Overall, I enjoyed listening to 24 Hours at the Golden Apple. I thought the reporting was really creative, especially the part when one of the reporters used a “Sex and The City” theme. What I also liked most was how the piece included stories that everyone could relate to- stories about history, hard financial times, immigration, loneliness (Joe, who is retired) relationships, and gentrification.
Yet there were a couple of bits I wasn’t so enthusiastic about. The comments the elderly woman made about fear of “the neighborhood going down” because it was less white made me feel uncomfortable. I understand that she’s a product of her time, and that she did change her mind about gay people. But still, for me as a listener she was an unlikable character. As a journalist, however, I understand why her story was included. It was compelling.
I think the part with the two drunk girls, and the woman who talked about her past lives, could have been cut out. My attention was loss during those parts.
One of the reporting techniques I noticed right away was the use of description to create a sense of place. Not only was this done at the beginning, but images of what the diner looked like were spread throughout the entire piece. Doing this held the attention of the audience, instead of cramming one large description into the beginning.
Another technique was the music that was used to move the story along and change scenes. It’s obvious to pick up on, but it was the variety of music that was innovative. Including music from Eddie the musician, and the teenage best friends who sang.
I wasn’t prepared to hear one of the reporter’s voice as she was asking questions. So far it’s not something that I’ve heard often on the radio. The reporter isn’t usually heard, letting the character tell the story. I know in some circumstances there’s no way to understand someone’s answer without hearing the question. I think this was the case with Joe, the retired construction worker. I did not mind hearing the questions, but if I could I would ask why the reporter’s voice was left in.
There was one small thing I thought was odd- when one of the earlier reports described Donna as “one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen in person.” When someone says that, I don’t know what to visualize in my head. It goes back to the “show don’t tell” part of journalism. I think just a simple description would have sufficed, letting the listener judge for themselves if the person is beautiful or not. I would also ask the reporter why she included that description.