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All Things Considered

For my radio listening assignment, I ended up listening to a story on NPR’s All Things Considered about Paul Ryan, an interview he did in which he said that he once had a black girlfriend, and whether or not that fact matters in the current political climate or the upcoming election. It was strange to me that this was even a story in this day and age, but the story definitely grabbed my attention anyway because I’m interested in stories that deal with social and race relations. I thought it was the story was compelling because it included sound bites from people weighing in on what it meant about Paul Ryan’s attitudes toward race were that he said this, and it also included a soundbite by performer Chris Rock relating to the issue, which added humor but also provoked further questions. I thought it was good radio because it didn’t just present the fact but rather allowed people to weigh in on different aspects of the story and built a dialogue around something that was at one point just a passing comment in an interview....
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Listening: NPR’s reporting on Ryan’s Speech at the RNC...

I listened to the NPR report on Morning Edition by Mara Liasson on the 2nd day Republican National Convention, specifically Paul Ryan’s speech. The report was long, over 8 minutes, but included many different soundbites from Ryan’s speech and others, in order to give the listener a complete recap. The reporter also provided insight on controversy regarding a false implication made by Ryan regarding a GM plant in his home state.  The soundbites were very strong in my opinion; they brought the convention to the ears of the listener, not only through the speech itself but because of the nat sound of the crowd cheering. The intro effectively explained the story, and the body gave specific details and critique on the speech itself. At the end, Liasson encouraged the listener to look forward to tonight, where Mitt Romney will formally accept the nomination. Here’s the audio below.    ...
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Illegal Dumping Story

http://motthavenherald.com/2012/07/06/company-punished-for-illegal-dumping/
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Afghanistan: 17 civilians beheaded

I was listening to WNYC Monday morning and heard a brief spot about 17 civilians being beheaded in Afghanistan for attending a dance party. The exact words I heard before running out the door to catch the train was something like: “17 Afghan civilians were beheaded in southern Afghanistan. Extremists said they were attending a dance party.” It sounded really shocking to me for obvious reasons, so I ended up looking up the story (appears here on NPR). Because I only heard the story mentioned in a brief news spot as opposed to a more in-depth newscast, I unfortunately didn’t get to hear how it was developed. However, if I could link this to the Transom reading on news spots, while the spot was very straightforward reporting, clearly and concisely worded, it created an image in my mind of how bad the conditions in Afghanistan still are. The spot mentioned Helmand, where the attack took place, was one of the most conflicted areas of the country, where insurgents hold the most power. So the image of 17 people being beheaded for attending a party is a good sense of just how bad things are. The radio story stayed in my head all day. While I continued to listen to WNYC throughout the week in search of other stories for this assignment, that’s the one that stuck with me, despite the fact that it was a spot no more than 45 seconds long. But again, as the reading suggested, a news spot can be more powerful than many...
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Listening Assignment 2

The Para Olympics began today in the UK and NPR posted a feature story that highlighted war veterans who were competing this year. One competitor, Iraqi war vet. Rob Jones, had both of his legs blown off during combat a few years ago and is now competing in a rowing competition. Jones exhibited perseverance and resilience, qualities which I assume were useful while he was in combat. I think the story of determination is always compelling. The reporter said, “The movement doesn’t exist without injured veterans,” during the story. Even though it was short and sweet I found that comment really powerful. It lead to information about the origin of the Para Olympics, which begun after World War II vets returned to England. Often times we hear stories about war vets being out of work or lacking medical care or enduring debilitating mental afflictions. I do feel that those reports are necessary. However, this was an inspiring take on a the veteran...