anderson December 10, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    Hopefully I’ll be able to meet both of you – I’ve submitted something but have yet to hear whether I’m in or not :-/

  2. Rebecca Webb December 14, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Glad to find out about you! I’m a radio survivor in Portland, OR, and will present at the conference re: the impact of ownership concentration on local news/public affairs (comm’l stations). Be sure to say hello!

  3. Bryan Hance January 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Hey! I’ll likely be at this as well, would like to say hello to you both as well if we cross paths.

    And p.s. give a shout if you need any local knowledge re: transport, housing, food, etc. Portland’s a fun town if you get any non-conference time to explore 🙂

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