Nov 21, 2007

[Media] The State of Philippine Radio

Flickr: joncheng - tokyo cab
tokyo cab
by joncheng.

Maybe I'm missing something. You could just say that I'm not a radio person and that I should stick to my computers and my television and just leave radio alone for what it is. Then again, I had my fair share of radio days and I appreciate the medium and I don't think I'm totally clueless when it comes to what makes sense and what doesn't.

Have you seriously listened to Philippine radio recently? Whether in your own vehicle, riding some mode of public transportation or in a cab, you're bound to have heard a bit of it all. The incessant laughter. The horrible jokes. The disturbing voices. Plus the need to repeat stupid catch phrases over and over again.

This is entertainment these days?

You know what I'm talking about right? The likes of Love Radio and such who all have gotten onto this bandwagon of what has become the new radio archetype of sorts. The signs are blatantly obvious.

First the catch phrase / tagline. Whether it's "Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?" (rougly, "Do I still need to memorize that?") or that whole "Hi Pangga" routine (and no, I have no idea how to spell it, much less translate it). I hate how they have to repeat those lines over and over again. It doens't make sense to hear it 20 million times in an hour!

Then everyone needs to be laughing. It's not even authentic man-that-was-funny laughter but the kind of fake and forced laughter that sounds more artificial than pre-recorded laugh tracks. It's not just FM radio that has gotten into this pattern - have you heard how some of the news programs on AM radio sound like? The announcer is also getting into the whole forced laughter bit, it just kills me every time. It's terribly annoying! Especially when the news item in question really isn't funny or something to laugh about.

I think what bothers me the most are those jokes they play in-between segments with the disturbing sounding voices right out of a low budget horror movie with killer dwarves. The jokes are normally bad or off-color or tongue-in-cheek or all of the above, really. Then they're followed by the really, really annoying laughter mixes, followed by the station's catch phrase of choice.

Oh, that's is brilliant, isn't it?

And yet they don't stop - it just keeps on going and going and going and sometimes I want to ask the driver to shut the radio off rather than have to listen to that.

How is all this entertaining? Have we become this shallow?

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