This week has involved an exercise of listening, learning, considering other points of view and then changing your opinion – something I highlighted an absence of in the Nolan show in my last post. Here I’d like to share some feedback and challenge following my #turnnolanoff campaign suggestion.
I was and am genuinely interested to hear people’s thoughts on this. Do people agree that Nolan is a bad show? Do people think that turning him off in unity on one day (2 July 2013 #turnnolanoff) would work?
Firstly, I’ve been told that I’d need to inspire ten or twenty thousand listeners to swtich off to make any real dent and bring it to anyone’s attention – is this possible? Does anyone care that much? Or are we loyal to or numbed by the Nolan show’s audio presence each morning?.
Secondly, I’ve been pushed by a couple of people regarding my confession to not listening to Nolan and then coming out so strongly against the show. This is a fair criticism, how can I really know that the show is so awful if I’ve not listened to it that much? I”m afraid I’m not about to start listening to the show anytime soon. I’ve heard a few items over the years as well as the bit in taxis and offices – I’ve also watched Nolan’s TV programme a couple of times – I don’t like it, I think it should be trying to do more, it should celebrate the qualities of radio and of Northern Ireland’s character and characters more. I don’t think it’s interested in nurture or dignity and I will stand by that because I believe in and am hoping for better conversation, particularly in this part of the world.
Thirdly in this spirit of better conversation, I’ve been gently challenged about my sweeping labelling of the people working on the Nolan show, and so absorbing this challenge I’ve shifted my perspective slighty; I realise I cannot call people I do not know bullies – that is harsh, sweeping and prejudicial.
I do think the show gives itself over to and facilitates taunting, aggression and insult and we can use what voice we have in challenging the way conversations about deeply sensitive and provocative issues are being conducted.
Finally a thoughtful friend drew my attention to some excellent pieces of radio that have occurred on the Nolan show over the years- these stand out to many people as memorable examples and I don’t want to take away from that, However, judging by the response to my criticisms this week and the general dismay and frustration at the Nolan show these pieces of radio do seem to be too few and far between. Indeed, if the Nolan show is capable of excellent radio – why not strive for this standard all the time? Perhaps this isn’t a rhetorical question but one I genuinley wonder how people, particularly defenders of Nolan would answer? Why is the Nolan show not always working hard to give people their voices with as much dignity as it has to others in the past?
These are a few thoughts, in response to a few criticisms and gentle challenges – they’re not perfect, this is not a complete conversation. But I’m tired of the standard of most public conversation about a variety of issues and I think other people are too.
What are we going to do about it?
I’d like twenty thousand people to turn their radios off in Northern Ireland on 2 July 2013.