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HowSound

280 EpisodesProduced by Rob Rosenthal/PRX/Transom.orgWebsite

The Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling, hosted by Rob Rosenthal, for Transom and PRX.

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Delicately Revealing Your Identity in the Story

June 21st, 2022

22:45

Ben Calhoun, formerly of This American Life, sat for two hours staring at a Google doc trying to figure out what to say. It was a delicate piece of writing about race and his own identity. Ben unpacks what he wrote on …

Who Am I To Be Here?

June 7th, 2022

14:46

Back in 2007, when Andrea Silenzi was a rookie reporter just learning the craft as a student, she reported a story about a woman dying of ALS. It was …

Producing YA Fiction

May 24th, 2022

30:05

Hillary Frank says middle school can be brutal. The bullying, the harassment, the homophobia, the racism, the sexism... it's all there, along with …

Collaboration Is the Only Way Forward

May 10th, 2022

21:52

Davia Nelson, one half of the legendary Kitchen Sisters, shares the pair's incredible news: The Library of Congress will acquire the Kitchen Sisters' archive, decades of innovative audio work. Davia also talks with Rob …

More Darts And Laurels

April 26th, 2022

23:25

Rob doles out another collection of darts and laurels on this episode. Darts for missing credits and superfluous sound effects. Laurels for …

Thinking in Scenes

April 12th, 2022

24:05

One of the most helpful tools for organizing a story is a "scene chart." Think of it as an outline for the "chapters" in an audio story. Rob dissects …

Remember to Breathe!

March 29th, 2022

9:25

A breath may seem like the most insignificant detail in an audio story. But, Rob says breaths are incredibly important when you're editing. All you have to do is listen to stories where the breaths are cut out. They …

Engage Listeners To Build Trust

March 15th, 2022

17:28

Vermont Public Radio reporter Angela Evancie says with the decline in trust of the media, the best way to build back that trust is with listener engagement and podcasts like the one she produces: Brave Little State.

Radio Silence (Rerun)

March 1st, 2022

12:18

Silence is often viewed as a no-no on the radio and in podcasts. Silence sounds like something's wrong — the radio station went off the air, the podcast paused. But, what if a story is about silence?

Audio Message in a Bottle

February 15th, 2022

17:57

Audio producer and sound artist Kristina Loring was walking the beach with her dog when she stumbled across an actual message in a bottle. That …

Al Letson’s Covenant with Listeners About True Crime Stories

February 1st, 2022

30:31

Al Letson set his sights on true crime storytelling in an unusual way — with a covenant for listeners in the true crime series he reported for Reveal, "Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe." Rob asks "Why go …

Navigating Tricky Story Dynamics

January 18th, 2022

26:00

When the story is about a family (and also not about a family), but the parents are divorced, and the kids and their father haven't spoken for years, how do you, as a reporter, navigate those tricky waters? Aviva …

So You Want To Start A Podcast, Eh?

January 4th, 2022

22:46

Producer Nina Porzucki is giving audio producers a gift on this episode — she's sharing a work in progress, a first-draft pilot for a podcast. Nina lays out how she got to the pilot stage and now, what needs to happen …

Exquisitely Challenging: Reporting on Suicide

December 21st, 2021

33:52

Erica Heilman's story "Finn and the Bell" is the best I’ve heard this year. It's a painful, graceful story about a young man's suicide in rural …

Darts and Laurels

December 7th, 2021

27:54

Rob offers darts and laurels for stories he's recently heard — what's good, what's not so good. On the list, productions from "Kids Short Stories," "Nice Try," "Demented," "The Skewer," and others.

House Of Pod Closes The House

November 23rd, 2021

23:36

Cat Jaffee and her team put community first and foremost at House of Pod, a local podcast hub in Denver. But, after four years, House of Pod will be without a house — a loss for Denver and podcasting in general as …

A Sonic Conjuring (Rerun)

November 9th, 2021

12:10

On this archive episode, a fascinating minute of audio — the sound of war and peace reconstructed from the exact end of World War I. Even more fascinating, the producers conjured the sound using audio shadows captured …

The World Orchestra Is Always Playing

October 26th, 2021

28:23

Headphones on for this one. Rob marks the passing of the groundbreaking composer and sound ecologist R. Murray Schafer with his colleague and fellow …

From Memoir to Radio Story

October 12th, 2021

23:35

Ruby Schwartz pitched a story to Snap Judgement based on a memoir. They gave her the green light. And then she had to figure out how she was going to squeeze a 320-page book into a short radio documentary. How Ruby did …

Interviewing for Story

September 28th, 2021

23:10

Don't just interview to grab a bunch of information, interview for story and make your work a whole lot stronger. Alix Spiegel of Invisibilia and

The Megan Tan Way

September 14th, 2021

22:42

Megan Tan produced a story about dating during Covid but she didn't record any of the dates. So, what did she do to create scenes? The answer is an unusual production choice that worked incredibly well.

Sounds Easy, But...

August 31st, 2021

26:41

Good producers hide the difficulties. They make it all sound easy. Cariad Harmon's "Record Booth" is an excellent example. She seamlessly weaves …

Goldstein on Writing, Fonts, and “The Goldstein”

August 17th, 2021

35:21

On this episode of HowSound, a wide-ranging chat about writing for audio with one of the masters: Jonathan Goldstein of the Heavyweight podcast from …

Stand-Ups (Rerun)

August 3rd, 2021

17:03

Narrating a stand-up on location as events unfold in front of your mic is no easy thing but reporter Robert Smith makes it sound like it is. He's a …

Fireworks

July 20th, 2021

1:19:15

Rob Rosenthal has stepped away from teaching the Transom Story Workshop on Cape Cod. To mark the occasion, Rob's put together a fireworks show of great stories from Transom students over the years. Wear headphones!

Narrative Justice

July 6th, 2021

27:27

Shapearl Wells says the truest form of journalism lets others speak their own truth. And that's just what she did as host and the main character for …

The Kids Will Have Their Say

June 22nd, 2021

20:39

The CBC's Mic Drop is a small but mighty podcast amplifying young people's voices "without any adult interruptions," as the kids put it. On this

When Anthropology Meets Audio Storytelling

June 8th, 2021

21:46

Creative audio journalism and storytelling is sometimes influenced by film, avant-garde music, and literature. But what about anthropology? Nanna …

Wrangling Stories With A Focus Sentence

May 25th, 2021

14:33

One of the most difficult tasks in writing is keeping a story on target. One way to wrangle an unruly story — or any story, really — is with a focus …

Tape-Driven Storytelling

May 11th, 2021

27:31

There's an old maxim in radio: the tape rules. "According to Need" by Katie Mingle and 99% Invisible is proof that good tape can drive a story. …

Dissecting a Good Story, Well Told

April 27th, 2021

25:01

One of the best ways to learn how to improve at the craft of audio storytelling is to take a deep listen to good work and dissect it. On this HowSound, I point out some of the best parts of a story about vaccinations …

Who Are Those People in Podcast Credits?

