Radio is a newer medium than television. It has unrealized potential.
Christian radio is growing up, because it is waking up to the fact that it is an untapped medium. Strange as it may seem, radio is a new medium, even newer than television. It existed before television, but in the mid-fifties TV took over the format that developed in radio. Radio had to start all over again. The result is news, weather, and sports wrapped up in music. It reaches 96 percent of all individuals twelve years old and older. Yet from a Christian perspective, it has unrealized potential.
Christian radio appeals to those whose hearts have overindulged in sentimentality. William James says that there are basically two types of people, the toughminded and the tenderminded. If a Christian radio station planned its program with both in mind, it would have an integrity that reflects the gospel itself. C. S. Lewis did this in his appeal to the toughminded in Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, God in the Dock, Miracles, and so forth. The tenderminded he touched with The Chronicles of Narnia, the space trilogy, and The Great Divorce, for example.
But who has done this with Christian broadcasting? Rather, Christian stations are part of the “gospel ghetto,” that will support bland, unpretentious, programming. The programmers as a whole are satisfied with that.
A textbook for radio broadcasting pinpointed a way in which the medium is misused. “Too many broadcasters still are looking for the cheap buck. They are getting by with the minimum of programming service that they can provide and still sell. These people seemingly have no sense of pride, no concern for the public, and no sense of responsibility. They hire their staffs primarily on the basis of who ...1
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