To Scene or Not To Scene

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When Nina Totenberg reports on legal affairs for NPR, I stop and listen. Nina has an uncanny ability to deliver complex legal facts and courtroom dialogue clearly and dramatically. Her stories are worth turning up. And that’s what I did back in January when she reported on buffer zones at health clinics in Massachusetts.

I was surprised this time to hear Nina reporting from the street in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Most of the time, it seems, Nina is either in a studio or recording in a quiet place in the field. Rarely, in my listening experience, do I hear her recording a stand-up or interviewing people on location. Aside from her dramatic recreations of court dialogue, her stories are rarely scene-driven.

I was so impressed with her approach, I commended her in an email. I was completely taken aback by her response. You’ll have to listen to find out what she said.

Thanks to Dan Tritle at WCAI for recording my interview with Nina.

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