If you want a personal relationship with a radio station, you can do no better than NCPR. I hadn't been in the studio for 30 months but everyone said "Oh, hi Al" when I was in the studio yesterday to help answer phones during the last day of the 2009 Spring Membership Drive. But staff said hi to everyone. They knew and were known by everyone who walked through the door. It's not just that these folk care as it goes beyond that. They are creating the thing that early TV promised but never became. They do the thing that Web 2.0 says it does but, you know, really lies about. Unlike other media for the most part, NCPR both expresses and creates a community. It is called "The North Country" - a place which becomes, because of what the staff of NCPR does, a place of the imagination. In a way it feels like a secular congregation - perhaps profane in the technical sense but a haute sort of profane.
They announced "$178,420 and we're still counting" at 12:03 and when they caught up with the last rush of pledges it ended up as $179,180. By the time the last dribs and drabs come in, they'll be well into the $180,000s. As the station gets around 80% of its funding direct from listeners, this is all great news.