JNLR Figures Show Importance of Hearing a Voice

By Patrick Brogan

More than three million Irish adults listen to the radio every day. Staggering figures for a nation this size. Most of this is done the old fashion way, actual radios — be they car or home. A lot of people spend over three hours listening to them. I’m in the wrong bloody business.

Seriously, Irish people love to hear voices. And stories, too. Whether they’re sad or happy, factual or fictional, we crave that human connection. This goes back to our old traditions. Sitting around a stove or fire, telling stories, playing music, having the craic. In an age of new media, fake news and alternative facts, it’s reassuring that some things still remain.

There is an additional function here. Robust debate. Television doesn’t offer enough of it, and when it tries, it’s just middle-aged men shouting over each other. Just like being in the local. Consider Peter Boylan. His statements about the new National Maternity Hospital came about through a radio interview. Radio very often sets the pace for political discourse and the rest try to catch up. If you follow Irish politics on Twitter, it’s usually radio stations that are trending. Radio, in many ways, is essential to the fabric of Irish society.


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