April 13th, 2021

25:51

The list of names at the end of some podcasts is mind-boggling. Who are these people? What do they do? Antonia Cereijido, Sophia Paliza-Carre, and Audrey Quinn of the "Norco 80" podcast have an answer and a few …

Thoughts On Trailers

March 30th, 2021

29:01

Rob's been puzzling over one particular question about trailers for serialized podcasts: What should the relationship, the handshake, if you will, be …

Schwartz Is A Verb

March 16th, 2021

32:28

You should lie down with your eyes closed for this one! That's because the interviewees in the stories I feature were -- lying down, eyes closed, …

Audio Playground

March 2nd, 2021

32:10

A friend once said "What feels like a groove might actually be a rut." So, how do you get out of your rut? Sarah Geis has an answer: Audio Playground.

Gas Mask? Check. Bullet Proof Vest? Check...What to Wear When the Reporting Gets Dangerous

February 16th, 2021

12:56

When the reporting gets violent, the reporter suits up. Casey Martin of KUOW tells stories about staying safe on the front lines of reporting during …

Eavesdropping on the Insurrection

February 2nd, 2021

14:01

There are a lot of photographs and incredible footage from the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. But wait until you hear the …

Perk Up Your Ears!

January 19th, 2021

36:44

If Dr. Suess was going to write a book about podcasting, he'd probably call it "Oh, The Sounds You'll Hear!" That's what's in store for you on this episode of HowSound. From an Inuit oral history project to prisoners in …

Bow Glacier Asserting Its Existence

January 5th, 2021

13:25

What's the sound of climate change? Walk down 7th Avenue in Calgary and you just might hear it thanks to "Herald/Harbinger," a sound installation from data artist Ben Rubin.

How Do You Know a Story is Worthy of a Podcast Series?

December 22nd, 2020

21:06

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone says, "I think that story would make a great podcast series." In my head I usually think, "Nope. …

Show, Don't Tell

December 8th, 2020

15:40

It's always good to be reminded of the best writing practices. That's why we dusted off this old episode of HowSound with This American Life's Brian …

Nancy Was Here

November 24th, 2020

30:24

Raise a mic in the air with Rob in honor of "Nancy," the now-cancelled podcast from WNYC about the LGBTQ experience.

Things I Like

November 10th, 2020

32:46

Cleaning out the "closet" of audio stories and found a few choice cuts to share from podcasts like Resistance, Louder Than A Riot, and Latino USA.

Portraying Character

October 27th, 2020

23:28

Chana Joffe-Walt is one of my fav writers. She excels at portraying character. Chana and I listen to some of her ninja moves from "Nice White Parents," the podcast she reported and produced for Serial and The New York …

Why So Chatty, Alex Blumberg?

October 13th, 2020

15:22

If you were producing a podcast on climate change, what tone would you choose to approach the topic? Serious, right? Well, there's a lot of serious …

A Night of Ear Candy

September 29th, 2020

23:41

Step 1: Find a comfortable place to sit. Step 2: Make sure you’re free from interruption. Step 3: Put on headphones. Step 4: Place a mask over your eyes (or just close them). Step 5: Listen to Sam Harnett and Chris Hoff …

The Intersection of Folklore, Radio Journalism and a Pear

September 15th, 2020

26:36

What do you get when you mix folklore, radio journalism, and a pear? An award-winning story from Canadian producer Rebecca Nolan that brings it all …

The Squirm Test

September 1st, 2020

16:27

From time to time, you might learn something unfavorable about a character when reporting a story. Inevitably you ask yourself: should I include this …

Effective Sound Effects

August 18th, 2020

23:03

History podcasts face a serious problem: sound. So much documentation from the past lacks audio. The Last Archive solved the problem in a very unique …

Pandemic Diary

August 4th, 2020

20:31

There needs to be a radio and podcasting merit badge: reporters and producers earn one when they stretch above and beyond for a story. If there was …

Sound Art Meets Poetry Meets Cicadas

July 21st, 2020

22:23

Rob's secret hope with every HowSound is that you'll hear creative storytelling and production and think "Oh wait! I wanna do that!" He has no doubt that Fiona Benson's and Mair Bosworth's sound poem about 17-year …

Walking In The Margins Of Journalism Ethics

July 7th, 2020

20:39

Emily Green says she "walked in the margins" of journalism ethics to report a story on kidnapping at the US/Mexico border for This American Life. Emily and producer Lina Misitzis join me on this episode of HowSound to …

Leave In The Question

June 23rd, 2020

31:54

This American Life's Sean Cole is the guest on this episode of HowSound. Rob dug this one out of the HowSound archive from 2010. It features a …

A Feast For Your Ears

June 9th, 2020

30:26

This episode is aptly named: “A Feast For Your Ears”. Rob features a handful of ear-catching clips. From a psychedelic road trip in Australia in the …

The Recesses Of Jay's Mind

May 26th, 2020

37:08

You may know Jay Allison for his work on the Moth Radio Hour and in his role as the founder and executive editor of Transom. But, back in the day, …

AfroQueer And Podcasting In Kenya

May 12th, 2020

25:14

Selly Thiam says producing an LGBTQ podcast in Kenya is incredibly challenging. There's homophobia, government censorship, and a potential audience that still doesn't quite know what a podcast is. And, yet, AfroQueer, …

What Do You Stand For?

April 28th, 2020

22:52

Why do you report a story or produce a podcast and send it out into the world? What gives you purpose? What do you stand for? Rob finds meaning from the original NPR mission statement. He talks to Bill Siemering about …

Gathering Scene Tape While Reporting From A Closet

April 14th, 2020

17:45

Because of COVID 19, Reporters are scrambling to figure out how to report from home given social distancing guidelines and shelter in place orders. In response, reporters are devising clever ways to record and keep …

Take A Walk With Your Mic

March 31st, 2020

31:32

This historic moment may be a good time to reconnect to the sonic environment. The latest episode of HowSound provides inspiration to do just that.

Poetry As Narration

March 17th, 2020

28:07

Narration in stories is usually just that - narration. Someone in a booth reading or ad-libing a script. But, "Borders Between Us" is different. Producer, Saidu Tejan-Thomas, uses poetry to tell the story. HowSound's …

Two Student Stories About Music

March 3rd, 2020

18:09

Two stories, produced in a week by Transom Traveling Workshop students. The first, by Georgia Walker at our workshop at WPLN in Nashville. And the second, by Maribeth Romslo at our workshop in Seattle at KUOW. Both …

Being Present With A Microphone

February 18th, 2020

22:55

The first time Rob listened to "A Cow a Day" he thought "What the??!" But then he listened again and was hooked. Rob talks to Pejk Malinovsky, the producer of the doc, about his two wildly different interpretations.

