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Comment on piece: RN Documentary: Iraq - A Hostage Nation

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Review of RN Documentary: Iraq - A Hostage Nation

Perspectives of three individual Iraqis venting frustrations that are probably common to millions. Valuable because they communicate well at an emotional level. Perhaps also helpful in promoting a level of understanding of recent history from the Iraqi perspective.

Their comments will surely be dismissed by many, may resonate as honest opinions by more sympathetic listeners. Not "news" nor containing any surprising revelations, just unfiltered views from seemingly moderate, educated Iraqis.

Good production values, effective use of music.

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Review of 75 State Street Salon (deleted)

Very nice, a well put together piece. Would be a good color sketch for any show dealing with seniors or aging. Seems a slam dunk for AARP's Prime Time Radio.

Good pace, I liked the "snip snip" of the scissors and the little bits of wisdom from the hair stylist. I wanted more from other people, more interactions to balance out the running commentary

Comment on piece: What's Left is Not Who We Are

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Review of What's Left is Not Who We Are

Helen Webb is a sea captain in Santa Barbara who takes people out on the sea to scatter the ashes of their loved ones. She tells the story of her first day on the job, and it’s totally charming in a morbid sort of way. She also ruminates on her mother’s death and how she sees her own funeral happening one day. For such a dark subject, Mauro keeps things pretty buoyant. It’s a side of life that isn’t discussed all that much, and it makes for nice radio. This could go with other stories about the death trade, or just profiles of people who do unusual jobs.

Comment on piece: Learning to Hear

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Review of Learning to Hear

A good, solid report. A variety of voices and thoughts laden with important information. Often stories from the deaf community aren't done because of the difficulty to report the stories. We hear from a deaf woman who can talk to us about the issues facing her. What's missing for me is the political and practical controversy in the deaf community about the cochlear implants for children and in general for adults. The implants don't often work. And when they do, the sound can be similiar to being underwater at best. Many in the deaf community question why one would need them and how this operation might remove them from the deaf community. Otherwise, this is good work from a new producer and a plus to any station's news magazine.

Comment on piece: Hard to Say

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Review of Hard to Say

I defy anyone to listen to this piece without getting at least a small lump in their throat. It’s so crammed with beautiful images and poetic insight there’s hardly a second of flaccid tape. It invokes a whole sentimental, “old-fashioned” world where a kiss on the cheek still put you “on cloud nine” and people dance to big band in the kitchen. There is plenty of sentiment here, but there is wisdom, too. This could play in the context of love stories, old age, Alzheimer’s and loss.

Comment on piece: Cathy, 16, Mom

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Review of Cathy, 16, Mom

This is hardcore radio. It just lays everything out it the open for the listener to take and digest (even if they may not want to).

Cathy is very open and up front about her situation, she does not hide from the mic. Thanks to Sarahs skillfull production we are able to litterally "hear" the conflict of a young immature teenager trying to be a good mom....and it made me uncomfortable.

The only question that I wanted to hear that wasn't addressed on tape was, "what about birth control?" "Condoms?" "How did she even get pregnant, let alone twice?". I mean if it was an accident isn't that an important part of the story.

Comment on piece: Yo-Yo Ma: In his own words

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Review of Yo-Yo Ma: In his own words

I could listen to pieces with and about Yo-Yo Ma all day. Not only is he a brilliant musician but he's a skilled and expressive communicator. Artists often have a difficult time explaining and their art. Not so with Ma. This is an excellent arts piece with intricately woven music and interview segments. Would work in any magazine show. Highly recommended...

Comment on piece: Corruption, Democracy, and Tabloids

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Review of Corruption, Democracy, and Tabloids

This is an interesting piece about the growth pains of China's independent media. While eager to develop western-style democratic and independent journalism, China's political and cultural heritage has made the evolution of their news media somewhat problematic. One of the most interesting comments concerns why the Chinese media could/would not cover a story like the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The piece does contain some music buttons and actualities from American broadcasting. These initially seem unnecessary, but they do help the piece flow well.

There are some novice's mistakes to the piece's production: uneven announcing, popping plosives, and uneven audio levels. However, this is not problematic enough to diminish the piece's use at stations. It would make a fine lead-in for a discussion about China, media/journalism in the emerging world, or east/west cultural differences.

Comment on piece: How to Sing the Star-Spangled Banner

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Review of How to Sing the Star-Spangled Banner

cute. fun and light hearted.
I wanted to hear more from this person.
a well rounded editing with an artistic giggle ending.

Comment on piece: Hard to Say

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Review of Hard to Say

Poignantly titled, this sentimental journey, under which a big band version of the song plays, would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or an Alzheimer-related moment. Ed, ninety at the telling, gently shares, through brief, visual details, a portrait of his second marriage and of his wife’s deteriorating condition. His subtle optimism as he says, “I live here alone at the time,” hooked me right off the bat. He describes building their kitchen so they’d have plenty of room to dance, and we hear in his happy chuckle how much they love to move together. His wife now lives in a facility, but is still present enough for the dancing to continue. This is a journey –– beginning in the kitchen, moving to the facility, and ending with the “hard to say” allusion to an unknown future. The ending feels a little abrupt, but otherwise, it's a lovely 6-minute slice of humanity.

