Radio Is A Visual Medium

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You know that old radio joke, right? Ira Glass says it a lot. “Radio is your most visual medium.” Of course, it’s often said with a wink. But, simultaneously, it’s a boast because it’s true.

I once heard Robert Krulwich make the point. He put it slightly differently. He said that when radio is produced well, the listener is a co-author. The idea being that when you read a book, an author provides clues as to what something looks like but the reader creates the images. In that way, the author and the reader work in tandem.

Aviva DeKornfeld’s story After The Storm proves the point about the visual power of radio. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that her story may be just as much a photo essay as it is a radio story. Each scene in the story could be a single picture. Maybe two. Aviva’s narration acts as a caption for each.

I encourage you to listen, thinking about the images. Here are my imaginary titles for each photo/scene.

Picture #1 – The Hotel Room, Crammed

Picture #2 – The Job, Door Locked

Picture #3 – Free Pass to Heaven

Picture #4 – Another Job, Door Ajar

Picture #5 – Running, Missing

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