Got Your Ears On?

February 4th, 2020

23:09

Got your ears on? You'll want them as Rob threads his way through a wide variety of clips  that caught his attention over the last few months. A man injects Fentenyl into his neck... Toni Morrison speaks about beauty... …

Shereen Goes Quiet

January 21st, 2020

24:23

Shereen Marisol Meraji of Code Switch told me she's sick of her voice -- the authoritative narrator. In response, Shereen recently experimented …

When The Story Is About You But Not About You

January 7th, 2020

20:25

Let's face it: Use of the pronoun "I" has gotten out of hand. There's much too much navel gazing and self-indulgence in so many podcasts. And yet, …

The Hidden Work Of An Associate Producer

July 9th, 2019

21:10

Who are all those people at the end of an episode of Reply All, given credit for putting it together? One of them is Jessica Yung. She's an Associate Producer. On this episode of HowSound we shine a light on Jessica's …

First, Tell Them An Anecdote

June 25th, 2019

22:47

When you have guests as famous and interesting at Tan France, Ramy Youseff, Wazina Zondon, Ryan Harris, and Alia Shawkat, why does the host  of Tell Them I Am start each episode talking about herself? Misha Euceph has …

When The Going Gets Tough, Keep Asking Questions

June 11th, 2019

14:11

NPR reporter Uri Berliner breaks from his usual approach to storytelling and finds interviewing his dad about growing up in Berlin in the 1930s to be …

Some Fav And Not-So-Fav Sounds

May 29th, 2019

18:41

Sewage pipes, a radio crime, and sound designing inner thoughts.... Must be another episode of Rob's fav sounds but this time with a twist -- a sound that annoyed Rob to no end. Clips from BBC 3 and Nathanial Mann, …

Getting Inside Someone Else’s Skin

May 14th, 2019

24:35

Every once in a while, I think HowSound should focus solely on interviewing. To heck with sound design, writing, ethics, tracking, and the like. Just …

Eight Things I Like About 10 Things That Scare Me

April 30th, 2019

11:46

On this episode, the convention-busting production choices of "10 Things That Scare Me."

Nuggets

April 16th, 2019

17:35

Sometimes, there's just too much good work to feature on HowSound. To solve the problem, from time to time I feature a slew of ear-catching clips on …

How Sruthi Tracks

April 2nd, 2019

15:29

At a school where I taught radio, in the mic booth, there was a photo of Studs Terkel hanging on the wall. Under it, someone wrote “Talk to Studs.”

An Editor’s Fingerprints

March 19th, 2019

20:22

Since 2009, Julia Barton's edited a lot of radio and podcasts you probably listen to including Revisionist History. On this HowSound, Julia talks …

All The Sound We Can Not Hear

March 5th, 2019

12:47

Jeff Emtmen pulled an audio sleight of hand in an episode of Hear Be Monsters about Mexican free-tail bats. It's a delight to listen to. To …

Two From The Road In Nashville

February 19th, 2019

22:19

Why do students at Transom's Traveling Workshops produce such solid work on very little sleep? Because they're driven to learn? Yup. Because they …

A Sonic Conjuring

February 5th, 2019

11:42

On this episode, a fascinating minute of audio - the sound of war and peace reconstructed from the exact end of World War I. Even more fascinating, the producers - Will Worsley and Sam Britton - conjured the sound using …

Twitter Vox

January 22nd, 2019

11:38

Back in September, Barrie Hardymon and Dana Cronin produced a short, sharp, shock of a story. One that featured tweets recorded by listeners including a tweet that had to be approved by NPR legal before broadcast. And …

Taking Control Of The Music

January 8th, 2019

21:10

Jim Briggs and Fernando Arruda compose music for stories at Reveal. HowSound's Rob Rosenthal talks with them about the way they think about music and scoring. We think you’ll find it instructive, even if your music …

Your Skull Is An Ear

December 26th, 2018

15:13

Up now on HowSound, a recent doc from BBC 3 called "Right Between the Ears" features ear-catching sound design and reveals how ears aren't the only …

Making Sense Of A Pile Of Tape

December 11th, 2018

20:21

A pile of tape just might be a treasure trove of radio gold. But how do you go manage it? Bianca Giaever has answers and a touching documentary …

Enticing Listeners To Press Play Again

November 27th, 2018

29:19

That feeling you have at the end of a serialized podcast where all you want to do is press play again -- what causes that? Rob talks to Leah Sottlile and Ryan Haas from Bundyville about episode endings that entice …

These Are A Few Of My Favorite (Recent) Clips

November 13th, 2018

18:27

A student once asked me “How do you find the stories you feature on HowSound?” I’m asked that a lot, actually. And, I’m sorry to say, I don’t have any secrets to reveal. I probably find stories and podcasts the same way …

You Just Won’t Know If You Don’t Ask

October 31st, 2018

18:41

Jennifer Kingsley was so nervous when she started "Humans of the Arctic" she didn't eat for a week. But, she stepped off the boat in Svalbard with her mic and recording gear and learned a valuable lesson - you just …

Fictional Sounds For A Fictional Story

October 16th, 2018

22:06

Producer Morgan Givens lays out his elaborate thinking behind a few sound effects he recorded for a historical fiction story he produced about an escaped slave.

The Podcast Mindset: Part 2

October 2nd, 2018

20:34

It's a hackneyed idea, but it bears repeating: you can have all the right gear and marketing and everything else to make your podcast successful, but …

The Podcast Mindset: Part 1

September 18th, 2018

28:42

Recording equipment? Check. Marketing plan? Check. Theme music? Check. Mindset?..... You can have all the technical and logistical aspects of podcasting in place but if you don't have the right outlook, your effort may …

Color Notes

September 5th, 2018

12:40

Often, sound brings to light the visuals in a radio story. But, narration can paint pictures, too. NPR's John Burnett talks "color notes" in radio …

Three Stories, Marfa Style

August 21st, 2018

29:13

For some radio inspiration, make sure to listen to these three stories produced in a week by students at a recent Transom Traveling Workshop in Marfa, Texas. Then, sign up for a workshop yourself!

Story Endings

August 7th, 2018

12:39

The narrative arc in recent story about the drug epidemic by NPR's Rachel Martin was like being taken down into a basement and having the light turned off. The piece was bleak and the ending was, perhaps, the darkest …

Anatomy Of A Scene

July 24th, 2018

20:00

Radio producers talk about the scenes in their stories all the time. "What are the scenes in your story?" "Oh, I got some great scene tape today." But what is a scene? On this episode, Rob dissects one of the best …

A Rockin’ Start

July 10th, 2018

14:29

It's possible I love David Weinberg's "Louie Louie" doc because I love the song. It's "Louie Louie" for God's sake. But, really, what hooked me was David's writing. Especially the opening.

