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Friday Feedback for April 26, 2024

WHQR’s streams went down this week from Monday evening to Tuesday morning, the result of scheduled maintenance by our streaming provider. Whenever we experience a technical glitch, our listeners are kind enough to call and write to alert us, which we greatly appreciate. When they leave a call back number, we usually call to thank them, which is always an interesting and sometimes surprising conversation. I had one such conversation this week with a listener who streams us in western North Carolina. After our conversation, he wrote “I've been listening daily for about three months. Within an hour of listening, I had an affinity for WHQR, as it recalls for me the best of serving the Community with an enthusiasm for the work that is obviously heartfelt. Much respect for the service you are providing to the Wilmington market and even for me in far away Asheville.”

Of course, not all feedback we get is congratulatory. Journalism requires dealing with difficult issues, and sometimes the timing of a report is problematic, as one listener pointed out, writing “On Good Friday, I turned on the radio to hear NPR playing a program that highlighted the efforts in Ukraine to secure abortifacients for women in that war torn country. As if the death and misery of that horrible war is insufficient, we are treated to a radio program detailing an act of infanticide. Really? On Good Friday.”

We received a listener comment on another NPR offering, the podcast Up First. “One of my daily favorites is the 15 minutes that I listen to Up First. It used to be strictly news and now is news plus other stories that may or may not interest me. I only have 15 minutes and I want a NEWS summary. Also, when did Up First also contain commercials? It used to be commercial free.“ At the risk of speaking out of turn for NPR, one of the peculiarities of broadcast media is our focus on the clock. If the format is 15 minutes of a news summary, you will get 15 minutes, even if some of it is less interesting. I’m reminded of the quote about news by Wilmington native and veteran broadcaster David Brinkley, who said “When there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were.” As for the inclusion of sponsorship messages, that’s part of the evolution of the podcasting world. As podcasts become more popular, sponsors looking for exposure are becoming more interested in being associated with them. These sponsors make it possible to provide the content without putting it behind a paywall or subscription, both of which are becoming more common.

To get back to local news, Ben Schachtman and our news team recently received this accolade from a listener who said “Wow – what an amazing episode of the Newsroom "The Mosley Story." I am so thankful for a voice that dives into the facts for hot stories that impact us right here, right now. I learned so much. Thank you for drawing in so many different voices and for being willing to weigh in on a hot issue. Keep up the good work!”

And finally, on behalf of the staff here at WHQR, I want to thank everyone who wished us a happy 40th anniversary on Monday, April 22nd. We are celebrating this momentous occasion all year, so we hope you’ll join us for special events like our Back to the 80’s Celebration Party on Friday, May 3rd at Waterline Brewing, our rebroadcast of commentaries from years past and postings from our archives on the WHQR website.

We want to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter, or X, or email us at feedback@whqr.org. Thanks for your feedback, and we look forward to hearing from you.