Recent Posts

The Wireless

When I was a youngster and in the days before internet, email and social networking we got our entertainment from the television and the radio. Of course back then, radio was known as “The Wireless”, a term which is now used in computer networking. No conflict there of course because in the early seventies, we got transistor radios or “trannies”, another term that has a different meaning today. Wireless was dead and radios were great, they were portable for a start so they could be listened to almost anywhere but more importantly, it was all live and available virtually 24 hours a day unlike its rival, the telly. Television was crap, it was only on a few hours a day, there were only two or three channels, most of it was pre-recorded and a lot of it was broadcast in black and white.

Times changed and so did technology, by 1980 The Buggles were singing “Video killed the radio star”, a homage to the satellite television station MTV. The internet, digital tv, smartphones eventually  all conspired to strangle the old radio technology with high speed delivery of multimedia experiences. Did they succeed? Absolutely not! The problem with the newer technologies is that they are audio visual and the more complex they are, the more reliant on connectivity they are. They also demand attention, the user has to concentrate on the media delivery. Radio reception is easy and the listener can give any level of concentration that they want at any time. 

If you’re still with me on this, you’ll be pleased to learn that I’m actually going to get to the point in a moment or two. The biggest issue with all of the more modern methods of media delivery is content, we now have hundreds of television channels to choose from but invariably there is nothing to watch on Saturday evenings.

I listen to the radio when I am driving but rarely when I am in the house. In the car it will be the Alan Brazil sports breakfast in the morning and Jeremy “we’re all doomed ” Vine in the middle of the day. Steve Wright accompanies me home as he did 35 years ago. I enjoy Simon Mayo’s show but if he’s in the car with me, I know that I have had a long day. 

Then it comes to life on board Caxton, we have television and radio as well as mobile internet but more and more , the radio is taking precedence. Mr Mayo is a welcome companion but we do not miss him when he slips away and leaves us in the company of Bob Harris or Desmond Carrington. There is no dish or aerial to align, no mobile signal to slow us down, we just have to press a button to listen to a football match, a play or music from the likes of Hoagy Carmichael, Jimmy Buffett or Elvis Presley.

So despite technology seemingly marching on, the oldest method of broadcasting not only still has its place in modern society and arguably is the strongest medium that is available to us today. Television viewing figures continue to be diluted whereas radio listening figures remain stable at least and in many cases continue to grow.