Three Student Stories Produced In Only A Week

June 26th, 2018

21:37

Three students. Three stories. One week. Hear what can be accomplished in a very short period of time with barely any sleep.

Hang A Picture In Front Of The Mic

June 12th, 2018

13:58

Select telling details... Mete out descriptions... Cast surprising characters... and other tips for dynamic and visual reporting on the arts from the legendary Susan Stamberg.

25th Anniversary Of “Ghetto Life 101”

May 29th, 2018

43:32

This year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the best -- if not the best -- radio documentary: Ghetto Life 101. Producer David Isay and editor Gary Covino recall their landmark work on this episode of HowSound.

Recording Binaurally

May 15th, 2018

18:59

All you need to know for this episode is this: Listen with your best headphones!

Finding Chenjerai The Storyteller

May 1st, 2018

22:00

A few years ago, Chenjerai Kumanyika went to record his narration for his first-ever radio story. And he discovered a problem: "What should I sound …

Police Ride-Alongs

April 17th, 2018

14:58

How can you be fair during an interview with a suspect when a police officer is standing right there? Over the years as a law enforcement reporter …

The Value Of A Sympathetic Character

April 3rd, 2018

21:57

What do you do when the main character in a story is strange, bizarre, and weird? So crazy listeners might tune out? One answer is to find a sympathetic character, someone the audience can relate to. Producer Ann …

Sports Stories That Work

March 20th, 2018

19:00

Bradley Campbell couldn't believe it when I told him I'd like to interview him about sports stories. He knows how much I hate them. But, a sports …

Stopping A Podcast

March 6th, 2018

22:53

Megan Tan pulled the plug. She stopped producing Millennial at the height of the podcast boom. Her inspiring yet cautionary tale on this episode of …

A Question To Start A Story?

February 21st, 2018

24:49

One way to start a story is with a question -- one that focuses and animates the piece. Annie Minoff and Elah Feder of the "Undiscovered" podcast use focus questions as story starters to great effect. But, I had some …

Journalism Of Empathy

February 6th, 2018

18:01

"The Promise," a podcast from WPLN in Nashville, is an inspiring example of the journalism of empathy. And, it's easily some of the best local reporting I've heard in a long time. Meribah Knight explores this approach …

Reporting On Traumatic Events

January 23rd, 2018

15:20

A shooter guns down twenty-six people in a church. Soon after, Debbie Elliott from NPR shows up, a stranger with a microphone. She says it's hard not to feel like a pariah when reporting in traumatic situations. So, how …

Don’t Write, Tell

January 9th, 2018

12:01

Planet Money's Noel King says the best way to write for radio is to not write. Instead? Tell.

Two Traveling Workshop Stories

December 26th, 2017

17:36

Two solidly produced, fun stories from students at the Transom Traveling Workshop in Marfa, Texas. Both are well worth your listen.

Radio Is A Visual Medium

December 12th, 2017

14:16

"Radio is the most visual medium." Aviva DeKornfeld's story "After the Storm" is proof. So much so, it's just as much a photo essay as it is a radio story.

Avoiding Cheesy Sound Design

November 28th, 2017

21:50

Jad Abumrad of Radiolab delivers the goods on sound design in radio stories. A must listen if you're thinking of sound designing your next radio …

Stepping In With The Facts

October 31st, 2017

18:04

A recent story on NPR about the Confederate flag got Rob wondering about the practice of correcting interviewees in narration. Producer Zach Hirsch produced the story and he explains why he felt challenging the …

The Broken Narrative

October 17th, 2017

20:41

Greg Warner is one of Rob Rosenthal's favorite radio writers. He deftly put the "broken narrative" to good use in an episode of his NPR podcast "Rough Translation." In fact he's so good at it, you'd have no idea he was …

Sounding Like Yourself

October 3rd, 2017

15:12

Why is it so hard to sound like yourself when reading narration for radio stories? Transom's Viki Merrick offers some voicing coaching gold. You'll …

Sound Design Basics

September 19th, 2017

15:44

After teaching documentary storytelling for seventeen years, I feel confident in the advice I give students, most of the time. But, as soon as someone brings up sound design, I’m flummoxed. I feel like my advice is next …

Making First-Person Stories Stand Out

September 5th, 2017

27:25

With the glut of first-person stories these days, how do you make yours stand out? Neil Sandell has some ideas.

Fact-Checking “A Life Sentence”

August 22nd, 2017

20:56

Producer Samantha Broun and This American Life's Christopher Swetala join me to talk about fact-checking "A Life Sentence" on this episode of HowSound.

Ready, Set, Radio Race!

August 8th, 2017

18:16

If you have one day to produce a story for KCRW's 24-Hour Radio Race, reach for low hanging fruit, right? Not if your Esther Honig. On this episode, …

Let The Tape Sing And Other Lessons From A Filmmaker Turned Podcaster

July 25th, 2017

14:08

Filmmaker Tally Abecassis learned a lot about audio storytelling when she jumped in the deep end & started producing "First Day Back." The …

A Few Of My Favorite Things

July 11th, 2017

53:48

Irish radio producer Ronan Kelly has a great ear for compelling radio. He plays story DJ on this archive episode of HowSound from 2010.

Ask Uncomfortable Questions

June 27th, 2017

21:57

I was so nervous talking to Ashley Ahearn the producer of KUOW's new podcast about the environment "terrestrial." I should have been. I asked her …

Improvisation And Structure

June 13th, 2017

12:20

Sook-Yin Lee describes the combination of improvisation and structure that informs the production of Sleepover, a hit podcast from the CBC.

Stories That Are Impossible To Pitch

May 30th, 2017

19:38

Sometimes, pitching a story is the last thing you want to do. Just press record and see what happens. Jay Allison is the guest on this episode of HowSound.

On Interviewing A Racist

May 16th, 2017

17:37

"Live like the truth is true and go where love has not yet arrived." Words Al Letson of Reveal lives by, especially when interviewing a racist.

When A Good Idea For A Podcast Is A Bad Idea For A Podcast

May 2nd, 2017

26:38

Heed Arwen Nicks' warnings. Arwen explains when a good idea for a podcast is really a terrible idea for a podcast.

Avoiding Pesky Recording Problems

April 18th, 2017

12:28

Never say to yourself: "I'll fix it in the mix." Fixing recording mistakes in the studio can lead to more problems. Instead, prevent issues before they happen. Rob Byers, from NPR's Training Team has tips for avoiding …

Dead Mom Talking

April 4th, 2017

22:43

Rachel Matlow had a head slappingly simple idea: make a conversation out of the interviews she recorded with her mom after her mom died. But, simple it was not. Rachel explains the backstory on her Third Coast …

Reporting On Whiteness

March 21st, 2017

14:21

The series "Seeing White" is essential listening. John Biewen reports on whiteness and white people for his podcast "Scene on Radio."

