Last week, one of my professors assigned my class to listen to NPR. I never listened to the station before, but I am very much familiar of the station and its prestige.
I didn’t get a chance to listen to the station over the weekend, but I took the time out to check out the station during the week to monitor how it covered the Boston Marathon Bombings.
I paid close attention to the Morning Edition and compared it to 1010 WINS (a station I use to listen to a lot but now not as much).
Now the assignment was to compare NPR with stations we already listen. When I am in my car, I listen to more music and entertainment stations than news focus stations, so that’s what I did my comparison on, which was clearly a difference. NPR is virtually all news all the time, while these entertainment stations are more pro music. The news portions are based on gossip and other celebrity news, aka very soft news. NPR is obviously a hard news station.
When I compared it with 1010 WINS, I saw a lot of similarities, but I felt that NPR still stood out a little more with its “NPR style” of covering the events. 1010 WINS, like NPR gives its listeners hard core news, but for the particular coverage of the bombings, NPR did have discussions and interviewed officials and administration officials.
As a journalism major, it’s kind of important to know about a station like this. I can’t expect to carry on a conversation with veteran reporters or just about any reporter in general without being familiar with it.
So when my professor asked who has heard of the station, I was a bit shock that not even half the class raised their hands. Then she asked who actually listened to the station, the even smaller number of students who raised their hands was not too much of shock to me. So it’s going to be really interesting to see how our class discussion will go.
Most of us are between the ages of 19-22, so this may really show how absent minded my generation can be at times, especially when the bulk of our college career is based on this exact thing.