In my last post on the way different new and legacy media responded to Adrienne Rich’s death I mentioned the use of YouTube video but I din’t mention the role of radio reports. One very fine report on Rich’s death came from NPR. NPR is a great example of a web integrated radio network and they initially reported Rich’s death with an AAP story on their website. But note in the screenshot above the link in the bottom left to an audio report on Rich’s death from their regular news and current affairs show: “All Things Considered”
The short report covers much of the same material covered in the print reports but puts in the conversational style of radio. the host Melissa Block and her guest, poet and critic Linda Gregerson discuss Rich’s life and influence. The initial question and response sets the tone:
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: The writer Adrienne Rich has died after a long illness. She was 82. Rich is best known for her poetry, which mirrored the times in which she wrote. Her work grew increasingly political during the 1960s and ’70s, and she was a touchstone for the feminist movement. Joining me to talk to about Rich’s work is the poet and critic Linda Gregerson. And Linda, I wonder what the experience is for you of reading an Adrienne Rich poem. How would you describe it?
LINDA GREGERSON: Well, I remember when I first encountered Adrienne’s work and it was when I was a student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the fierceness of her intelligence and the power of her anger, her willingness to speak it directly, was really an amazing revelation, I think, for many of us. And this would’ve been in the mid-’70s that I first really got to know her work. And she’s been a stirring and necessary and really life-changing figure for many, many in the world of American poetry, not just women poets.
Block asks her guest for an emotional reaction about her “experience” of reading Rich. This is typically one of the strengths of radio it is where the emotional tone of personalised journalism comes into its own, it puts the facts in a personal conversational framework that is developed between the interviewer and guest and as listeners we often have the sense of listening to a “live” investigation of a subject where two people share discoveries as they talk.
NPR continued to develop their reporting with a more detailed follow-up piece the next day.
This post is a short specific follow-up post to my previous analysis of different styles of media reporting on Rich’s death. I could have included this element in my original post but I felt the post was already getting too long so I decided to do it as a stand alone short follow-up post. Always ask your self the question what should be included in a post and what can stand alone as a short follow-up post. This is particularly important if your post is creeping past the 400 word mark. Try to keep most posts at around 350 – 500 words or shorter.