John Biewen says it point blank: “Like wow! White folks are a story!” And, it’s not a story that’s reported very much in public radio. NPR’s Code Switch is an exception. The Code Switch team makes a point of reporting on the white race and whiteness. But, generally speaking, white people tend to be “unmarked,” John notes. “(W)hiteness is sort of treated as the default. You’re just a person if you’re white. And it’s non-white people who have race.”
John is tackling that “unmarkedness” head-on with a new series called Seeing White on his podcast Scene on Radio. John will focus on whiteness and the white race over the course of ten episodes. He lays out his motivations and more about the series on this episode of HowSound.
As a side note, a second edition of John’s book Reality Radio is now available. It’s required reading for students of the Transom Story Workshop. There are essays from producers like Ira Glass, Glynn Washington, Sherre DeLys, The Kitchen Sisters, Alix Spiegel and many others as well as an afterword from Transom’s Jay Allison. All are inspirational. I highly recommend it.