I have to start off with two quick items of explanation. First is I’m somewhat conservative/libertarian in my political view.s Second is that I like listening to NPR (National Public Radio). To some, this may seem odd, as many conservatives deem most of the media to be very liberal in their view point and presentation of the news, NPR being no exception. So I’m going to explain why I like listening to NPR.
NPR is like Starbucks.
Being a patron makes you feel cool and even cultured. It’s aesthetically pleasing. What you are ingesting is delivered in a pleasing, palatable form. Starbucks is brilliant because they manage to be a standard while still appearing to be an indulgence. Likewise, NPR manages to give the news while still being extremely interesting.
Like Starbucks, it appeals to a group of people who think a particular thing about themselves. Aside from just liking coffee, it’s the artsy and bookish and let’s -be-cool people who like Starbucks. Aside from just wanting the news, it’s the people who want to be informed, educated, and cultured that like NPR.
NPR is cool.
Listening to NPR and letting people know you listen to NPR is like wearing a WWF t-shirt with the panda bear on front. It says, “I know about things, and I care about things.” All their progrtams manage to have cool names like “Marketplace”, “Fresh Air”, and “All Things Considered”. They are just cool like that.
Everyone speaks correctly. The on-air people speak slowly but not too slowly. I think they musthave been taught the optimal speech rate. It’s fast enough that you dont’ start drifting into your own thoughts and slowly enough that you don’t feel like you’re listening to some radio hosts who like to jam it down your ear drums.
All people you hear on the air seem like nice, law-abiding citizens. They all seem to care. I bet they only hire people who regularly do community service. There’s a big gap of unkown between the radio and the person behind the microphone, but they all sound like they’d be people who love traveling, know their neighbors, are either amateur chefs or photographers, eat their vegetables and exercise. Probably use those green grocery bags too.
It’s just that kind of place. They manage to conjure up feelings of journalists of youre, of decency and freshly pressed jackets. Most of the time, it makes me want to respect news people and the profession of journalism, something my local news does not do for me.
NPR is classy.
I mean, they play classical music for heaven’s sake. If playing music to babies in the womb was shown to actually work, NPR would catapult those little munchkins into Princeton. They have news reporters with accents and people who report on location. I’d swear they hire people who have cool undertones to their voices too. What they say comes off as smooth and soothing while escaping being monotone.
NPR knows their stuff.
I love their program schedule because it’s brilliant. They play cute little stories in the morning, then they play the news, by the time people are getting out of their cars and going into an office, they switch over to classical music. When moms are out picking their kids up from school, they are having Terry Gross interview interesting people. Then, as people are getting off of work, they play their program about the economy and the business world.
They must also replay certain parts of programs at different times, which is great. Once, as I was driving to the university to tutor student-athletes in the early morning, I was listening to some cute little vignette on Dora the Explorere but had to get out of my car to go work. That was probably quarter to seven. To my surprise, when I got back in my car at quarter to eight, the same story was running not thirty seconds before where I had turned it off. It made my day.
They also do human interest well. They give you the upshot of the news then almost always deliver the social commentary on it. After that huge earthquake in China, they did stories that brought you into what the calamity had really wrought. It helps to keep you invested in what is happening.
NPR is just a good radio station. They dotheir job well, and they have my admiration. Now everything in moderation. I’m still a talk radio fiend.