Reality radio comes to Saskatoon
SASKATOON - Reality television may be the latest craze, but Jared Mysko says it can't compare with what happens in his own backyard most nights.
Mysko relies on the real life drama of Saskatoon emergency crews to provide his nightly entertainment. He uses three radio scanners to eavesdrop on emergency dispatches around the clock reports the CBC.
"If you're ever bored," says Mysko, "you just turn on your scanner and there's just stuff happening all over the place at all times and it's entertaining."
Mysko has decided to share that entertainment by setting up a web site. For the last three years, he's been broadcasting a scanner live over the internet. You can view his Web site at www.saskatoonscanner.com
"My uncle actually used to own CJGX," says Mysko. "When I was a little kid, I met him, and I thought that was really neat."
"I thought... I want to own my own station, so this is kind of what that is — it's my own radio station on the internet."
Mysko's station is nothing more than a computer strategically placed in the middle of his one-bedroom apartment. He programs a scanner to search the frequencies most often used by police, the fire department and ambulance services.
His web site has become so popular that Mysko had to upgrade his internet service three times to keep up with demand.
But Mysko isn't some technological wizard pouring over the bits and bytes of the digital world — he delivers pizza. When he hits the road, he brings one of his scanners along for the ride.
Mysko says he just wasn't satisfied with news on the local radio stations.
"When I'm delivering pizza, I see police going left and right and all over the place," says Mysko. "Who knows what's going on?"
"[You] turn on the radio and not a single station is saying anything excepts politics, or the odd major fatality, or something like that."
Mysko says the events of September 11, 2001 prompted him to buy the scanner.
"Everybody was just freaking out," he says. "I wanted to know, what if a plane is attacking Saskatoon?"
"So I thought, I'm going to get a scanner and do this."
But it will be tough for Mysko to continue with his hobby, as Saskatoon police attempt to scramble their radio calls so people can't listen with an average scanner.
Mysko says he will just have to buy a better one, and since his web site doesn't earn him any money, he plans to deliver a lot more pizza to pay for the upgrade.
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