Intro from Jay Allison: Andy Mills has shared his work on Transom before, but that was when he had more time. Recently he transformed from a producer with weeks or months to produce a story–to a producer with a DAILY deadline, i.e. “The Daily” from the New York Times.
Andy breaks down the differences for us, including the revelation that he hasn’t had to give up his ambitious and artistic storytelling tendencies even amid the grind. His Transom feature is filled with excellent advice–like the tricks to a good opening, finding emotional connection, taking chances, and teamwork. Lots of audio samples here too. This is a great tutorial for any producer, no matter what your deadline.
Al Letson came out of nowhere in public radio. Back in 2007, Al was a rapper, a playwright, a comic book writer, a poet… He was well-known in the poetry slam community. But, he’d never done radio. Despite his lack of radio experience, he submitted an idea for a radio program to the Public Radio Talent Quest — and won.
Al’s winning entry eventually became State of the Re:Union (SOTRU), a documentary program featuring sound-rich, provocative stories from a different city each week. Over the years, SOTRU won a Peabody and three Murrow awards.
Al is now the host of Reveal, a radio program and podcast from PRX and the Center for Investigative Reporting. But, despite how satisfied he is with SOTRU and Reveal, Al…
John Biewen says it point blank: “Like wow! White folks are a story!” And, it’s not a story that’s reported very much in public radio. NPR’s Code Switch is an exception. The Code Switch team makes a point of reporting on the white race and whiteness. But, generally speaking, white people tend to be “unmarked,” John notes. “(W)hiteness is sort of treated as the default. You’re just a person if you’re white. And it’s non-white people who have race.”
John is tackling that “unmarkedness” head-on with a new series called Seeing White on his podcast Scene on Radio. John will focus on whiteness and the white race over the course of ten episodes. He lays out his motivations and more about the series on this episode of HowSound.
Let me start by saying this: I have great admiration for Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick. They decided to put their podcast under a microscope. Why? To re-think the show top to bottom. That’s risky. It’s no easy thing to let someone pick your work apart in a group setting but that’s just what they’ve done. In the end, they may radically transform their podcast.
Aaron and Wendel produce Out of the Blocks, It’s an hour-long show from WYPR in Baltimore. For each show, Aaron and Wendel pick a block in Baltimore and interview as many people who live and work on that block as possible. They then weave together their interviews in a kind of vox pop on steroids. The end result is a really great sounding tour of a neighborhood.
Workshop participants will gather Monday at 2:30 and for the rest of the week be immersed in field recording, interviewing, digital editing, script writing, and narration. By the end of the week, each participant will have produced a short profile of a creative person living in or around Allston/Boston/Cambridge. The Workshop ends with a listening…
Intro from Jay Allison: Producers Leila Day and Hana Baba had what they thought was a simple idea for a podcast: An African American (Leila) and an African (Hana) would compare their experiences living in the U.S. But after launching the pilot for “The Stoop,” they found themselves dealing with questions about whether their podcast about black-ness would hold enough appeal to non-blacks to be worthy of support. In her Transom commentary, Leila Day shares what she learned through this process and offers encouragement and advice for other producers who may find themselves in a similar position.
I was wearing my African print head wrap for an entire week. I usually wear it for two reasons: one, because it makes me feel free and empowered, and two, because sometimes my hair isn’t did under that wrap.
Huddled in the kitchen of KALW in San Francisco, where I used to work, my co-worker Hana Baba and I were gossiping yet again about things we’d read on black blogs…