A lot of the time, it feels like I’m driving in a coma. That’s not to say that I’m unaware of what’s going on around me — I am, I swear! — but my mental processes are preoccupied with my own issues, leaving the radio (and it is radio because I haven’t gotten around to getting a decent CD changer or MP3 player for my car) as white noise. I joke that I absorb news and information by osmosis, but given how many current events I am conversant about, maybe learning-by-osmosis isn’t so far-fetched after all.
This is a long way of explaining how I spent over a week listening the KPCC (89.3, Pasadena, California) pledge drive. And at first, said drive was so much white noise, but then…osmosis did its thing. I realized that people were giving money, lots of it, to the radio station. While this is the desire outcome of a pledge drive, it struck me rather forcefully that listeners local and distant were willing paying money to become members of the station.
For the first time ever, I actually listened to the pledge drive. Guess what? In an era where (presumably) we expect information to be free and where (presumably) news can’t make money, KPCC was raking in some serious cash. The KPCC website doesn’t say whether or not this year’s goal was achieved, but I do know that quite a few challenges — where someone offers a plum contribution if certain events, a set number of new members or dollars, happen in a specific time period — were met. I spend a lot of time in the car, so this is practically a scientific study.
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