Intimate Interviewing

March 7th, 2017

18:31

How does Lu Olkowski get such intimate interview tape? She shares some of her approaches including a couple that are a bit unorthodox, I'd say.

Rethinking A Podcast Top To Bottom

February 21st, 2017

14:36

After 5 years producing a successful podcast, Aaron Hendkin & Wendel Jenkins of WYPR's "Out of the Blocks" have decided to remake the show. On …

Sound As The Protagonist

February 7th, 2017

20:15

Take a deep sonic dive as we listen to "Jump Blue," by Nicolas Jackson and Afonica. Remember to hold your breath.

Shaking Up Storytelling Formulas

January 24th, 2017

18:09

Did Robert Smith of Planet Money go to far to make the uninteresting interesting? Robert talks about using "Oblique Strategies" for reporting an arcane topic in economics.

Buried Treasures, Again

January 10th, 2017

22:03

Get your headphones ready and listen! Two buried treasures from Transom students. A story about domestic violence. Another about eels.

Morphing Print Essays Into Radio

December 27th, 2016

13:40

Some print essays make great radio. Jay Cowit, Technical Director for The Takeaway, tells us how they recently did it.

Composing Music For Stories On This American Life

December 13th, 2016

14:18

A lot of the music This American Life uses to score stories is composed for the program. Producer Jonathan Menjivar and musician Matthias Bossi of Stellwagen Symphonette talk about the music that works and doesn't work …

On Your Mark. Get Set. Start Your Story.

November 29th, 2016

15:52

There are no rules about starting a story but, there are some common approaches. Jessica Terrell dissects several story-starting tricks she used in …

The Blindsiding Twist

November 15th, 2016

19:22

Story twists are the hallmark of Love + Radio. Nick van der Kolk dissects the blind-siding reveal in "A Girl of Ivory."

Story Structure: The ‘e’

November 1st, 2016

26:19

Rob dissects an episode of 99% Invisible to reveal a common but effective story structure -- the 'e.'

Narrating To An Audience

October 18th, 2016

18:46

Outside/In host Sam Evans Brown narrated the first few minutes of an episode of the podcast just fine -- really well, in fact. Then he switched gears …

The Evolution Of A Story

October 4th, 2016

21:30

A son. A father. And an alien abduction. What more do you need to know?!

Doorstepping: The Uninvited Interview

September 20th, 2016

13:25

Approaching a stranger on the street for an interview, pretty easy. "Doorstepping," knocking on the door of a house or entering a business for an interview uninvited, not so easy. Producer Nina Perry on her …

Subjective Reporting

September 6th, 2016

14:44

I dare you to listen to this story from Ryan Sweikert and not be moved. A perfect example of what he calls "subjective reporting."

How Not To Write For Radio

August 23rd, 2016

21:07

There's blood on the floor. Rob skewers the writing in one of his first-ever radio stories to reveal how not to write.

Sound Matters

August 9th, 2016

20:03

Not everything has to sound the same. British/Danish producer Tim Hinman, of Third Ear, talks about tone and his podcast Sound Matters.

Hiroshima Revisited

July 26th, 2016

45:20

If you want to re-broadcast a doc from 20 years ago but don't like a lot of the writing, the mix, and the voicing, what do you do? If you're John …

Radio Silence

July 12th, 2016

11:34

Silence is a radio no-no. But what if you want to produce a story where the central focus is silence? Some answers on this HowSound.

Short Is Beautiful

June 28th, 2016

15:12

Podcasters are free to produce without the confines of the public radio clock. So, why go so long? Short is beautiful.

Should Stations Produce Podcasts?

June 14th, 2016

26:07

A lot of public radio stations are wringing their hands these days about podcasting. "Should we or shouldn't we," they wonder? Wyoming Public Radio's …

The Ethics Of Trespassing And Secret Recording

May 31st, 2016

30:52

When is it okay to trespass and use secretly recorded phone calls while producing a story? Not often. But, producer Jack Rodolico remained ethical …

Show The Girls The Snakes

May 17th, 2016

30:39

Three early pieces from The Kitchen Sisters circa 1980, stories sparked by mistakes and chance encounters. Their DIY approach is inspired.

First-Person Reporting

April 19th, 2016

15:43

Sean Corcoran is a reporter's reporter. Straight-forward. Unbiased. Ethical. So why did he break some of his own rules on a story about opiate …

Still More Buried Treasures: Student Work

April 5th, 2016

25:18

Two more classics from Rob's vault of student-produced stories including one from 2003 by NPR's Gregory Warner, long before he became the network's …

Tinkering With Sound Design

March 22nd, 2016

21:02

How does your brain react when you drive through an intersection? Martine Powers answers that question and explains her clever sound design in her story "Driving In Circles."

Producing Personal Pieces

March 8th, 2016

23:50

It's rare when a reporter turns the mic on themselves. Stephanie Foo's essay "The Favorite" for This American Life is an excellent example of why it …

What Do You Do When The Rooster Dies?

February 23rd, 2016

16:30

When an interviewee is too nice, getting what you need as a reporter can be a challenge. Monika Blackwell relates how she navigated the "reporter/subject relationship" (& death of a rooster) during a Transom …

Should I Or Shouldn’t I: Recording In Stereo

February 9th, 2016

18:25

Rob and his guest, audio engineer Flawn Williams, attempt to answer the question: Should I record in stereo?

Magical Realism In Radio

January 26th, 2016

35:25

Here's something you don't hear very often when talking about radio documentaries: magical realism. Producer David Weinberg talks about how he used magical realism in his doc "Grace of the Sea."

Interviewing With Your Skeptical Brain

January 12th, 2016

17:31

Transom Story Workshop student Sally Helm talks with Rob Rosenthal about learning the value of being skeptical and pushing back during interviews. Also featured in this episode, her excellent story about the 1977 …

Frank Langfitt’s Unusual Voicing Method

December 29th, 2015

9:31

Reporter Frank Langfitt shares a surprising trick for sounding natural while narrating radio stories.

What’s Changed?: The Power Of Follow-Up Stories

December 16th, 2015

32:08

Put time to work for you. The power of follow-up stories.

More Buried Treasures: Two Student Stories

December 1st, 2015

21:51

Two excellent student stories from years ago prove that radio is the most visual medium.

The Biggest Story In The World

November 17th, 2015

22:29

The Guardian has proven that podcasts from newspapers can be ear-catching -- great sound design and narrative. Producer Francesca Panetta talks about "The Biggest Story in the World."

Small Is Beautiful

November 3rd, 2015

24:40

Want to learn how to write an essay? Study "The Memory Palace." Nate DiMeo, the host, is my guest on HowSound.

Writing Out Of Tape

October 20th, 2015

11:54

Writing into tape is a necessity. Narration needs to lead to a quote. But, what about writing out of tape? Mose Buchele of KUT-FM in Austin has an uncommon approach.

