COMMENTARY: Radio is an Amazing Media at the Front and Center, by MTSU Professor Larry Burriss

Jul 31, 2023 at 07:08 am by WGNS News

Listen to the commentary by MTSU Journalism Professor Larry Burriss below.

Radio is at the front and center of media. It is also known as the place to find local news, national news and global news. Furthermore, radio often offers better soundbites from better sources. With today’s media commentary, here is MTSU Professor Larry Burriss… Hear more from Dr. Burriss by clicking his link below. 


Commentary (Verbatim): “In the interest of transparency, I have to confess I've have always had a fond spot for radio. As far back as my college days I was more interested in radio than television. Although I've done some television, radio has always had a special place for me.

Now, many people think radio is obsolete or old-fashioned. But radio is, in fact, at the heart of news and information across both television and all forms of the Internet

Remember back to the early days of radio. There were talk shows galore, addresses by government officials, and straight news, with perhaps a sound bite of two. And that's "sound bite, b-i-t-e," not "sound byte, b-y-t-e."

Now, think of all the talk shows on television. They are really just radio with talking head video. And those pictures of talking heads don't really add anything. Sure, you can now see the person doing the talking, but does that really add anything to the news and information being presented? No it doesn't.

Look at almost any government press conference. They are just radio with a talking head standing in front of some kind of logo.

Ask yourself this: in most television or Internet news and information, what does the talking head actually add? The answer: not much of anything.

A pre- or post-game television show or podcast? Again, it is probably mostly talking heads, which is radio.

Remember last week's Congressional hearings about Unidentified Flying Objects? Lots of talking heads, radio, but precious little video or pictures.

Sure, if the witnesses had come up with clear video, or an actual alien body, that would have made a difference in the presentation. But in watching the evening news, all we really had was the spoken word. Radio again.

You know, I bet the television networks and web sites could save a lot of money if all they showed us was a blank screen of some sort while the audio ran in the background.

Of course, that's not very dramatic.

But, then again, neither is a picture of a talking head. - I'm Larry Burriss.”


About Dr. Burriss - Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.A. in broadcast journalism, M.A. in journalism), the University of Oklahoma (M.A. in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in journalism) and Concord Law School (J.D.). He has worked in print and broadcast news and public relations, and has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss' publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth.

Dr. Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.

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