October 31st, 2004 | Series:

As David Isay and Alex Kotlowitz wrapped up their discussion on Friday someone in the audience asked David what “advice” he had for independent radio producers. His Answer: Public radio producers should never take no for an answer and always keep in mind that public radio is not a career for those seeking fame or fortune – Good radio, he said, is produced by people with vision and conviction.

Very inspiring stuff. This and the singing taxi cab driver who sang me an inspirational song (on request – I have tape and will post audio soon) were the two moments for me that made the whole weekend worthwhile. Third Coast is all about inspiration – I would love to hear what inspired others who were in Chicago this weekend.

6 Comments on “Inspiration”

  • Allan says:

    “the problem with American literature today is the epiphanies are always in the same place”
    –Rick Moody, author and sometime radio guy, speaking on day 1 of the TCF

    “doing a two-minute radio story is like carving a sculpture into a walnut”
    –Dave Isay, day 2

    “Walnut Carvers of the World Unite!”
    –hypothetical Chicago graffito

  • natalie kestecher says:

    Distance and time is against us but we’d love to know results of the comp.Hope you’re all having a great time!

  • julie shapiro says:


    we missed you this year, without a doubt. i hope you’re already planning to make it next…

    here’s the goods…

    best new artist – bente birkeland – hard to say

    radio impact -teresa goff, in so many words

    directors choice – thirteen ways, pejk malinovski

    hon. mention – legs, hope and water by peggy giakoumelos and lea redfern

    hon mention – perfect hearing, by nubar alexanian, abby alexanian, and jay allison

    hon mention – all my stuff in bags – amy dorn and hillary frank

    bronze – the few who stayed: defying genocide in rwanda by stephen smith and michael montgomery

    silver – joseph shabalala: in his own words, by david shulman and jeffrey freymann-weyr

    gold – she’s alright, my mum is, by kim normanton and nigel acheson.

    check out the third coast site on tuesday for a beeeyoootiful photo of the winners and soon after for a photo gallery.


  • Jay Allison says:

    For inspiration, some of those award acceptance speeches did the trick for me. I interviewed all the winners for the broadcast during the conference (which kept me out of sessions unfortunately) and they were all thoughtful and full of heart.

    I hope others will post here about the moments that inspired them.

  • Melissa Robbins says:

    “whatever your ideology about journalism and art, story is what we do”
    – Sharon Ball

    ” I highly recommend the blacklist as a career move”
    – Studs Terkel, at home watching the World Series

  • David Schulman says:

    For inspiration to guide us through the darkness … Jude Fletcher’s wonderful piece, filled with Day of the Dead spirit … Isay and Kotlowitz playing stunning piece after stunning piece (including a feature on the muralist-for-hire of the Robert Taylor homes, another Joseph Mitchell-for-our-times piece produced by Kotlowitz with Amy Dorn) … an amazing all-star team of editors, talking some inspiring and pragmatic shop … a real and useful session on covering race issues … and getting to finally say a thank you, in person, to Jeff Towne for providing such amazingly helpful audio production ‘tools’ for us independent producers ( … thank you all for the inspiration …