You may be ordering a new radio from Amazon. Really!

by Terri Reddout

Sure, we all know about digital radio. That’s what XM and Sirius satellite radio is all about. That ability to get satellite radio is built into almost every new car today.

But there’s another type of digital radio signal out there that won’t cost you a cent. Although, you’re going to have to buy a new radio to get it.

In 2018, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved a digital radio signal platform that all U.S. radio stations will convert to within the next few years. It’s called HD Radio. The digital signal will be broadcast alongside the current analog signal on the same frequency.

This digital signal means no more scratchy, static-y signals on AM stations. It will have text features so, if you want to know the name of the song the answer will be right in front you.

HD Radio makes it possible for stations to run side channels like Pride Radio, ESPN Deportes and Mother Trucker Radio.

But, in order to get HD radio to work, you may have to buy a HD radio to pick up the signal. That’s good news for radio manufacturers. It’s estimated 2.5 billion radio receivers will have to be replaced.

Read morE

Let me introduce you to a form of mass media. It’s called radio

by Terri Reddout

I remember listening for my favorite songs on KENE Radio. I even won a contest for the best joke of the day. (I remember the joke. I have no idea how I won.)

Your generation, Millennials and Gen Z, spend about 18 hours a week listening to audio. Like me, your first choice is radio, but you also use audio sources like Spotify and Pandora, in addition to podcasts. Bottom line, in my day you I listened to radio on a radio. In your time “radio” doesn’t have to come from a radio. You can listen to audio on you iPod, your computer or your smart phone. You don’t get to hear the static as you tune a station in for the evening.

They say radio is dying. In my mind, radio is like a cat… it has nine lives. Everyone thinks it’s going to die, but then radio reinvents itself over and over and over again.

A little radio history

There was a day and time where people would actually gather around a radio set and “watch” radio. When radios first moved into our homes they were a bit clunkier. As you can see in this picture, the radio was slightly smaller than today’s big screen TVs.

Whenever your program came on, you ran into the living room, sat down in front of the radio and watched it as you listened to the drama of Little Orphan Annie, the comedy of the Jack Benny Show or the soap opera The Guiding Light.

Does music impact society? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind…

Written by Terri Reddout

Musician Frank Zappa’s quote rings true. Music does reflect what’s going on in society.

In fact, artists like Terrace Martin, LL Cool J, YG have released new music in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Helen Reddy’s I am Woman served as an anthem for the woman’s movement back in the 70s. Even today, people still use the phrase I am woman, hear me roar.

I grew up listening to Vietnam War protest songs, which leads me to a story about my early teaching career.

Books with Impact

Question: What impact did the Gutenberg press have on society?
Answer: A lot. A whole bunch of a lot.

When Gutenberg invented the press in the mid-1400s, it made information accessible to the masses. The technology made sharing uncensored ideas with your neighbors, the village down the road, or even the world, possible.

Before the Gutenberg press, only the rich could afford books and manuscripts. In fact, books were so rare that most churches did NOT have a copy of the Bible under its roof.

According to a web article posted by the University of Texas, it’s estimated you could only find around 30,000 books in all of Europe before the Gutenberg press. Fifty years later, 10 to 12 million books circulated throughout Europe.

Yeah, I’d say the Gutenberg press had an impact.

Continue reading Books with Impact

What are laws?

Before we start studying communication law, we need to understand how the legal system works. Let’s start by defining law.

This is my son, Casey. He studied law at the Knight School of Law at the University of Oregon. He passed the Washington Bar Exam and now practices family law at a big family law firm that stretches from Washington through Oregon. In 2018-2019, Super Lawyers named him a Washington Rising Star and he has a Avvo.com “Superb” rating.

Casey E.R. Sanders
Family Lawyer
McKinley Irvin Family Law
Vancouver, Washington
“Best lawyer ever” says his mom.

Okay, enough bragging about my son. I mention him because he is someone who studied and practices law. But the legal system also “makes” laws.

Continue reading What are laws?

Movies with Impact

By Terri Reddout
Which movies had an impact on our culture or society?

By impact, I mean, did the movie change how we look at the world?  Did it change the way we speak?  Did it change the way we see how others view the world?

So, which movies had an impact on our culture and society?  It depends on who you ask.

