The benefits of audio storytelling in the journalism world

I decided to listen to “This American Life”, hosted by Ira Glass, because some of my classmates have raved about the show and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard about “This American Life”; in fact I had to read a transcript from the show for my American politics class concerning the economic collapse. At first I wasn’t sure if the show would have subjects that would peak my interest, but then after listening to a couple different episodes I was hooked.

I will continue listening to the show because it discusses many different issues Americans are concerned about such as politics, violence, drugs, and even international problems. Some of my favorite episodes includes #1 Party School, Get Over it! and The Giant Pool of Money because they touch on issues I could relate to. I also thought Ira Glass had an amazing radio voice; people are able to hear his personality through his voice. Another reason why I enjoyed “This American Life” was the fact that the each episode usually seems to have a natural flow, from a slight pause to the background music. The show also does a great job interviewing and recording other people.

I feel that audio stories definitely play a strong role in our society, especially in journalism. Audio storytelling are like non-fiction novels, the readers are encouraged to picture what is going on in the story. Unlike print/online journalism, people could actually picture what is going on in a news story. Although broadcast journalism also provides audio they sometimes tend to use images to exaggerate what is going with their news subject.

However, like every other news medium audio storytelling still have some weaknesses. For example some people actually want to see images of a news story, which audio storytelling doesn’t provide. Other people prefer print because they can slow down and go back to the beginning of the news story to understand what is going on. Obviously you can’t pause or slow down a news story on the radio. No matter what weakness audio storytelling may have it is here to stay.

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