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Pulling Back the Curtain on NPR News

Though it may be, as they say, a little too "Inside Baseball" for some, NPR's On The Media this past week replayed the excellent 2004 story called Pulling Back the Curtain.

The story was played as a tribute to its producer/reporter John Solomon, who recently passed away. Solomon went behind the scenes to reveal how much editing takes place in the typical NPR interview with a newsmaker for Morning Edition or All Things Considered (even when an interview sounds as if it is actually being presented live, it usually is at least several minutes old), and how much "clean-up" is done to audio cuts incorporated into feature stories heard on NPR. He also tried to gauge what, if any impact, these practices have on the listeners--who are mostly unaware of them.

It's a fascinating look into contemporary radio journalism and radio production in the digital era that On The Media is wise to replay at regular intervals. Hopefully, they'll also produce a follow-up story some day as well.

(Posted by Feliks Banel)



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Western States Museum of Broadcasting 2021