Posted by karenpetree
on Aug 29, 2012 in Thoughts on Radio
| Comments Off on Radio Moment that Grabbed Me
This evening, I listened to the August 27 broadcast of NPR’s All Things Considered a news program broadcast around the world. The piece that I found especially interesting was a 5 minute piece titled “Afghan Women Fear Backsliding on Key Gains.” The piece is about the abuses that Afghan women suffer. Women have made a lot of gains recently, but face increasing resentment from men when they try to assert those rights. They fear that when foreign influence leaves Afghanistan, they will lose all they have gained. There was initially some background music, but after that I didn’t notice any. At first I was surprised, but then I thought that it was fitting. Silence can speak just as loudly as anything else. During the piece, the journalist Sean Carberry tells the story of a 16-year-old girl named Peri. There are a couple of clips of Peri telling her story in her native language. This particularly struck me because it made her ordeal seem so much more real. Rather than translating literally, the journalist would follow these clips by relating Peri’s story in third person. He is telling us what she says, but he is letting her say it, which gives her a voice, even if it isn’t one that we can understand. This is important because we can hear the detachment and the emotion in her voice. We can also hear her age, which is especially disturbing. Hearing a 16 year old girl talk in her own voice about being given away at age 3, raped and forcibly married at 10, divorced a few years later, abused by a second husband, and attempting suicide adds something to the story that an adult male journalist cannot convey. Later on, when an adult Afghan woman is speaking, there is an interpreter talking over her. The effect is very different. ...