One Reason We Listen Less
We spend less time listening to public radio now because we're trying to protect our children, ages 6 and 3, from hearing all the stories about people dying from bombs, shootings, and the occasional beheading.
Those stories have to be on the radio. That's the part of the public radio's public service obligation. As an adult citizen it is important to know the full impact of events in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is important to know what's happening in Darfur. I just don't want my children having to hear about this stuff quite yet. So we find ourselves getting our news in other, family-safer ways.
We saw the impact of the news on children during Katrina. It was impossible to not have the TV on at that time. It scared the heck out of our four year old. We did use the opportunity as a teaching moment, but kids don't need those kind of teaching moments every day.
Protecting kids from the media isn't limited to the news either. It is standard practice at our house to flip the TV channel to PBS, the Food Network, or something else safe during commercial breaks on NFL broadcasts. The commercials aren't the biggest concern here either. The promos for "24," "CSI," and whatever new scare show is in the fall line-up aren't kid appropriate. Maybe it's just me, but I don't want my children to have fond memories of Sunday's with Dad looking at video of people being blown-up or lying in a pool of blood.
Perhaps I'm a focus group of one on this matter. But maybe not. At least it is something to consider as public radio seeks to attract new, younger listeners. Many of those potential listeners will be the parents of young children. Their child-rearing instincts might just be more powerful than the need to get their public radio fix.
Labels: NPR; Public Radio