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Listen to Radio? No, I Watch!

Posted July. 30, 2005 03:06,   


On July 29 at 12:56 p.m., “Jung Sun-hee’s Noon Request” show (noon-2:00 p.m.) will be aired live in a radio studio on the seventh floor of the MBC broadcasting center located in Yeouido-dong, Seoul.

While the music plays, DJ Jung Sun-hee attaches and detaches a hairclip. A staff member strolls in and exchanges smiles at a message from listeners on the studio computer screen.

July 29, 12:58 noon. Nearing the second half (1:00 p.m.), today’s guest singers Lee Seung-chul and Lyn enter the studio. Jung and her two guests chat away until the music signal flashes. Lee Seung-chul leaves the room for a moment, perhaps headed for the bathroom. As the broadcast starts, Lee, dressed in a white shirt, belts out his new song “Count to Ten.”

It all seems like I’m standing behind the studio window, but right now I’m watching the “Jung Sun-hee’s Noon Request” radio show through a “watch-radio” menu selection on the Internet.

Watch-Radio Generation-

Everybody’s curious about “what does the DJ do after the music turns on?”

Now, “Watch-Radio” is here to solve all your questions.

“At first I just went to the studio, bare-faced as usual. People told me to ‘paint it.’ (giggles) I think people feel satisfaction peeking at our messy everyday lives,” said Jung.

“Watch-Radio” is a brand new service that allows listeners to see what’s going on in the radio studio through the Internet while radio shows are aired. KBS, MBC, SBS and other broadcasting networks have started to operate a “watch-radio” option regularly since the start of this year. Each network switches between one to four programs everyday and airs “Watch-Radio.” Viewers are raving about it, too. The homepage bulletin board for KBS’ “Yu Yeol’s Music Album” (morning 9:00-11:00 a.m.) was battered with complaints like, “I used to listen to the radio and do chores, but now I can’t because I have to watch it,” from housewives.

Analog Emotion Listening to Radio versus Digital Familiarity Watching Radio-

As “Watch-Radio” service proliferates, changes can be spotted inside radio studios. DJs who would appear dressed in comfortable attire and either snoozed or snacked during break time find the service inconvenient.

The host of KBS’ “Lee Geum-hee’s Walk In the Song” (4:00-6:00 p.m.) Lee Geum-hee, says, “On days we do ‘Watch-Radio,’ I sneak looks at a mirror and prim myself.” According to Lee, there are DJs who pay attention to makeup and clothing, but on the whole, there are more DJs who forget the camera and act normally, as is the wont of a natural and everyday medium like radio.

Meanwhile, doubting Thomases believe that “watch-radio” is effacing the merits of the radio. The team leader of KBS 2 FM, Yoon Seok-hun, worries, “Radio is a medium that provokes imagination, but if you show the whole studio, the mystery that belongs to radio and its emotional aspect will become extinct.”

Producer for KBS Jang Ong-rim begs to differ, saying, “At the start, we had a lot of skeptical responses about showing viewers radio, but listeners are growing more familiar with the radio and it’s actually reviving the merits of radio. Ms. Lee Geum-hee also says, “If I drink coffee on the air, I get messages like ‘What are you drinking’ from listeners right on the bulletin board,” adding, “There are times we feel almost as close as family, which made me change my mind about ‘watch-radio’ in a positive way.”