It was refreshing to listen to Emily Shields as she shared thoughts on….talk shows… Someone once said “talk is cheap”. I beg to disagree. Talk radio has become one of the staples on the Jamaican airwaves. It would be interesting to measure what percentage of overall airtime is dedicated to talk. We talk about current affairs; about the economy; about consumer affairs; about technology; about youth issues… There are shows focusing on health issues, and there are shows just dedicated to prayer, and some to counseling people who have problems in family and relationships. And there is even a show for those who want to go to America, the UK, or Canada. For the sports enthusiasts there is a special sport talk-show. I am sure I have not yet exhausted all the categories.
Obviously, people need a forum to vent and to share their views, emotions, and thoughts. Some people just want to talk ….to talk about anything and nothing. There are some voices who you will hear on every radio station, almost. As long as it’s a talk show, they will call. It appears that the landscape has undergone significant change over the past few years. For example, my mom tells me that morning talk shows are a relatively new phenomenon. Up to around 20 years ago, you would hear music and light discussion in the mornings, not the heavy analysis of news and current affairs that we are now becoming used to.
Even without formal training in media and communications, one can pursue a media career in talk. To the best of my knowledge, many of the success talk-show practitioners are not formally trained as media people. The media landscape, nonetheless, allows one the opportunity to play to his or her strengths in a number of areas of talk. And if you cannot make it into one of the traditional media houses, there are emerging entrepreneurship opportunities on the internet. One can set up his or her network and provide a service. Who said talk is cheap?