Monday, September 05, 2005

Raise The Bar

The previous posting on Product Placement In Public Radio prompted several private responses. One of them was that the "Reporter Perspectives" were still not as bad as what listeners hear on commercial radio.

While that point is highly debatable, that debate will have to wait. More noteworthy is the notion that "not as bad as commercial radio" is an acceptable standard for public radio.

This is a fairly recent, and damaging, line of thinking.

Public radio's success is based on developing and maintaining very high standards. "Not as bad as commercial radio" suggests that it is acceptable for public radio to compromise those standards to a point.

But "we're not as bad as they are" isn't a winning formula in the radio marketplace let alone the new media environment. Whether it is underwriting credits, on-air fund drives, or editorial decision-making in the newsroom we must get better at what we do in order to compete.

Instead of using commercial radio's declining standards as our benchmark, let's start talking about how we can raise our own standards even higher and define excellence in radio, on the web, on the satellite, and in MP3 players around the globe.


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