New York Times Takes Aim at Audio


New York Times writers Tiffany Hsu and Marc Tracy do not like the fact that both radio and podcasts offer hosts the freedom to exercise their free speech. They don’t like certain hosts using audio platforms to debate the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and they call out specific hosts for doing so and audio companies for allowing that free speech to take place.

The article is called “On Podcasts and Radio, Misleading Covid-19 Talk Goes Unchecked. False statements about vaccines have spread on the “Wild West” of media, even as some hosts die of virus complications.”

While it’s simple enough to turn a radio off or stop listening to a podcast, University of Maryland Professor of Media Jason Loviglio states in the article that, “There’s really no curb on it. There’s no real mechanism to push back, other than advertisers boycotting and corporate executives saying we need a culture change.”

Loviglio goes on to praise public radio. “We’re seeing lots of public radio stations doing amazing local work to spread good health information. On the other side, you’re seeing mostly the AM radio dial and their podcast counterparts being the Wild West of the airwaves.”

University of Florida media professor Sylvia Chan-Olmstead then piles on podcasting by saying in the article, “Podcasts may be more effective in spreading false information than social media. People who go to podcasts have much more active engagement. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I went on Facebook and I scrolled through and saw this misinformation.’ It’s more likely that you’re engaged, you’re interested in this host, you actively seek this person out and listen to what he or she has to say.”

The Times piece criticizes iHeart, Spotify and Apple and says the audio industry has not drawn the same scrutiny as large social media companies.

The entire article HERE is behind a paywall.


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