Commentary

Through the airwaves: And old standby saves the day

NEW YORK - When I arrived here Saturday for a convention, I took the usual cab ride into Manhattan from LaGuardia. As we pulled off FDR into the east side area, we noticed traffic was bad.

OK - it's New York, traffic is always bad.

Still, our driver seem particularly agitated. He knew something was going on.

And oh, was it. The east side of New York City was practically at a standstill because of the fatal crane collapse.

But it wasn't a text message, the in-cab entertainment and news system or a cell phone call that alerted us to the breaking news. It was the ol' radio.

From the moment we left LaGuardia, my cab driver would turn up the radio during news/traffic segments, potting it down only for commercials.

As 1010 WINS came back from break, we heard the breaking news lead in. Something about, "Emergency officials are on the scene on the far east side following that crane collapse."

We heard the cross-streets affected as we hit an intersection. Two slow-moving blocks later we we're right in the thick of the accident perimeter; too late to avoid it, but early enough that our driver knew to get away from it. Thanks to the update from WINS, he navigated away from the closed blocks and onward to our destination.

Give or take a few horn honks, that is.

advertisement

advertisement

2 comments about "Through the airwaves: And old standby saves the day".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. David Hawthorne, March 24, 2008 at 10:08 a.m.

    Yep, that's why they called it 'broadcast.' It's just out there in the ether waiting for anyone with a properly tuned crystal to pick up the signal and decode the content. It get's the job done.

    I wonder: If we get too good at 'targeting' the audience, will media just stop targeting 'everyone'? Will the audience ever get so fragmented that people standing right next to on another will have completely different understandings of what is going on in the world?

    I see a New Yorker-like cartoon in my head: Two people are standing on the sidewalk in front of a office building, as if waiting for a bus. One presses his finger to his ear, setting his Bluetooth earpiece more securely, and then takes a couple steps to his left. Suddenly a construction crane smashes into the sidewalk crushing the other pedestrian where he stood. The surving pedestrian strolls off, txting into his handheld, "Tnx 4 t bul-tin w3.WINS."

  2. Roy Perry from Greater Media Philadelphia, March 24, 2008 at 1:09 p.m.

    Sorry, I just HAVE to add my two cents to the absurd comment above: "Will the audience ever get so fragmented that people standing right next to on another will have completely different understandings of what is going on in the world?"

    Follow me on this - THAT IS HOW PEOPLE ARE BORN. And how they function. Every day. Already. Without technology to "help" them. It is scary to imagine the policy planning and media campaigns being formulated right now that miss that basic point.

    The money is in understanding what people have in common and appealing to GROUPS based on that. Is there money in dividing people back up into their natural state where, gosh almighty, they "have completely different understandings of what is going on"? Not sure. Seems like a lo-o-o-o-o-ng way to go just to get to the place everything starts.

Next story loading loading..