Theatre of the Mind

Mark Ramsey of Hear 2.0 conducted an interview with Watts Wacker, the noted futurist and author. When dealing with Wacker, there’s an abundance of great matter to slice from (as if his thoughts are prime rib of beef).
Here’s a plateful on radio for you:

Q. Where do you see the future of radio?
A. One of the reasons that I think radio could have such a vibrant next 50 years or so is the issue of imagination and particularly intuition and the allegorical composition of what radio represents. With radio, you fill in a lot of the blanks yourself. And I think that’s one of the great hidden opportunities of the medium you really notice when you hear great radio, whether it’s content or advertising messaging.
People are so conflicted by a world awash in uncertainty and complexity that allowing people to answer as if you’re providing a question as opposed to giving a prescription is literally what the medium can do. Because radio doesn’t have pictures, it actually becomes more of a benefit over the next 25 years.
There is a real opportunity for talk radio storytelling. You know, the only constant today in the world we live in is storytelling. And when you start putting forth questions instead of answers and you do it in a storytelling format, you could take talk radio to a whole new 2.0 – involvement with people.

If there was a ever a format in need of a transfusion, it’s talk radio. Imagine the end of know-it-all mouthpieces and the rise of master storytellers, fully capable of holding an audience’s attention with thought-provoking, involving material. Given that 30% of Americans receive their news from talk radio today, such a scenario would make for a more informed citizenry. Hell, it might even raise the nation’s collective IQ.
[via Johnnie Moore]

About David Burn


  1. Storytelling by asking questions — interesting, one of those faux non sequiturs that’s actually very revealing. I think one of the great things about radio, and books for that matter, is that when the audience fills in the blanks with imagination, they personalize the story and feel more ownership. You can even simulate that strategy in film by withholding the music track as emotional cue. Maybe there’s such a thing as too many storytelling tools.