This month, we’ve been exploring Baltimore’s most important issues as covered by four major types of media. In the first week, we focused on newspapers, magazines, and wire services. During the second week of May, we turned our attention to television news. Last week, we collected and reviewed journalism contributed by Baltimore’s radio outlets.
For entertainment and information, radio is an important broadcast medium and one of the most accessible, playing often in cars, homes and offices. And via podcasts and streaming audio, what Orson Welles called “theatre on the air” is now also a digital medium, delivered online. The text of reports is also often posted on stations' websites, to accompany embedded audio.
Baltimore’s radio choices include lively news and talk stations such as WBAL and WOLB, university-based outlets like WEAA, and well-established public radio at WYPR. The city's programming is a compelling blend of opinion, discussion, audience call-in shows and traditional news reporting.
Not just a horse race
Baltimore’s news media devoted a lot of time last week to the Preakness, the city’s annual moment in the horseracing spotlight. As a sports and entertainment spectacle, the Preakness is an important story, but it also has huge economic, political and social implications. From talk radio to the local National Public Radio affiliate, the Preakness was an occasion to explore the issues attached to the event.
WYPR produced “Down the Stretch,” a series of reports on horseracing in Maryland. Headlines from the series give a hint of the importance of this event in the city and the state: State’s Ailing Horseracing Industry In Sharp Relief With Preakness … Preakness Masks An Ailing State Racehorsing Industry … Dwindling Pool Of Bettors May Hold Fate Of State's Racing Industry … Thousands Of Workers Depend On State's Horse Racing Industry. It is a revealing series augmented by field reporting, video and online supplements.
On the sports talk station 105.7 The Fan, hosts Ed Norris and Steve Davis spoke with Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank about the horse racing industry in Maryland. They discussed Plank’s own investment in a local horse breeding institution and the statewide relevance of the sport.
Is Baltimore an "open city"?
A roundtable on The Marc Steiner Show discussed a thought-provoking exhibition organized by students at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Including contributions from Urbanite magazine and other local institutions, the Baltimore Open City exhibition has explored the tangled issues of race, history, urban life, economics, art, community and culture. An exchange facilitated by guest host Anthony McCarthy delved deeply into these issues by asking, “What does it mean to have an inclusive and open city?” Listen to this discussion at The Marc Steiner Show website.
Other radio stories of interest
* Gazette columnist Blair Lee on the Ron Smith Show - WBAL Radio
* Midday News Review - May 20, 2011 - WYPR: Midday with Dan Rodricks
* Light for All for 174 Years - WYPR
* Education cuts, Baltimore politics, and more - WEAA: The Marc Steiner Show
* Conversation with Meshelle about her book "101 Things Every Girl / Young Woman of Color Should Know" - WEAA: The Marc Steiner Show
Join us as we continue our hunt for good journalism
These stories are just a few of the stories and themes covered on Baltimore radio last week. We hope you'll listen in on a few of these stories and help us identify other examples of outstanding local journalism.
This week we're examining online source: blogs, online sites, podcasts and other internet-based news and opinion in Baltimore. How do these sites discuss the city’s most pressing issues? What are we missing as we collect and review stories? We welcome your insights -- join us in reviewing and posting stories on NewsTrust Baltimore!
Photo Credit: Bill Mill