Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adventures in Radioland III

Two more radioland episodes:

In my previous reports from radioland I omitted one of the classic problems encountered while appearing on the radio: gasping, choking, or otherwise losing your voice. I was reminded of this today as I heard Steve Roberts, guest host of the Diane Rehm show, coughing in the background as he let a guest go very long with an answer. On a few occasions I have had a cold or a dry throat while doing a live radio interview. In my recent series of interviews for Going Broke I had only one difficult moment, and in that case, I was lucky enough to have a host who, upon hearing my voice begin to fail, launched a long monologue that allowed me sufficient time to get a drink of water and recover my composure. A shaky moment averted.

The other adventure was actually in audioland, not radioland. A surprising number of sites on the Internet are little more than content shells put up to provide a vehicle for advertising. Almost all the material on these pages is pulled from other sources on the web, often news sites, and recently I discovered that an op-ed piece I had written for the Providence Journal was posted on a page called PE.com (The Press-Enterprise). Stranger still, a “podcast” of the op-ed was included, but clicking the play button released a bit of music and then....what is that sound?...a robot! A computer voice, admittedly a pretty good quality computer voice, was reading my op-ed back to me. Strange. Here is the page if you want to listen for yourself.

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