I was pretty sad when Radio Open Source went off the air, because I thought they were tugging at the loose threads of something interesting, and they never got to properly unravel it. Breaking news and reporters getting leads from the short message service Twitter are interesting phenomena but I don’t think they can create the kind of community that you need to bring an audience into reporting. Radio Open Source never quite got it — they had great comments but the community stayed tiny. Still, they were breaking new ground.
I’ve been keeping an eye on The Takeaway for the same reason: I’m really interested in whether they’ll be successful in fostering a community of listeners who contribute meaningfully to the show. I’m still not crazy about their format, but their website is constantly in motion and they do seem to draw substantive and interesting insights from listeners.
So I was tickled to see The Brian Lehrer Show, an NYC talk radio staple, launch a wiki for their traditional election year 30 issues in 30 days series. I think the structure they’ve settled on will take a lot of care and feeding if it is going to stay manageable, readable and useful. I’m genuinely interested in seeing whether an audience that is so used to sparring in comments can collaborate to develop intelligent questions and perspectives for the shows.