I currently work as the midday host at a small local radio station in Lenoir, North Carolina. I have been around this station in some capacity since the summer after my sophomore year of high school. Now I’m looking at over six months of being on air.
If you had told me when I was younger that I would be talking for a living, I would have told you you were crazy. Yes, it is one of my favorite things to do, but to make a career out of it is entirely different. To have people listen and even respond to what I’m saying is one of the greatest gifts I could have stumbled upon.
Radio is powerful. Local radio, even more so. I spent a shift recently reporting on severe weather in my area. For three hours out of my five-hour shift, I was stopping after almost every song to give an update. These updates ranged from reminders to drive safely to a tornado warning in the area.
What did I learn? On extreme weather days, it is HECTIC in a studio. We’re constantly searching for updates. I felt like I was working double-time all the time, and after my shift, I felt like I had worked for three days straight.
But it was all worth it.
People called to thank me for the updates. They called to make fun of me for not being able to say the word “cuisine” and then thanked me for putting a smile on their face during a stressful day.
It reminded me that people do listen and somedays I am their best source of news.
People may think that radio is dying. They might question its validity when we have the option to stream music with little to no interruptions. I’m not saying I don’t stream music myself on a daily basis.
Here’s the thing though, Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music can’t tell you what roads are closed due to flooding in your area. They can’t answer phone calls. They also can’t tell you when schools are closing.
Local radio and live DJs do that.
And that is why I love my job.