When I was younger (elementary through high school), I didn't get why anyone would listen to talk radio. It seemed bland, uneventful, and contradictory to everything I listened to radio for: music and more music.
I know radio and how we listen to it is different, but I doubt things have changed very much. What has changed is I am a grown person who listens to the radio quite frequently, and I get why people listen to talk radio. I used to hear new music on the radio; now I can listen to whatever I want with (and this is a very short list of things I use) Pandora, Spotify, 8tracks, or plain old YouTube. And what does the majority of public radio have to offer me? Piles and piles of the same thing they played yesterday and the day before.
There are two Mainstream/Top 40/Popular Hits stations here, and I can't tell you how often I've tuned into one station, been unimpressed with the song playing, and switched to the other...to hear the same exact song. It's absurd that in 2012 I have to hear a handful of songs played on every station several times a day. The fact that one radio station has so few songs to play is truly disheartening.
So a few weeks ago, I gave up trying to find original music on a radio station. I made the official switch to NPR in the car I drive at work, where I do most of my radio listening, and at home I find music on the internet (see list of music sites above). I don't miss Rihanna, Katy Perry, Pitbull, Gotye, or Drake (apparently the only five artists with music this summer); even better, I've enjoyed what NPR has to offer.
I've been keeping up with politics, local and national, the economy, local news, interesting bits on Chicago, entertainment, sports, weather, and traffic. I've heard from the DJs and people calling in, reporters in Cairo and New York and Missouri, and from the various people interviewed by the station. In the past week I've learned about this and this.
An NPR story is even my latest inspiration for writing. It's a lengthy explanation, but essentially I'm trying out something a different writer did when he was first starting out. He admitted it didn't quite work the way he wanted it to, but I have no expectations for how this new experiment will work, so as long as I'm writing I feel okay about it.
The way I see it, that's a lot of positives replacing a minor irritation in my life, but those little things add up. What I'm saying is, give talk radio a chance!