chapter  8
6 Pages

You Are What You Hear

WithAdam Clayton Powell III

Radio is the audio analogy of the adage "You are what you eat". Radio is powerful. Radio is cheap. Radio is ubiquitous—powerful, inexpensive tools that have spread to all comers of our lives and everywhere on the globe. Radio is diverse. Radio is fragmented. Radio is community. Radio as community may be especially strong during an emergency, as South Florida residents found when Hurricane Andrew hit and government relief workers distributed tens of thousands of transistor radios to residents who lacked essentials—food, water, electrical power and information. The Korean community in Los Angeles has its own Korean-language radio station, which seldom appears in radio and TV listings in Los Angeles newspapers. Then there is community radio. If inner-city neighborhoods can be isolated by poverty, then for rural areas isolated by distance (and poverty), a local radio station can be a lifeline.