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Reality Radio, Second EditionTelling True Stories in Sound$
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John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469633138

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469633138.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Harnessing Luck as an Industrial Product

Harnessing Luck as an Industrial Product

Chapter:
(p.64) Harnessing Luck as an Industrial Product
Source:
Reality Radio, Second Edition
Author(s):

Ira Glass

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469633138.003.0007

The very notion of a radio documentary “fan” would have sounded weird at one time—back when the word documentary might have evoked thoughts of sonic Brussels sprouts. The producers who have done the most to change that, and to prompt talk of a new golden age, are the masters of the personal narrative. Several of our essayists have been at this since the 1980s or even the 1970s, but in the mid-1990s Ira Glass created a show devoted to the narrative and gave it a distinctly urban, and urbane, sensibility. As Ira makes clear, every story on This American Life has a point, a “moment of reflection,” a larger meaning of some sort. Some of those stories are tied to the news; many more are not. TAL stories tend to lead to epiphanies of the sort found in literature or the most cerebral standup comedy. In his essay, Ira tells the story of his evolution from NPR reporter to TAL impresario, and describes with detailed examples how he hears and reassembles stories.

Keywords:   This American Life, National Public Radio, documentary

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