Kudos to Karen Wise, she of formidable editing chops, consummate reader, mother, passionate cook, public radio podcast subscriber, a true mensch.
Did you ever catch “Mystery Men,” a campy bit of late ’90s celluloid? Remember Bill Macy’s “The Shoveler?” His Herculean talent summarized curtly to his spouse: “Lucille, God gave me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well.”
Well God gave Karen a gift: She writes well, she writes very well. See for yourself. Visit her superb blog Verbatim, where she holds forth on everything from motherhood to politics to good reads and eats.
She also copyedits very well. And for those not in the know, Karen for months now has tidied up the chaos trailing in my visual-spatial wake, smoothing out all the ruts and filling in the potholes. Gratis.
Karen and I finally met in person yesterday. After a tour and time spent with station mensch Steve Brown, Karen and I discussed her media consumption habits. As it turns out, this self-identified public radio junkie rarely reaches for the radio dial. But she is a consummate public radio podcast subscriber. Her favorites include Car Talk and Fresh Air.
This is fascinating, because despite the fact that our terrestrial tower is no longer her primary public radio entry, she obviously still feels a strong connection to WBUR (so much so that she is willing to edit this blog, gratis). That speaks powerfully and wonderfully about the durability of the community
clustered around 90.9.
This connection may prove our one saving grace in the just-over-the-horizon era of endless content channels in phones, homes, and even cars. Can you envision a day when your local public radio station is not just a station, but a community gathering place in the truest sense? The new local grange? Perhaps a place the local book clubs gather? A workshop for citizen media makers? Do the little social media gatherings at 90.9 hint at possible new relationships between listeners and station?
Thank you, Karen, for all your hard work. And thank you for pointing a way through the thicket of challenges that lie ahead.
Public radio managers: Get your listeners in the building. They have much to teach you.