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How Radio Keeps You Straight

Was the Clunkers program a success? Are we coming out of recession? What should we do with our money?

That's what the typical American wants to know, judging by a bunch of radio interviews I did yesterday.

Radio is one of the most under-rated media platforms in our hyper-visual digitized world these days. But in some ways it seems to be much more in touch with its audience. Maybe that's by virtue of the local information focus: weather and driving conditions. Or maybe it's radio's ability to focus on particular interests and sectors. Radio was pushing opinion and agenda-

Radio Microphone
Radio Microphone

based commentary long before broadcasting and cable outfits.

A common complaint about business journalism is that it tends to become insular ... using too much jargon and aiming reports directly at the business/investment community rather than the world at large. To the extent that may be true, I find talking to radio folks reminds me to break out of that funk and remember everyone ... in some way or another ... is affected by money news.

Added plus? The lack of visual distraction makes you focus on the actual conversation. And the conversations are pretty darn good. All the folks yesterday had some pointed questions and points, from Florida to Connecticut to Missouri and various places in between. So thanks to Bob Connors, Bulldog, Moose, Shaun Daily, Lanigan and Malone, Best Life Barb, Petch and Paula, Shelly K and Zack Skyler, Chris Messina, Mancow, Lee Na Vell, Jim Scott, FatHead, Conley and Karen, and the folks at The Sandbox.

Oh yeah ... answers to the questions? The jury is still out on clunkers: the long-term may reveal cannibalized sales and payment problems (Read Phil Lebeau's thoughts here), the recession debate seems divided between a shiny happy people outlook (example here) and a sourpuss outlook (example here), and everyone's personal finance situation is different (some guidance here).