There are so many things to like about this story on Friday’s All Things Considered. First off, the story is wonderful and uplifting. And very funny.
For the 12 readers of this blog, however, I’d like to point out that in addition to the wonderful and uplifting message of the story, note how it utilizes editorial and production techniques that demonstrate just how effective audio can be in the hands (or ears?) of gifted story tellers who master the tools and techniques available to them (and to all of us) today.
Unlike the majority of stories on NPR news programs that are narrated by a reporter or spoken first-person by an essayist, this piece is influenced by the conversational style that I’ll call Story Corps-esque. It is a style in which the contextual framework of the story is presented in a first-person narrative complemented by conversational asides and illustrative recollections spoken by the other participant in the story. While billed as a conversation of two individuals, the stories work because one person is serving as the story’s play-by-play announcer and the other person is serving as the color guy. As long as each participant knows the role they’re playing, the story flows beautifully (once the editor adds his or her magic).
Layered on top of the piece’s Story Corps approach are sounds and sound-bites that add details, punch and understanding to the story — which I think is the nuanced facet of the story that demonstrates how well it is edited. The words said and techniques used (with great skill) all together, take the listener through a full arc from suspense to fulfillment–in a funny way.
You can play it here or on at NPR.org.