Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Local and satellite radio: Why I like both

     I drive a 2012 Kia Soul, and I currently have a subscription to Sirius XM satellite radio. And it's pretty cool. I have dozens, if not hundreds, of stations to flip through to listen music, comedy, news, or whatever I feel like at the time. Or if I want to stick to one station, there's little to no commercials, a perfect signal (except on a cloudy day), and I get to listen to the occasional live performance from some of my favorite bands. Overall, satellite radio is a blast.
     But every now and then, I like to flip to some of the local radio stations and listen them. "Why?" you're probably thinking. "You get non-stop music through Sirius all the time. Why would you go back to local channels?"
     It's true that Sirius keeps playing music on the channels that supply it. But local radio provides me something that satellite can't: a sense of community.
Yeah, this station is pretty sweet...
     The local radio station that I listen to the most is 90.9 KLRC, a Christian radio program. I often listen to it as I'm heading to school early in the morning. The program I listen to is called "The Good Morning Show with Mark & Keri," who are the two hosts. They still play a lot of music, but they also provide the latest news. For instance, when I listened to them today, they talked about a gun threat that was scrawled on the bathroom walls of Bentonville High School. The school went into lockdown, and fortunately, the kid confessed to the threat before anyone was hurt. The funny thing about this, though? When his parents were interviewed about it, they said they didn't own any guns. That could make it hard for that kid to carry out the threat!
     Of course, Mark and Keri also provide the weather forecast. But they also go a mile that I don't think any other stations do: They have a program called "Teamwork Traffic Update." Sounds corny, yeah, but it's actually quite helpful. Anybody who encounters some accident or slowdown on the roads can call the station, report it and they'll announce it on the radio. Not only is it helpful, but it also fosters that sense of community that KLRC is so passionate about.
...but these guys are cool, too.
     Speaking of that sense, often Mark and Keri will just talk about things that are going in their lives. For instance, Mark has been giving regular updates on his and his wife's adoption of a girl from the Ukraine--a process that should have been relatively simple, but has actually taken them over three to work out...and they still are working through it! But Mark has tried to remain positive about it and admitted it's taught him how to really be passionate about something and to fight for it--a trait all humans could learn. They'll bring stuff like that in the hopes of trying to give people a good start to their day.
     And you know what? It works. Not perfectly, but it does work. I often feel better with my day after listening to them.
     So I do appreciate Sirius radio, I really do (lifesaver on a road trip!). But local radio stations have people who are there in your community, have their own struggles, and have the chance to be honest and hopeful about them. Maybe we ought to listen to those guys more.

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