A lot of stories featured on HowSound have been pretty fluffy. They’re good stories well told, to be sure, but the subject matter isn’t challenging. I’m thinking about stories I’ve aired on playing the ukelele, for instance, and stories about, zoos, poetry, architecture, hitchhiking across the country…. They’re “easy listening,” if you will.
Other episodes have included stories on more difficult topics. Inner city poverty, war, executions, kidnapping, the aftermath of bombings and plane crashes… But today’s episode of HowSound may feature the most demanding subjects yet: pedophilia and child porn. And while these issues may be “difficult listening,” what’s it like to report on them?
Luke Malone and Pat Walters can answer that question. In fact, their stories on these topics won awards at the Third Coast Festival in 2014. Luke’s story “Help Wanted” aired on This American Life and earned a “Radio Impact Award” while Pat’s “Fault Line,” a Radiolab production, won “Honorable Mention.”
I interviewed Luke and Pat together at Third Coast. Their insight into the reporting on these stories is illuminating. You’ll want to listen twice. So, take a deep breath and press play.
*Thanks to photographer Allison King and Third Coast International Audio Festival for the photo.