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Spices of Life: Needling Nina

From: Sue Schardt
Length: 06:31

In this premiere episode of Spices of Life, Nina Simonds takes us for a visit to her Chinese acupuncturist, Dr. Zhu..

Logonew22007_small This "Spices of Life" launch episode, Needling Nina, presents short-form content in both audio and video formats. Watch the companion video episode at: http://spicesoflife.com/2007/02/12/needling-nina-accupuncture-with-dr-zhu/#more-25 In Needling Nina, we introduce the series host, Nina Simonds, who takes us along for an acupuncture "experience." The feature is ideal for commemorating Chinese New Year (Feb 18), or is evergreen, suitable any time as a short drop-in or as a localized segment for one of the syndicated magazines to enhance local programming. Public radio stations airing the radio feature have the option to offer their listeners, via their station websites, a free, customizable companion video of the story. If you have questions about downloading the video, contact me at sue@schardtmedia.org

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Piece Description

This "Spices of Life" launch episode, Needling Nina, presents short-form content in both audio and video formats. Watch the companion video episode at: http://spicesoflife.com/2007/02/12/needling-nina-accupuncture-with-dr-zhu/#more-25 In Needling Nina, we introduce the series host, Nina Simonds, who takes us along for an acupuncture "experience." The feature is ideal for commemorating Chinese New Year (Feb 18), or is evergreen, suitable any time as a short drop-in or as a localized segment for one of the syndicated magazines to enhance local programming. Public radio stations airing the radio feature have the option to offer their listeners, via their station websites, a free, customizable companion video of the story. If you have questions about downloading the video, contact me at sue@schardtmedia.org

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Review of Spices of Life: Needling Nina

Like Nina, I too am suffering a wicked cold right now and feeling stressed (perhaps not the best time to write a PRX review, huh?), so I was very intrigued by the subject matter of "Needling Nina". The story delivers on some fronts but misses on others.

First - the actual radio story. The production is solid: editing is smooth and the music adds to the experience. Nina has an authentic voice -- she sounds like a "real person", someone I might like to meet at a dinner party. The acupuncturist, though, is hard to understand because of the thick accent. I found myself listening more for the "mood" rather than actually learning anything about acupuncture or eastern medicine. It's hard to do an "experiential" story like this for the radio when so much of the gee whiz is visual. The story does a good job of conveying the scene, but I'm glad to see there's a companion video (though that won't help radio listeners not near a computer).

The bigger question is how stations would use this story. It's billed as a potential "drop-in" for national or local newsmagazines, but there's no set-up. We don't know who Nina is, why we should care, etc. She's a "personality" just because she's in a radio story... but unless the listeners is used to hearing her very regularly, she's job this lady doing this thing on the radio. The listeners won't feel a connection to her. This is the biggest issue the series will have to tackle -- the packaging of Nina and why we should care what she's doing. But - if the producers can figure that out - they may have a winner.

Broadcast History

This is a debut of a pilot episode.

Timing and Cues

There are two versions of Needling Nina available: version 1 (6:18) includes a preproduced introduction and close; version 2 (6:30) has no intro or close, allowing for station announcers to localize or brand the feature.

Suggested intro: "Families across the globe -- from San Francisco to Hong Kong to Beijing are celebrating Chinese New year (today/this week/last week), one of the ancient and most important holidays of the year in China. It's the year of the pig which the Chinese associate with fertiility and virility. We're going to mark the occasion by this next story about another ancient Chinese practice -- accupuncture. In this debut of "Spices of Life" host Nina Simonds takes us along for an acupuncture experience.

Outro:

For more information, and to watch a video of this story, go to spicesoflife.com and look for an episode called "Needling Nina."

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Strap RESQ Really Eclectic String Quartet. Northeastern 1994 :19
Audio Boxing Isotope 217 The Unstable Molecule. Thrill Jockey 1997 :40
Every Day & Every Night Tosca Delhi9. !K7 2001 01:21
Trouser Suit Nino Nardini Petty Page Private Girl. Goofin' Records 2002 :46
O Silver Moon Renee Fleming Signatures. Decca 1997 :40

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.SchardtMEDIA.org