Frustrated Artist Finds Way To Make Art

October 6th, 2015

19:50

Al Letson is fully dedicated to the journalistic work he produces at State of the Re:Union and Reveal, but deep down, he's still an artist. That's …

Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown with Deb Amos and Noah Adams

September 22nd, 2015

32:14

NPR's Deborah Amos and Noah Adams recall their haunting, must-hear documentary from 1981 about mass suicide at "Jonestown," Guyana.

Buried Treasures: Four Student Pieces

September 8th, 2015

30:52

Rob digs into an archive of good stories, well told, and features four by his former students.

Story Dissection: Dead Animal Man

August 25th, 2015

29:17

Rob Rosenthal combs through Ira Glass's piece "Dead Animal Man" minute by minute pointing out all of its radio goodness.

Finding The Story When You Know Too Much

August 11th, 2015

20:43

How do you find the story when know too much and have hours and hours of tape? Reporter Karen Duffin and Radiolab producer Kelsey Padgett trace the …

Producing Science Stories With A Scientist

July 28th, 2015

16:56

Producer Kerry Donahue pulls back the curtain on producing science stories with a scientist for PRX's podcast "Transistor."

Remixing The Music

July 14th, 2015

32:14

HowSound's Rob Rosenthal remixes a story from Latino USA by producer Neena Pathak to reveal a different way to score a piece.

A Mom, A Transgender Daughter, And A Podcast

June 30th, 2015

20:57

Producer Marlo Mack on the impulse to pick up a microphone and record her transgender daughter for her podcast “How to Be a Girl.”

A Matter Of Ethics

June 16th, 2015

18:24

In 2008, student producer Jamie Yuenger recorded a remarkably private moment during a moose hunt. How she got that recording may cause you to raise your "ethics eyebrow."

Radio Luck And The Gift Of Character Change

June 2nd, 2015

22:31

In a character driven story, producer Hillary Frank says the story will be more satisfying if the character changes, evolves. Hillary got "radio …

Foils And Other First Person Tricks

May 19th, 2015

23:49

Neenah Ellis talks with Rob Rosenthal about her series "One Hundred Years of Stories" and she shares some of her tips for first-person stories.

The Path To Primary Care

May 5th, 2015

17:59

In this episode of HowSound, Rob Rosenthal talks with producer Karen Brown about her piece, "The Path to Primary Care: Who Will Be the Next Generation of Frontline Doctors." A local piece with national appeal.

Radio Writing With Alex Chadwick

April 21st, 2015

17:57

On this edition of HowSound, Alex Chadwick and Rob Rosenthal trade tips on writing for radio that new producers will find invaluable.

Concerning Breakfast

April 7th, 2015

24:21

This week on HowSound, Rob Rosenthal shares one of his favorite pieces of all time, "Concerning Breakfast" produced by Annie Cheney and Jay Allison for the series, “Life Stories,” (Associate Producer, Christina Egloff).

Death, Sex And Money With Anna Sale

March 24th, 2015

57:20

Anna Sale, the host of the podcast "Death, Sex and Money" talks with Rob Rosenthal in front of a live audience about the art of interviewing and …

Teenage Diaries Revisited: Melissa’s Story

March 10th, 2015

45:02

This episode of HowSound features Joe Richman of Radio Diaries talking about his Third Coast Award winning piece, Teenage Diaries Revisited: Melissa's Story.

Reporting Dark Matters

February 24th, 2015

39:55

A live interview with 2014 Third Coast International Audio Festival Award winners, Luke Malone and Pat Walters.

Barf Draft With An iPhone

February 10th, 2015

15:49

Rob Rosenthal talks with producer Bradley Campbell about "barf drafts." A technique for producing radio stories that Bradley swears by. Especially when he's on a tight deadline.

Revisiting Criminal

January 27th, 2015

21:52

The podcast, “Criminal” has enjoyed a big jump in popularity. Rob Rosenthal talks with “Criminal’s” host Phoebe Judge about growth—how good press and …

Burroughs at 100

January 13th, 2015

33:32

"Burroughs at 100" with Iggy Pop. What's not to like? A HowSound recorded live at the Third Coast International Audio Festival with award winning …

Australia!

December 30th, 2014

40:13

An Australian radio sampler with Julie Shapiro, Executive Producer for the Creative Radio Unit at Australian Public Broadcasting.

Here I Am And Here Be Danger

December 16th, 2014

27:16

Producer Annie McEwen talks about her award winning piece, "Here I Am and Here Be Danger."

Tandem

December 3rd, 2014

16:27

On this HowSound, how a story about a skydiving accident nearly drove Anna Rose MacArthur away from radio and what brought her back.

Bionic Pancreas

November 19th, 2014

14:57

Rob Stein and Rebecca Davis reveal the backstory to their working relationship as reporter and producer.

Strangers

November 5th, 2014

21:01

Lea Thau, host of the "Strangers" podcast on podcasting, journalism, and turning the mic toward yourself.

Early Bloom

October 15th, 2014

19:29

On this edition, we follow the path from script to a produced story about plant communication with Peter Frick-Wright and Robbie Carver.

HowSound Live!

October 2nd, 2014

27:00

A HowSound first: a live recording in front of an audience. The guest is Michael May who talks about his story "Death of a Bangalore Law Student."

Compassionate Release

September 17th, 2014

20:18

Natasha Haverty talks about her path from reporting on dairy princess pageants to award-winning investigative stories on prisons for North Country Public Radio in upstate New York.

The Hitchhiker

September 3rd, 2014

35:25

On this HowSound, Scott Carrier, Alex Chadwick, and the legendary story behind Scott's first radio piece "The Hitchhiker," produced in 1983.

Hard To Say

August 27th, 2014

11:08

On this episode, a 2004 "Best New Producer" award-winner from Third Coast and a real tearjerker produced by Bente Birkeland.

Set the Wayback Machine for 1914

August 6th, 2014

15:52

The staff at Studio 360 dissects the production, writing, and voicing of their recent broadcast from 1914.

3rd Grade Audio

July 23rd, 2014

16:51

Stories about drawing, getting old, stuffed animals, and what to do when you get a magnet stuck up your nose. It must be David Green's "Third Grade …

Five Things

July 9th, 2014

12:43

If I had to pick a story for a "Top Ten Favorite Student Features," "Five Things" by Matt Largey would be one of them because of the incredible …

Walking with the Voses

June 25th, 2014

21:29

Producer Jakob Lewis on "parachuting in" to produce a story about a funeral and a grieving family.

Love Is A Battlefield

June 11th, 2014

22:18

Interviewing tricks and tips from NPR science reporter Alix Spiegel. You'll want to take notes.

Look At Me, Did I Find True Love?

May 28th, 2014

19:48

Transom Story Workshop student, Alex Kapelman, with the story of a drummer with a hook for a hand and a 50-year old rock and roll mystery.

