Sound Reporting – Jonathan Kern

9780226431789Howdy y’all!

Before I left the US, I just finished Sound Reporting, written by Jonathan Kern. It took me quite a while to finish it, because it is very complete.
There are some chapters about how to make a « piece » of a few seconds to eight minutes, the kind of report you could listen on « All Things considered. » It’s a goldmine for beginners: write before you say, write as you would speak, how to record on the field, etc.

Then the author explains how to make an entire show, like on NPR. How to edit it, how to host it, how to manage the technical problems… And finally, you could one day be « beyond » the radio, like by having a community on social media, or by having your radio on internet.

So what ? Do you listen to the radio ? I try to listen to NPR when in the US, but it’s hard for me to do something else on the same time, either because of troubling noises (like washing dishes for example), either because I can’t concentrate on two things at the same time. But when I do listen to NPR, I find it « dry. » The hosts speak all the same way, and when it’s a talk-show, there is no music. « If you want music, there are music radio elsewhere, » was I told once…

When in France, I try to listen to France Inter. The public French radio is composed of several channels. France Culture would be the equivalent of NPR, France Musique broadcasts classical music and jazz, France Info is a continuous news channel… And France Inter is a mix of the others, with a touch of pop music.

But one show is not just news reports, or music. It’s generally a well-dosed mix. And there are some interviews of half an hour or three quarters. I used to listen France Inter all the day long during my studies. I had some voice-friends: at 4pm Frederic Lodeon and all his stories about classical music. At 5pm Daniel Mermet, from « Là-bas si j’y suis » (There if I am  there), about people, places, social initiatives. During the summer, « Dernier parking avant la plage » (Last parking lot before the beach) with some crime novel readings by Sophie Loubière. They all accompanied me during anatomy and physiology lessons, in my room in Strasbourg, as a medical student.

I wish I could find such a friend-voice in the US… I wish I could become such a friend-voice one day… Let’s see what’s next in the story!

And you? Do you have any experience with radio listening? Please tell me…

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