The Sound and the Story: NPR and the Art of Radio

The Sound and the Story: NPR and the Art of Radio

by Thomas Looker
     
 

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National Public Radio (NPR) has become a major source of news & inspiration for listeners everywhere. It has single-handedly reinvented the art of radio journalism & has become for many listeners the most important medium in their lives. Unlike network celebrities, the NPR staff labors in relative anonymity. This book takes us inside NPR to witness their work; it

Overview

National Public Radio (NPR) has become a major source of news & inspiration for listeners everywhere. It has single-handedly reinvented the art of radio journalism & has become for many listeners the most important medium in their lives. Unlike network celebrities, the NPR staff labors in relative anonymity. This book takes us inside NPR to witness their work; it invites us backstage at NPRs most popular daily & weekend shows as they get ready, often with seconds to spare, to go on the air. It provides revealing portraits of people such as Bob Edwards & Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg & Susan Stamberg.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Looker, who created and produced National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning New England Almanac series, spent six months in 1993 at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he interviewed staff, attended editorial meetings and observed the production of NPR's most popular shows. After the decline of commercial radio in the 1950s and '60s, NPR was founded in 1971 by a staff who believed in the power of radio to engage the imagination and curiosity of listeners by presenting creative programming. Looker details here, in lively and engrossing prose, the dedication and hard work that have gone into producing such shows as Morning Edition and All Things Considered on a shoestring budget. His interviews with NPR staff including Linda Wertheimer, Susan Stamberg and Art Silverman illuminate the current debate at NPR over whether the station should exist primarily as a news source or should produce programming that is unavailable on TV or in newspapers. An engaging backstage tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Looker attempts to show the future potential of National Public Radio (NPR) through a portrayal of its recent past, concentrating on its news division. Peabody award-winning radio journalist, former NPR staffer, and current lecturer in American studies, the author spent six months in 1993 visiting, observing, and interviewing at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. A fourth of the book is devoted to how one day's issue of Morning Edition got on the air. But Looker's primary concern is the undervalued power of radio-and NPR in particular-to add to listeners' lives. Looker contends that precisely because of radio's demand on the intellect and imagination it encourages the very faculties television dulls. More practically, Looker discusses staff dissension on such issues as the proper classification of radio as a medium, language, or a sound and the correct future direction of NPR news and the changes in funding that have added to the difficulties. NPR fans and communications students will enjoy this informative book. For communications collections in public and academic libraries.-Marianne Cawley, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore
Mary Carroll
Ten million Americans obtain some of their news from National Public Radio; this group includes a small but semifanatical cadre that will certainly expect to find this backstage look at NPR on their libraries' shelves. During his own 197583 career in public radio, Looker (who now lectures in American studies at Amherst) was the creator and producer of the Peabody Awardwinning "New England Almanac". "The Sound and the Story" is based on six months Looker spent at NPR headquarters, observing how its news programs are created and interviewing the specialists of various kinds whose expertise contributes to what listeners ultimately hear. But Looker's focus is not simply on the NPR news team and its shows; he has strong opinions on "the enormous, and still often untapped power of radio to enhance and enrich our lives." Fans of "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition" (as well as NPR's non-news programming) will want to accompany Looker on his journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395674390
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date:
03/27/1995
Series:
A Richard Todd Book
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.41(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.47(d)

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