So, you have a smart speaker— some variation of an Amazon Echo or Google Home. Both provide the time, temperature, jokes, make phone calls, etc. Did you know they will also stream radio stations?
Many radio stations that also broadcast over the internet use a provider called TuneIn to broadcast over other devices, like tablets and smart speakers. One of the advantages of this is that you can listen to a radio station that may be too far away to pick up with a conventional radio antennae.
Some of these radio stations from Away are radio reading services, stations providing reading services for blind and visually impaired listeners. A typical radio reading service will have a regular schedule during which volunteers will read the local and national newspapers, community events, magazines, books, and perhaps some syndicated or locally produced programming.
Up until about 10 years ago, Radio Reading Service programming was only available on a dedicated receiver provided by the service, or a secondary audio channel on the television. This meant that reception was limited to those close enough to receive the broadcast signal. That has dramatically changed for those services now broadcasting on the internet or using services like TuneIn.
In a practical sense, what this means is that a listener wanting to hear top stories read from the Washington Post newspaper might ask their smart speaker to, “Play T-I-C on TuneIn,” shortly before 11 AM (EST), when the TalkingInformation Center (TIC) begins their live reading of Washington Post articles. Likewise, a listener might request another Radio Reading Service at another time, say, when a book or magazine of interest is being aired.
Which Radio Reading Services Broadcast on TuneIn?
For a comprehensive list of services you might do a search on TuneIn, such as, “Blind Reader Service.” Not all the listings seemed to be available when tried on the Amazon Echo. Below is a list of the services that did work, the verbal command used to activate it on an Amazon Echo, and a brief description of some of the content available from this service.
With a Radio Reading Service playing on a smart speaker, it is not all fun and games, the smart speaker offers access to a rich source news, magazines, books and contemporary cultural content! Enjoy!
“Play KPBS Radio Reading Service from TuneIn.”
Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, etc.
“Play Sun Sounds of Arizona from TuneIn.”
Arizona newspapers, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, etc.
“Play WRBH from TuneIn.”
Local news to New Orleans and national Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor. Heavy emphasis on literature, magazines and programming for Spanish, Haitian, and Vietnamese speakers,
“Play T-I-C on TuneIn.”
Wide variety of national and local Massachusetts news, including Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. TIC also maintains an archive of podcasts not available through a digital assistant but available on the web.
“Play Down East Radio Reading Service on TuneIn.”
Local newspapers to Rocky Mount, NC and broadcasts content from Triangle Radio Reading Service (see below).
“Play O-W-L on TuneIn.”
San Antonio, TX and Kansas local newspapers, USA Today, NY Times, etc.
“Play Triangle Radio Reading Service from TuneIn.”
Local news to Raleigh, NC, News and Observer, Vanity Fair, New Yorker, Oprah, Wall Street Journal, etc.
“Play ACB Radio Main Strean.”
News related to blindness, Access World articles, Arm Chair Reader, Blindness and Disability News, etc.
“Play Ga-R-R-S on TuneIn.”
National Enquirer, Vogue, Glamour, local Georgia newspapers, etc.
“Play Sight Into Sound Radio Reading Service on TuneIn.”
Newspapers and magazines local to Houston and Texas, extensive archive of podcasts available to download from the website, but not available through the Smart Speakers.
“Play Audio Journal on TuneIn.”
Audio Journal is an affiliate of TIC (see above), and adds content specific to local newspapers near Worcester Massachusetts.
“play WJCT Radio Reading Service on TuneIn.”
Selections from Florida Times Union, USA Today , Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and popular magazines.
“Play Iowa Radio Reading Information Service on TuneIn.”
Local papers statewide in Iowa, Wall Street Journal, and commentary.
“Play Radio 1RPH on TuneIn.”
Australian newspapers, magazines, and BBC broadcast overnight.
“Play Vision Australia Radio on TuneIn.”
Vision Australia is a network of 10 regional news sources that include local and national Australian newspapers, tech news, and more.
“Play Canal M on TuneIn.”
Broadcast from Quebec in French a variety of news, books and cultural programming.
Download a copy of Radio Reading Services on Smart Speakers to distribute.