Comment on piece: Hafid is Free

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Review of Hafid is Free

An amazing profile of an amazing man..where did you find this guy...very insightful about squatting movement, which I knew in NYC...
Clearly explained, well edited.. love the gypsy theme and music..nice touch with the cigarette lighting and breathing in before he tells his story...

Comment on piece: Bells From Everest

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Review of Bells From Everest

Although not quite sure what fresh air-ish is supposed to mean...what a great piece!
You've got a real and interesting character who turns junk from katmandu into beautiful sounding bells. All the sound effects were great during the walkthrough...nicely told.

Comment on piece: Mark Twain's The War Prayer

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Review of Mark Twain's The War Prayer

I put inspiring, but for not-the-usual-reasons. I'm personally inspired by the production of it. And, though I'm not 100% anti-war, I do have some doubts, and bringing this up now, 100 years later, seems appropriate.

I thought the voice acting was excellent. The sound effects sometimes grabbed me the wrong way. The firecrackers didn't sound like firecrackers, but I know they really were. They are tough to portray. There were a few others, too, that maybe detracted more than enhanced. But, the "lunatic" at the end was captivating, and the whole piece together worked very well. It's timely, too, folks, and could generate pro and con listener reaction.

Comment on piece: Turnstyles 002 Hour 2

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Review of Turnstyles 002 Hour 2

This program features a very good selection of music from lesser known artists. The selections vary widely but manage to make up a coherent whole. I think this would appeal to young adults through middle-agers who want to hear something different from the mainstream, something that feels new, organic, and sophisticated.

I would definitely try to tune in if I knew it to be available in my area.

Comment on piece: The Penguin Goes A Courtin'

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Review of The Penguin Goes A Courtin'

This is listed as a fundraising piece, which it would be perfect for. But it should be played just any ol' time. I'd love to hear it played between some classical music piece, with no introduction, no extroduction, just stuff it in their and listen.

I think Jonathan's work is excellent in general. I've heard it on TAL several times, and his pacing and writing reminds me of David Sedaris.

Comment on piece: The Art and Craft of Blacksmithing with Lewis Meyer

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Review of The Art and Craft of Blacksmithing with Lewis Meyer

This piece has a really nice mix of information on the art and craft of blacksmithing mixed with some excellent passages of Lewis discussing what I would call the soul of the craft. Producer Kim Sorise does an admirable job blending these elements together which doesn't always happen in these "slice of life / road less traveled" pieces. The musical choices for the piece are also top notch. Echoing acoustic guitar provides just the right tone for the piece and puts one's mind right in the shop with Lewis. Lastly, Sorise's voice is only heard on the intro and she manages to let the tape speak for itself, which I really appreciated. Great stuff. This piece deserves more airtime.

Comment on piece: Confessions of Teen Stripper

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Review of Confessions of Teen Stripper

By the end of the story I really wanted to get to know this person, to protect her, to ask her how she got through it. I felt that she had so much more to say than she could tell me.

Her casual tone helped to make this an effective piece. You could tell that she had been numbed by the experience.

I would recommend this program to others.

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Review of Clarence Fountain: In his own words (deleted)

I'm using this along with the American Radio Works Thurgood Marshall documentary -- there's a news hole but we don't have a newscast, so I needed something "sympathetic" to make up the time. This is a nice addition to the hour, and the non-narrated way that the story is told makes it seamless. Fountain's words are illustrated nicely by the musical excerpts. The supporting materials also make it easy to use.

Comment on piece: RN Documentary: "Pure Wickedness" Bertrand Russell and the People's Tribunal

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Review of RN Documentary: "Pure Wickedness" Bertrand Russell and the People's Tribunal

In Brussels, US policy in Iraq is examined through a “people’s tribunal.” The model for this experiment is Bertrand Russell’s tribunal that he assembled in 1967 to gather evidence of war crimes in Vietnam. This time around, the forum is inspired by a feeling that a real sense of the human suffering brought on by the war is not being addressed. The tribunal is made up of legal experts, authors and regular citizens who are opposed to the war. They bring with them eye witness accounts, poems, photos and legal precedents. While this is not a legal tribunal with a binding final judgment, its point is still to prove that certain acts are illegal from an international point of view. It’s point is also to give people a feeling of empowerment, that there’s something they can do rather than sit idly by. The People’s Tribunal is well structured and packed with clear information. It is difficult radio, in that it demands your attention, but if you chose to do the work, your efforts will be well rewarded. It’s lucid, well done and, in light of the recent photos of prisoner abuse, you especially feel like the quietly common sensical voices of the people within might offer us some perspective and guidance. This could be a nice addition to your war reportage.

Comment on piece: Office Artist

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Review of Office Artist

I love listening to people tell their own stories. Every time I'm on an airplane landing in a big city (I'm an Alaskan) I look at the itty-bitty cars on the freeways and feel an overwhelming sense of how many people there are in this world. And so few of them I meet. That's why getting to meet someone like Larissa in the manner Dmae introduces me to her is so special. It expands my personal experiences. I thought the pacing was spot-on. Our narrator took us effortlessly from one topic to the next. I liked the amibient sounds - the phone ringing in the background reminding us that offices are busy places. I liked the visuals I created imaging an office product quilt. I was jolted a bit at the end when she went poof and was gone. Maybe a little ambient alone would have smoothed the transistion.