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My Update from @Transom_org’s #Radiostory Workshop: Getting to the Heart of the Story

November 3, 2011

Transom Story Workshop participants on Halloween (that's me with the ear)

For the month of October and most of November, I’m participating in‘s first-ever Radio Story Workshop. I’ve learned so much from the Transom website; it’s an even greater privilege to learn in person from these visionary radio producers.

“Why radio?” you may ask. Well, throughout my online work, I’m continually reminded that “content is king.” Nonprofits and foundations can set up all the blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts we want, but we still need to have something worthwhile and compelling to say with these tools. I figure that organizations can learn from radio producers about what it takes to craft stories that pull the audience in and create those “driveway moments” (when you can’t get out of the car for fear of missing the end of a great story). I’ve also been struck by the ways in which audio is such a fundamental element to digital media (i.e. videos without good audio are much harder to watch). And finally, I’m also curious about how to teach better storytelling to others.

The course is seven weeks long but it’s flying by. I’m learning lots. This week, my classmates and I took time to reflect on what we’ve learned so far. Here’s what I wrote:

One thing that struck me early on about the workshop (and radio in general) it’s a great excuse to talk to strangers.

I came to the Transom Story Workshop after years of working for various nonprofits that focus on large social and political issues. So the challenge for me has been boiling larger issues down to a story with one main idea (“that a seventh grader could grasp”). It’s so much more than pointing a mic (or a video camera) at someone and collecting their testimony. It’s about crafting something that gets at the heart of their story and pulls the listener in. That ain’t easy… but Rob Rosentahal is making it much easier to tackle.

Read comments from my classmates here.

Stay tuned for updates! In the meantime, you can follow our live tweets with #radiostory on Twitter and check out our photos below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
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