Today marks the sixth month anniversary of this blog. I decided to share something personal today about the role this blog plays in my life.
In 2003 my right eye was injured in a surgical mishap – the surgeon’s microscope light burned my retina. Within days I had lost 40% of my vision field. I went around and around with lawyers for a possible malpractice suit. I learned that there was a 50/50 chance the doctor would win. So, I didn’t sue.
Since then, the vision in my right eye has continued to decline. I now have lost 95% of the vision field. I am legally blind in my right eye. Here is my field of vision (the dark spots are places I can’t see):
My left eye is okay but my eyes don’t work well together. I don’t have much depth perception, particularly in low light situations. My right eye is ultra sensitive to glare causing me to immediately loose focus in both eyes.
Because of the reality of my sight, I am reevaluating my work and purpose in life. Travel is now difficult. Hotel staircases scare me. I never drive at night or outside of my immediate area.
At last September’s Public Radio Programming Conference (“PRPC”), I sensed that my impaired vision was forcing me to change my work options. I’ve been running my own business since 1997. Most of my work has been consulting clients. But my passion is being a journalist and historian.
At the PRPC my friend Mark Ramsey encouraged me to start blogging. Mark said: There is no one in noncom media with your perspective and experience. Establish yourself on the blogging platform.
So I started this blog the Monday following my return from the PRPC.
WHY CARE ABOUT RADIO?
As my eyesight dims sound takes on greater importance to me. Audio comes on many platforms and devices. Radio is just one of them. We all have seen the stats chronicling the decline in radio listening. Who knows how far terrestrial radio will fall.
But terrestrial radio will continue to have a role in the multi-channel world. The reasons are obvious: it is free, it has dependable coverage of wide areas, it doesn't have online tollbooths, it is tough for Big Brother to monitor and it is a cheap easy way to distribute ideas to mass audiences.
Then again, maybe terrestrial radio has had its day. Even if radio’s best days are behind it, the history should be preserved and told. This is the direction I am haeding. I'm here for the stories about the people who make radio and the impact of their work.
I appreciate the encouragement I have received. I know I cover a wide range of subjects. I am a Generalist – I know a bit about all aspects of broadcasting. I like to share my interests: radio syndication, station management, seeing trends and sometimes pointing out waste, hypocrisy and the arrogance of entitlement.
When I started blogging I was concerned it would take too much time from my consulting work. This hasn’t turned out to be true.
Another concern was running out of topics or new stuff to cover. The opposite has happened. Every day is a turn-on of new people and ideas. Audio is exploding.
I was also concerned that I wouldn’t like blogging and would eventually quit. This also has not happened. My blogging has opened up a new chapter in my life just at the time my eyesight is fading.
I am just getting started with this blog. Readers will see improvements in layout and audio/video media. I appreciate your comments. Thank you for being there.