Undergrad students in the Short Audio Documentary course at CDS were excited, and a little nervous, when they learned that This American Life host and executive producer Ira Glass was coming to class to talk to them about their audio pieces.
CDS audio director John Biewen, who teaches the course, contacted Glass before the radio host’s appearance at the Durham Performing Arts Center and asked if he’d like to stop by while he was in town. Glass wanted to visit a class, in fact wanted to hear the students’ pieces beforehand, and arrived with notes and individual feedback for all. He also shared general tips about effective storytelling, offering up his first radio pieces as an NPR reporter as examples of what not to do, and explaining what he learned from those early missteps. “Needless to say, the students were thrilled and inspired,” says Biewen. “And he also gave us all his comp tickets for his evening show….”
Listen here as Ira Glass talks to students about how he prepares for stories.
Ira Glass was featured in John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth’s book Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, a collection of essays by some of the most accomplished radio producers working today, telling and demonstrating—through stories and transcripts—how they make radio the way they do, and why.