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Obama and home brewing. ATC

Obama Polishes his “Regular Guy” Image With Beer http://www.npr.org/2012/09/15/161200943/obama-polishes-his-regular-guy-image-with-beer   In an answer to, “Which presidential candidate would you rather have a beer with?” Obama has gone one step further: brewing his own.  The report features Nick Bruening, a worker at the Brew Hut, a home brew supply store in Colorado.  Nick Bruening does his interview in the store where he works accompanied by the soft sounds of light commerce, people browsing in the background, likely scanning the shelves for some of those choice grains that apparently go into the best home brews.  The talk of the grains themselves  segues into the most distinct sound: grains being poured onto… more grains I think. To a lesser extent, there is also audio from a video clip provided by the White House website featuring the White House brew master, which is actually a thing that exists and that our tax dollars may very well be paying for.  The audio here is mostly just the brew master talking about his secret brew while the sounds of kitchen work go on behind him. In this entire story, there’s really not so much on-scene sound that it adds anything significant to the story, but it does at least suggest that the reporter got out of the studio. On at least the sampling of All Things Considered that I listened to (the weekend edition as well as the September 19th edition), I was surprised by the relative lack of stories from the field.  Even when the stories did include ambient noise, they rarely made much of an effort to weave it into the larger story.  For the most part, a heavy reliance on studio interviews seemed to stand in for the you-are-there immediacy that the ever-present ambient sound provided in the brewing story, however miniscule that ambient sound might have...
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Eggs and Radio

This report by Carrie Kahn on the Mexican egg shortage uses sound in a very effective way. After introducing the topic and explaining how price spikes are making this staple food inaccessible to a large part of the population, the sound of frying eggs pushes the story forward. This first sound not only relates to the general topic but also introduces the upcoming soundbite of a street vendor cooking eggs and showing that Mexico indeed has a voracious appetite for eggs. Later in the report, the sound of egg cartons opening and closing takes the listener straight to a scene where a man is checking for broken eggs before putting them for sale. The ways these sounds are introduced in this five minute report are also very smooth. The transitions between the script, the scenes and the interviews are spotless, and I believe this helps the listener feel familiar to and engaged by the topic. I think I had never heard a food related story on the radio before, let alone it being told in such a sensory way. Food stories usually rely on visual representations (video, photo) or on vivid, detailed descriptions (print), leaving out one of the key (although often overlooked) senses when it comes to cooking: hearing. I loved how this report reinstated it and relied on it in order to tell a compelling, successful...
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All Things Considered: “Adrian Sherwood: Dub Without Borders”...

In this report by Samy Yenigun about English dub producer Adrian Sherwood, the scene is perfectly set when Sherwood describes the atmosphere and the sounds inside London reggae clubs in the 1970’s. He uses vivid language like “You thought the building was being demolished!” and as he makes a crashing noise with his mouth, the deep tremor of a dub bassline pushes in the storyline. This careful sound editing bring the listener into the scene that Sherwood is describing. It also helps that he has a cockney accent. Another great thing about this report is how we seamlessly go from one musical style to another. The transition from dub to industrial rock could seem difficult to make but Sherwood clearly explains how he applied some caracteristics of dub to industrial music as a producer with, on top of that, musical examples where the listener can hear these similarities (around 2:00).  Listening to this report also made me realize that radio may be the absolute best medium for music journalism. It avoids all the wordiness of written word reviews (I’m looking at you Pitchfork) and just replaces it with the actual music. Common sense...
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Loy9

I came across an initiative in Phnom Penh, established to give young Cambodians between the age of 15 and 24  a platform from which they could express their opinions to government officials ahead of the 2013 elections. I wasn’t sure if we had to pick a radio station we could understand, but I was curious to poke around a little outside of English-based stations. The program is administered and funded by the BBC Media Action and UNDP. The program, called Loy9, is not exclusively radio (it includes a TV component as well), and is meant to get young people more invovled with political developments throughout the country. The campaign is designed and run by local Cambodian professionals, which I think is important when building out such an initiative. The project noted a study discussing the very low understanding/awareness of young people about their political system, and how the campaign is meant to inform this demographic. The study also noted that 30% of Cambodians are between the 15-24 age range, making it the youngest country in SouthEast Asia.   Here is the program...
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Internews Europe (Civic Example)

For this assignment, I found Internews Europe. Since starting in 1995, the organization’s mission has been to create media and train journalists in underserved areas. This means establishing networks in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, serving those affected by floods in Pakistan and establishing fellowships to focus on universal issues such as climate change. What’s interesting is that many of these projects, which are about six months to a year-long, are supported by larger organizations such as the BBC and the United States government.  I think Internews has become a niche organization where larger bodies can supply it with funds instead of having to do the outreach themselves. As recently as Aug. 31, Internews received a grant by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Directorate to create a radio station for Somali refugees in Dadaab, Kenya. The impending service would provide the hundreds of thousands of refugees with information on food, supplies and how the Ethiopian government is responding to the situation. According to the article I read on reliefweb.int, the camp is the largest of its kind in the world. What I find compelling is that journalists will be trained to transmit their broadcasts from their mobile devices. What used to require a large studio in a single place has been granted much more flexibility. The upcoming Kenyan project shows that there will always be people in dire situations who require easily accesible infromation. The easiest form seems to be radio. Link: www.internews.eu http://reliefweb.int/report/kenya/european-humanitarian-funds-dadaab-refugee-radio-service...
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Radio as Career Coach

With my hectic schedule of commuting and journalism school, I don’t get much time to listen to radio. However, I do always take some time to listen to 107.7 FM The Bronc, a local radio station run by Rider University, where I attended undergrad. While listening last night, I heard an advertisement for “Your Career is Calling“, a radio show that runs on Sunday mornings. The show is basically about how to find a job as spelled out by a career coach Rod Colon. While this is only a campus station, the signal gets carried throughout the county and has an online stream. Parts of Mercer County were hit pretty hard by the recession, particularly Trenton, which dealt with the double whammy of a poor economy and Governor Christie cutting state jobs. As most households own a radio, it seems like a good way to help people by giving them job hunting and career advice they’d normally lack access to without money. Links: The Bronc’s Schedule http://www.1077thebronc.com/?page_id=291 Listen Online Stream:...