Ira Glass on the Art and Craft of Telling Great Radio Stories

As tele­vi­sion news con­tin­ues its pathet­ic slide into the abyss of celebri­ty wor­ship, polit­i­cal par­ti­san­ship and 24-hour pun­dit­ry, its encour­ag­ing to note that in one area of tra­di­tion­al broad­cast­ing there is actu­al­ly some­thing of a renais­sance going on. Pub­lic radio is buck­ing the trend with pro­grams like Radi­o­lab and This Amer­i­can life, shows that do noth­ing to con­firm our bias­es, but instead engage our curios­i­ty and teach us some­thing new.

In this fun­ny and thought-pro­vok­ing talk from the 2007 Gel Con­fer­ence, Ira Glass, host of This Amer­i­can Life, explains a lit­tle of what goes into a good radio sto­ry.  “Nar­ra­tive,” he says, “is basi­cal­ly a machine that’s rais­ing ques­tions and answer­ing them.” Glass’s talk is very much like his radio show. In exchange for a lit­tle patience, you will be reward­ed with a good sto­ry and per­haps an insight or two.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ken Burns on the Art of Sto­ry­telling: “It’s Lying Twen­ty-Four Times a Sec­ond”

The Moth Now Streams its Bril­liant & Qui­et­ly Addic­tive Sto­ries on the Web

Ira Glass on Why Cre­ative Excel­lence Takes Time

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