Radio Open Source

19Oct06

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What happens when you take a radio show onto the internet and invite your audience to help you conceive, make, and discuss the show?
Radio Open Source, the brainchild of a Boston radio host/journalist Christopher Lydon, has done just that.

Open Source is a conversation, four times a week on the radio and any time you like on the blog. We designed the show to invert the traditional relationship between broadcast and the web: we aren’t a public radio show with a web community, we’re a web community that produces a daily hour of radio.
This means that we rely on our listeners and readers — whom David Sifry calls “the people formerly known as your audience” to help us produce the show.

— from the Radio Open Source About section

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The producers open up their process. They allow their audience to come into their office with this premise: our listeners know more than we do. The internet gives a new mode for an old medium. Radio Open Source is pressing forward in a new world.

Conversations are happening everywhere on the web, and they’re not just about computers or Star Trek. They’re about God and the world, people taking pictures and and comparing notes of what they see around them. It’s why we chose to run our website as a blog; a blog functions naturally as a conversation, asking for input and correction and responding in turn. Broadcast media can’t just be a bullhorn anymore; it has to be an invitation, or it misses out on some of the best stuff happening around it.

In a world where people can go anywhere for news, Radio Open Source is offering an invitation and a conversation. In a world where people can go anywhere for curriculum and books, what is our invitation?

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