Criminal

May 14th, 2014

15:13

The new podcast "Criminal," is well worth a listen. Find out what it's all about from the program's host, Phoebe Judge.

Risky Reporting at Fukushima

April 24th, 2014

11:18

NPR foreign correspondent Anthony Kuhn on the risks involved reporting at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Typewriters Are Unpleasant

April 9th, 2014

12:15

Michael Raphael of Rabbit Ears Audio talks sound effects recording: winter scenes, rockets, cityscapes, and the soul destroying typewriter.

Getting Honest: The Editor, Producer Relationship

March 26th, 2014

22:00

Producer Will Coley and editor Viki Merrick offer HowSound listeners a gift by talking about their editorial process, a working relationship that is …

Baking Tape

March 12th, 2014

12:20

A painful reminiscence about preserving old reel-to-reel tapes by baking them. No, that's not a typo. Baking.

To Scene or Not To Scene

February 26th, 2014

12:15

NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg finds on-scene narration canned and phoney and she says ambient sound often gets in the way of a story. Yet, her recent report on buffer zones around health clinics …

Dear Birth Mother

February 12th, 2014

32:58

On this edition of HowSound, a 2005 Third Coast Festival award-winner from Long Haul Productions about a transracial adoption.

Recording Not By The Book

January 29th, 2014

17:12

Tight budgets, technological advances, and the impulse to experiment are leading some producers to record "not by the book." Does it work?

The Hospital Always Wins

January 16th, 2014

21:07

Laura Starecheski should win a radio endurance award. Laura tells the story of her decade -- ten years! -- of research and production on "The …

Hark! The Acoustic World of Elizabethan England

January 2nd, 2014

55:48

Three radio greats -- Chris Brookes, Paolo Pietropaolo, and Alan Hall -- explore the sound of England 400 years ago along with our modern soundscape.

The Last of the Iron Lungs

December 18th, 2013

13:24

Julia Scott says "participant observation" is a valuable reporting tool, even if it means climbing into an "iron lung" which looks like something …

The New New Sheriff in Town

December 4th, 2013

9:59

Headphones are mandatory for this episode of HowSound. Kathy Tu's second radio story ever will set your ears ablaze.

Just Plumb Gone

November 20th, 2013

17:42

Mary Helen Miller encourages station-based producers to "Sneak out the back door with the tape recorder and make something good."

The Elusive Digital Stradivarius

November 6th, 2013

16:30

David Schulman usually produces non-narrated stories on music. Recently, he stepped out of his usual style to produce a narrated science story …

This Story May Be Recorded… To Save Your Life

October 24th, 2013

16:32

Yowei Shaw amassed 325 pages of transcripts for her This American Life story on Eritrean hostages and the reporter who uncovered the story. And that was just the beginning of Yowei's long, grueling production process …

Hafid is Free

October 9th, 2013

8:41

"Hafid is Free" is a solid example of what a story needs when it doesn't have a narrative hook.

Heyoon

September 25th, 2013

14:03

A recent episode of "99% Invisible" employed a dramatic recreation to bring the past to life. Producers Alex Goldman and Sam Greenspan explain how …

Nodding Syndrome

September 11th, 2013

16:15

Producer Matt Kielty wonders about "objectification" and advancing a career reporting on the suffering of others.

Autism Grows Up

August 28th, 2013

19:30

Capital Public Radio's Catherine Stifter and jesikah maria ross (no caps) are tasked with changing the sound of the station's documentary unit.

Stylus

August 14th, 2013

16:32

New producers Conor Gillies and Zack Ezor get it right, right out of the gate with their documentary "Stylus" on music and sound.

Reporting Trauma After the Boston Marathon

July 31st, 2013

22:34

Interviewing traumatized people is no easy task. Zach Hirsch, a radio producer, and Bruce Shapiro, Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, offer suggestions for treating victims with respect.

Just Another Fish Story

July 17th, 2013

12:12

Molly Menschel's radio story about a beached whale in Lubec, Maine is so good, you'll be jealous of her storytelling and production skills. In fact, …

Love + Radio

July 3rd, 2013

18:49

Nick van der Kolk on "auteurship" and the incredibly unique sound of the "Love + Radio" podcast.

Witness to an Execution

June 20th, 2013

24:41

"Witness to an Execution," another addition to my Top 10 list of radio documentaries. "Witness" was produced by Stacy Abromson and Dave Isay in 2000. The prison warden and staff of a prison in Texas recount their …

52hz

June 5th, 2013

17:05

Lilly Sullivan relates the curious tale of "52 Hertz," the whale who sings at the "wrong" frequency.

Balance and The Minnesota Marriage Amendment

May 22nd, 2013

24:42

Reporter Sasha Aslanian on balanced reporting during Minnesota's gay marriage debate.

Josh: Growing Up With Tourette’s

May 8th, 2013

36:48

Happy Birthday to Teenage Diaries! To mark the occasion and the production of five updated stories, HowSound features a story dissection with producer Joe Richman recorded in 2009.

Recording in Remote Locations

April 10th, 2013

14:33

Headed out to report in a faraway place? Dan Grossman says "Be prepared." Dan shares intriguing sounds and important field preparation tips on this HowSound.

My Kingdom For Some Structure

March 27th, 2013

13:44

Producer Bradley Campbell says story structure is a like a map, it shows you were to go. For this episode of HowSound, Bradley drew story structures on napkins (really) and we dissect his drawings.

Generation Putin

March 13th, 2013

21:16

International reporting is an order of magnitude more challenging than local reporting. Producers Sarah Partnow & Sarah Stuteville talk about the travails of overseas reporting in the former Soviet Union for their …

What If There Was No Destiny?

February 27th, 2013

20:24

If only there was a quadratic equation for ethics, right? Plug in the variables and the equation spits out the answers. No such luck which means we've got to talk it through, like we do on this episode of HowSound with …

Curious City

February 13th, 2013

14:22

"Curious City" loves the local. Hear how this project at WBEZ brings listeners into the making of radio and on-line content.

Three Records from Sundown

January 30th, 2013

33:25

Producer Charles Maynes crafted the perfect tone for his documentary on singer Nick Drake called "Three Records from Sundown." It's almost as though Drake and his producer, Joe Boyd, were in the studio recording a Nick …

Tiny Spark

January 16th, 2013

25:35

"Tiny Spark" is an impressive new podcast from Amy Costello. Amy produces in-depth investigative stories about non-profits and foundations.

The Tale of Lot 180

January 2nd, 2013

19:59

WLRN reporter Kenny Malone offers his strategy for creative storytelling: a clever central question, story motion, and place. This episode features Kenny's ear catching story about Florida's Unclaimed Property Auction, …

‘Til Death Do Us Part

December 19th, 2012

29:14

Producers Sara Archambault and Heather Radke talk about how they responded when characters in stories they produced died.