  • Ask a film buff and they might say Citizen Kane or Casablanca
  • Ask a war veteran and you might get answers as diverse as Bridge over the River Kwai, Born on the 4th of July, Coming Home, Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now or Finding Private Ryan.
  • Ask a woman and you might get Norma Rae, Erin Brockovich or Thelma & Louise.
  • Ask a kid (or a grown-up kid) and they might say anything with Avengers in the title.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

In my day, a movie with impact had to be Star Wars. The story, the characters, the computer generated images took us to a new place and time.

When Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defensive Initiative, a network of missiles to protect the U.S. from nuclear attack from Russia, the White House dubbed it “Star Wars.”  (BTW- In the wake of what’s happening in North Korea, it’s weird to think Russia as our greatest threat of nuclear attack.) Continue reading Movies with Impact

Perception checking: One powerful tool


by Terri Reddout

In my last post, Perception Checking: An excellent method for keeping your foot out of your mouth, I told you about the benefits of perception checking and the three steps of a perception check.

When I first taught perception checking, I would give the lecture and simply turn students loose on the perception checking assignments.  That’s when I learned how powerful a communication tool perception checking can be.

Shakespearean for “Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!”

The case of the woman who wasn’t prepared for her perception to be correct

Once, a student asked me if it was okay not to share the details of her perception check in her paper.

I asked why.

She said the perception check confirmed one of her perceptions about her husband.  She had tears in her eyes.

She didn’t want to share the details of what she learned from her perception check with me.  It was too personal.

She never provided me with the details, but my perception is her perception check revealed her husband was cheating on her.

Thus, the inspiration for Terri’s Perception Check warnings. Continue reading Perception checking: One powerful tool

Perception Checking: An excellent method for keeping your foot out of your mouth


by Terri Reddout

Has something like this ever happened to you?

Mandi walks to class one morning thinking what a great day it is.  She sits down in the classroom and takes a sip of her perfectly flavored latte.

As she pulls out her books, she mentally congratulates herself for taking the time to talk to the professor.  After their conversation, Mandi got a much clearer idea what the assignment was about.  So, instead of dreading writing the paper, she hammered it out in 30 minutes.  Mandi felt so confident she uploaded it to Canvas a day before it was due.

Now she’s looking forward to spending the weekend with friends but remembers she needs to send her roommates a text to remind them she’ll be out of town.

That’s when Sam sits down next to her, slams his textbook on the table and says “Why are you mad at me?”

Mandi’s mood takes a sudden shift.  She was happy.  Sam attacked her and she doesn’t understand why.  She was just sitting there having a great day and suddenly her buddy Sam comes along , accuses her of being mad and basically ruins what started out to be a great day. Continue reading Perception Checking: An excellent method for keeping your foot out of your mouth

The Perception Process: What makes you perceive what you perceive

by Terri Reddout

Do you see the horse in this picture?  If you can’t, well, you’re dumb.

It’s a picture of a horse.  Trust me.  All you have to do is turn your head to the right and you’ll see it.  See.  See how dumb you were?

Okay, I know you’re not dumb.  You just didn’t perceive the picture the same way I did.  That’s the tricky thing about perception. What may be true for me, may not be true for you.

To say someone’s perception is wrong is, well, just plain wrong. Each of us perceive things differently.  Our perceptions influence which truths we see.  Understanding how we form our perceptions can help us better understand how we communication and how people communicate with us.

Each of us pick up on different things that create our perceptions.  It’s called the perception process. Continue reading The Perception Process: What makes you perceive what you perceive

What is news?


by Terri Reddout

Before we can start talking and writing news we need to know what news is.  Generally, a picture of the family cat is NOT news.  Unless the family cat kept mewing and clawing at the neighbor’s door and that woke them up so they got out of the house before it burned down to the ground.  Now your family cat IS newsworthy!

There really isn’t a magic formula for determining what news is.  I wish!  If there were, I’d bottle it up, sell it for a hefty price and retire someplace where temperatures are in the low 80s and bare-chested men bring me drinks with little umbrellas in them all day long.  (I can dream, can’t I?)

Which stories should we cover? What story leads the newscast?  What story goes above the fold?  Which story goes below the fold or on page 3? Do we commit a reporter and a photographers to this story?  Or do we commit the entire news team?

These are all tough questions, with a lot of variables you must factor in.  But… there are some guidelines to help us determine what is NOT newsworthy, what is newsworthy, and just how newsworthy a story is.  You’ll find various versions of these guidelines around the business, but they are generally combinations or more precise  divisions of these seven qualities or factors.

I call them T-P-P-I-C-H-U

Continue reading What is news?