It has been at least a year since I tuned into WIBA radio for information. This morning with sleet pelting my windows I wondered the state of the roads. So I flipped the dial to the local Madison station to be told in the traffic report that some roads might have snow, some roads might have ice, some bridges might be slippery. I knew that much when I looked out the window of my home!
What I should have done at that point was tune the dial to my regular morning spots—WHA and WGN. But instead I waited for their local news report.
There is a sing-song quality to the news as it appears there might be actual copy they have prepared but at times the on-air team lapse into some opinionated this or that in the midst of a story. This morning one half of the morning team, Robin Colbert, stated that the annual hooding ceremony for the graduating class at the law school sounded—in essence–scary. Clearly that was not part of the news copy and she was trying to sound what—funny?—spontaneous?
She came across as sounding rustic and not knowledgeable about a very grand tradition.
I am not trying to sound overly harsh about on-air mistakes. I worked in radio broadcasting, too. Mistakes happen to all who venture on-air. But there was a willingness by Colbert to make the statement this morning and look foolish as a result.
How can anyone live in Madison for decades, have the UW-Madison in their midst, work in broadcast journalism for decades and not know about the hooding ceremony for these law school graduates. IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR!
This year it will be most special as former Attorney General Eric Holder will speak at the ceremony which involves law school faculty placing the hood of a juris doctor on graduating students.
I may not have learned any useful traffic information this morning on WIBA but I did come away from the experience knowing Wisconsin Public Radio is where the morning radio dial needs to stay.