If you’re interested in documentary story-telling, you may want to consider a career in radio.
The medium of radio is well-suited to telling the stories of everyday people in a compelling, intimate medium that offers the chance to really communicate the reality of someone else’s life.
Nationally distributed programs like PRI’s This American Life and WNYC’s Radiolab regularly draw thousands of listeners eager to hear the long form stories of regular people in extraordinary circumstances.
When thinking about creating a radio piece, consider your possible subjects. Who do you know that has a compelling story they’d be interested in sharing? Who are some of the natural storytellers in your life you think would like to have their stories recorded and shared with the world? What are the untold stories of your city? Your neighborhood? Your own family? There are radio-ready stories all around us, and clearly the demand exists for those moments of connection over the airwaves. Strong stories that are designed specifically for radio are what keep us tuning in while we drive, work, or even while we surf the Internet. Radio is a unique medium of communication with huge potential for a variety of storytelling forms.
Creating a compelling radio program is more than just having a good idea, of course. You must master the skills needed to create crisp sound, clear, engaging interviews edited to focus on the real story at hand, and an engaging mix of music or other sound effects to capture and keep your listener’s attention. Completing a training program in radio will give you the skills and vocabulary you need to create your own unique pieces you can use to secure a full-time job in broadcasting, or pitch to national and international programs to build your portfolio as a freelancer.