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Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Over the last few decades, the radio documentary has developed into a strikingly vibrant form of creative expression. Millions of listeners hear arresting, intimate storytelling from an ever-widening array of producers on programs including This American Life, StoryCorps, and Radio Lab; online through such sites as Transom, the Public Radio Exchange, Hearing Voices, and So ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 15th 2010 by University of North Carolina Press
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Dec 31, 2016 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media, business
The backstory of good documentary radio. If you ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes in the production of a radio story, or what a producer does, this is the place. Many of the 20 or so audio producers represented here do stories for NPR or similar outlets, mostly in the US. Some are more well known for their podcasts. I recognized less than half by name, but most by the stories they’ve produced that I’ve heard through the years – I have been an avid listener of SALTcast and How So ...more
Aug 26, 2011 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A recent series of essays for radio producers emphasizing the value of radio as a medium. Recommended for passionate radio listeners or those interested in adding their own voices to public radio.

Quotes worth remembering:
- Sherre DeLys: "...Most listeners are keen to enter imaginatively into the exchange of energy and information a documentary offers. And if we conceive our work in ways that make room for them, they will do just that. But how does one actually go about this embrace of the liste
Lilly Amenson
Jan 05, 2014 Lilly Amenson rated it liked it
What I loved most about this book was that it allowed me to multitask. While I was learning how to create wonderful radio documentaries, at the same time I was reading stories that I would have otherwise never come into contact with. If it weren't for this book, I would never have known about the men who starved for their government during WWII so that the USA could be better prepared in handling the famished peoples of Europe. Had it not been for these stories, I would never have known what Tou ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Zack rated it really liked it
Great collection of essays for people interested in making radio or audio documentaries or, I suppose, podcasts, these days. For those who have already practiced or studied journalism, not all of the 'tips' will be terribly revelatory, though one of the strengths is the inclusion of script excerpts followed by explanations and commentary on what was going on in each. All of the essays are short and accessible, and most are well-written -- funny, moving, intelligent, relatable, even inspiring wit ...more
Jan 06, 2016 amy rated it really liked it
Reading as an archivist / librarian, two things: 1) Maria Martin refers to "periodistas empiricos (journalists with no formal training)," literally journalists of or by experience; where are the archivistas empiricos? 2) Really appreciate Emily Botein's analogies of the mise en place and producer as "the hands," plus this: "Good habits enable better collaborations--and, hopefully, better radio at the end if the day."

I see these as guiding principles for improving access to the processes of archi
Apr 20, 2013 Thom rated it really liked it
Interesting essays on radio and audio documentary by some influential names in those worlds, including Chris Brookes, Scott Carrier, the Kitchen Sisters, Jad Abumrad (Radiolab), Ira Glass, Joe Richman, Jay Allison, and many people I had never heard of before. Whether it's (or is called) sound art, a radio diary, radio verite, creative nonfiction, personal narratives, collage, feature, news, conceptual pieces, or actual radio drama and fiction, this book exposes the reader to the breadth and dept ...more
Carlos Pareja
Sep 16, 2012 Carlos Pareja rated it really liked it
wonderful essays by some of the most creative people working in audio storytelling these days. there's so much intimate poetry in the mixing of sounds and many of these folks do a great job of translating that experience into words. definitely for the radiolab, this american life and lost & found sound fans!
Jul 01, 2011 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this anthology because I recognized certain names (Scott Carrier, Jad Abumrad, Ira Glass) but was most excited by essays by people I hadn't heard of before, like damali ayo and Natalie Kestecher.
Mar 12, 2014 Adrianus rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Every person has their own experience and opinion when it comes to working on radio and I love reading their opinion on how beautiful radio on telling a narrative without visual. Reminds my childhood of listening local radio station almost every day.
Pearl (Plamena Krumova)
Jun 30, 2015 Pearl (Plamena Krumova) rated it really liked it
Четенето на тази книга е изживяване! Демонстрира красотата на радиото, а именно онези малки моменти, в обикновените, всекидневни диалози, които носят поезия и смисъл. Магията на звука - от устата-през ушите - до сърцето...
Mar 04, 2013 Keri rated it it was amazing
They had me at Scott Carrier who writes a beautiful essay on how you capture the truth, which he does so magically well. But I guess I should admit that Jad Abumrad and Ira Glass are pretty okay as well.
Megan C
Jul 12, 2013 Megan C rated it it was amazing
Heavy hitters, these ones. Real heavy hitters.
Excellent anthology! I used this book in teaching radio essays and it was very good background.
Adam Maisto
Jun 05, 2013 Adam Maisto rated it it was amazing
This book gave me some of my greatest ideas in terms of how to shape my vision of being an independent producer. Extremely insightful and accessible.
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