In the current media environment, are radio personalities being held to a different and tougher standard than their peers in print and on television?

I’m going have to say yes they are generally held to a tougher standard. However, I believe it is because of the environment and history of radio that makes it that way. Yet, there is another factor we have to consider too. Unlike TV and movies, there isn’t a rating system in place for radio. There are only FCC guidelines, which vary. Yet, given the live nature of radio, I don’t see how there could be. Do we really want more regulation from the government on what can be said and not said on the radio? Can we trust the government to oversee this?

Radio personalities do seem to take more flack than say your run of the mill cable network people.

Let me dig a little deeper.

The Shock Factor

After Howard Stern blew up, every radio station wanted to get their own shock jocks. That’s mainly because radio doesn’t know how to create new ideas, and simply clones whatever is marketable. I like raunchy and dirty humor as the next person, there does come a point when it does cross the line.

When the shock factor was then marketed and cloned throughout the US, It would be only a matter of time before someone caused some major trouble.

The Imus Factor

When the Don Imus controversy erupted, I was just a little angry, but as I heard more about the situation. I remember hearing about it not from the Internet, but a local hip-hop station. The DJ, who was a black woman, was really angry, and I understand why. Yet, even after the Imus thing started to settle down a bit, there were discussions about what could be said and what couldn’t.

Looking back on the entire situation, I wished the networks didn’t fire him, not because he was right, but because now anyone can come under fire and lose their job for a mindless remark. Being a black man myself, I know fully well how hurtful the phrase Imus made really was. The remark is generally a way to belittle black women, almost as much as the N-word. Yet, Imus probably should have never lost his job, because I don’t think he was fully aware how cruel the remark was. Imus should be held responsible and apologize, and watched what he said in the future.

Here are some general notes

1. People should demand better radio programming than some of the mess that is out there in the radio industry. We should demand a higher standard of programming.

2. There needs to be a wider range of entertainment and news on radio. When Imus was considered daring and shocking, you know there needs to be better programming. You want to shock people? Force them to think and discuss issues.

3. It’s time to clean up radio, not in content, but by bringing in new blood to change the way radio is run.

Internet notes

The Greaseman Incident.

Opie and Anthony church incident: Why did they think this would be funny? Does this even have an entertainment value?

Howard Stern: Just read his bio.

So the verdict is: Yes, radio personalities are held to a higher standard.