Dear Craigslist: I Have A Small Swastika Tattoo and I Want It Off

December 5th, 2012

20:45

On the radio, why don't we hear more conversations with interesting people? Emily Hsiao's radio story, "Leaving A Mark," is just that. You'll want to listen twice.

The Burning Question

November 21st, 2012

16:56

The interview may be the core of what we do as radio producers. Who better to talk about interviewing than Audie Cornish who says she conducts fifteen interviews a week for NPR's All Things Considered. Take notes on her …

Jad’s Brain

November 7th, 2012

17:06

We're goin' in! Grab your earbuds and don your spelunking light. Our destination? Jad Abumrad's brain. Jad's a co-host and the producer of Radiolab, …

The Seance

October 25th, 2012

26:27

Boo! Here's your Halloween edition of HowSound featuring "The Seance" by Bob Carlson.

The Green Lawns of Texas

October 10th, 2012

24:17

Avoiding the pitfalls of "parachute journalism" with Marketplace reporter Krissy Clark.

A Trip to the Dentist

September 26th, 2012

21:19

You'll probably get dizzy listening to "A Trip to the Dentist," a legendary, psychedelic story from Larry Massett.

Alleged Illegal Searches

September 12th, 2012

21:54

Criminal justice reporter Ailsa Chang on her duPont-Columbia award winning story for WNYC.

Passing Stranger: The East Village Poetry Walk

September 5th, 2012

12:34

Pejk Malinovksy on producing audio tours including Passing Stranger: The East Village Poetry Walk

She Sees Your Every Move

August 22nd, 2012

22:47

Finally. A LONG overdue HowSound on scoring --- using music in a story. I dissect Jonathan Mitchell's use of scoring in his provocative story "She Sees Your Every Move."

Dissecting Joanne Rosser, Papermaker

August 8th, 2012

16:17

I hope you're not squeamish. On this HowSound, I take a scalpel to a profile on papermaker Joanne Rosser. Let's peel back the surface of the story to reveal its narrative and production innards.

One Species at a Time

July 25th, 2012

15:46

Imagine spending 5 years working on your PhD studying killer whale vocalization. Then imagine deciding you don’t want to be an ocean biologist. …

The Secret

July 11th, 2012

18:58

Initially, "The Secret" by Carma Jolly seems like it might be a story about Carma's brother and his near-death experience. Then, suddenly, story …

Stand-Ups

June 27th, 2012

16:03

If NPR reporter Robert Smith isn't the king of the stand-up, he surely is the prince. Robert lays out his methodology for solid stand-ups.

Two Cape Cods

June 13th, 2012

15:49

A few years ago, right around the time newspaper readership plummeted and papers shut-down one after another, Reporter Sean Corcoran left newspaper reporting for radio. He talks about how reporting differs in the two …

The Gift That Was Brought To Us

May 30th, 2012

10:30

There's a compelling story to be found in every day life, even a ukulele orchestra.

Happy Birthday Studs!

May 16th, 2012

23:39

Studs Terkel, America's interviewer, would be 100 today! Happy Birthday Studs!! Syd Lewis worked with Studs for a 25 years. I chat with Syd about …

Fact Check This

May 2nd, 2012

20:27

Seek the truth and report it. That's the core of journalism. But the truth needs to be checked -- fact checked. And when you don't.....well, just ask …

Krulwich on Gorilla Cage Drama

March 7th, 2012

31:47

Robert Krulwich's stories are always ear-catching and dramatic whether they're on radio, television, or in person at conferences. He practically …

A Dual Narrative

February 22nd, 2012

21:04

Radio stories usually aren't very complicated. Generally, you can place stories into two categories--the argument story and the narrative story. Whitney Jones produced a somewhat different story last fall while he was …

Chorus of Refuge

February 8th, 2012

15:06

Once you've finished producing a story, what are you supposed to do with all the tape? Just let it sit on a shelf? This HowSound will stretch your ears with a sound art piece by Kara Oehler, Jason Cady, and Ann …

The Pirate

January 25th, 2012

18:11

Kelly McEvers is a mic-slinger. Draws from the hip. Records with precision. Not afraid. (Okay, maybe a little afraid.) On this HowSound, she is unabashed about her adrenaline addiction, her critique of the NPR sound, …

Different, Not Disabled

January 11th, 2012

14:59

Radio storytelling is an excellent teaching tool for young people in practically any classroom. Here's a quick primer on youth radio and a commentary …

99% Invisible

December 28th, 2011

19:14

99% Invisible is my new favorite podcast. A little bit RadioLab, a touch of This American Life, and a lot of Roman Mars, the producer. Roman talks about a bit about the design of the podcast and podcasting writ large.

The Longest, Shortest Time

December 14th, 2011

24:46

Hillary Frank launched a decade-long career in radio with an answering machine as a tape recorder. Hillary talks about microcassettes, boomboxes, podcasting, and motherhood.

A No Story Story

November 30th, 2011

8:25

Imagine this: You've met a total character. She's kind of eccentric. She has forty-one animals in her backyard and it's not a farm. And, just about every time she talks, she says something amazing. But, there's no …

The Plane That Flew Into the Empire State Building

November 16th, 2011

22:29

Listen to the audio in this video. It's perfect for radio. With some editing, narration, & other content, you could easily turn this into a radio …

Kohn

November 2nd, 2011

14:12

There seems to be a trend afoot in documentary radio -- working directly with musicians to compose music for a story. Andy Mills won "Best New Artist" at the 2011 Third Coast Filmless Festival. Well deserved. Have a …

Edward Stephenson, Tobacco Auctioneer

October 19th, 2011

13:39

Keys to good storytelling: strong, simple writing; solid voicing; professional recording & mixing; compelling characters; a seductive narrative; …

Seizure’s Lament

October 5th, 2011

11:20

The Third Coast International Audio Festival is 3 days of ear candy. On this HowSound, I present one of the stories featured at this year's Filmless …

The Natural State

September 22nd, 2011

21:42

It's good to hear constructive (and, sometimes, not-so-constructive) feedback. However, a LOT of criticism, especially if it's pointed, well....is …

Inner-City Reality Check

September 7th, 2011

12:22

Katie Davis doesn't look very far for the stories she produces. In fact, they often come to her.... on her front porch. We feature Katie's essay produced in the aftermath of 9/11 -- An Inner-City Reality Check.

The Five Percent Rule

August 24th, 2011

15:19

The amount of effort Sally Herships put into her first investigative journalism piece….. well, it’s enough to drive you to smoke!

“The Five Percent …

Fighting With My Dad

August 10th, 2011

14:41

"I can’t think of anything more fraught than doing a story that explores intimate things about your relationship with your parents." On this …

Four Feet Under

July 26th, 2011

13:45

Here it is, the first HowSound, the backstory to great radio storytelling. We kick things off in a graveyard -- hopefully, that's not foreshadowing! …

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