We need stately minds.” And we know they are out there. I fell into radio from political reporting from The New York Times‘ Washington bureau in the Seventies, and public-television with the Ten O’Clock News in with WGBH, Boston through the Eighties.
Radio for a lot of us who back into it is supposed to be “the twilight of a mediocre career,” as Mark Shields says.
Intro from Jay Allison: It may seem an odd time to focus on craft, but craft is often what gets you through.
But radio for me felt more like the start of my adult education, as well as the best work I’d ever done, with an incomparably smart, aggressive colleague Mary Mc Grath, in a medium that could be all intensity, no clutter.
I was out from under the institutional voice of The New York Times, and free of the visuals on TV news that are mostly distraction even now.
And still public radio has seemed to me far short of what we are going to need to recover citizen voices in a bomb-shattered public square.
Most days and nights, and notably when political figures are onstage, public radio has been sounding like CNN without pictures: just the facts, ma’am, and more facts, and the same hand-me-around security veterans and terrorism experts (whatever the titles are worth) with much the same propaganda barrage from the war room.