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In My Neighborhood

From: KUER
Length: 14:51

How one neighbohood thinks about rights for gay people
Playing
In My Neighborhood
From
KUER

Default-piece-image-2 In November 2004, Utah voters were considering a constitutional amendment ? Amendment 3 ? to enshrine in the constitution the state?s gay marriage ban. It would also prohibit other domestic unions from being recognized as a marriage or from being given the same or substantially equal legal effect. Producer Jenny Brundin headed into her own neighborhood to see if her neighbors understood the amendment and if they thought it would impact their live. But she found that people weren?t familiar with its details and instead found what they really wanted to talk about was homosexuality. She also learned how a close-knit neighborhood, with radically different views on gay marriage, can still get along and respect each other?s opinions. (Supporters of the amendment say it was necessary to prevent gay and unmarried couples from creating domestic or civil unions. Opponents of the measure say it would prevent non-traditional couples ? gay and straight ? from being granted more than 1,000 basic rights and protections that are granted to married couples. )

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Piece Description

In November 2004, Utah voters were considering a constitutional amendment ? Amendment 3 ? to enshrine in the constitution the state?s gay marriage ban. It would also prohibit other domestic unions from being recognized as a marriage or from being given the same or substantially equal legal effect. Producer Jenny Brundin headed into her own neighborhood to see if her neighbors understood the amendment and if they thought it would impact their live. But she found that people weren?t familiar with its details and instead found what they really wanted to talk about was homosexuality. She also learned how a close-knit neighborhood, with radically different views on gay marriage, can still get along and respect each other?s opinions. (Supporters of the amendment say it was necessary to prevent gay and unmarried couples from creating domestic or civil unions. Opponents of the measure say it would prevent non-traditional couples ? gay and straight ? from being granted more than 1,000 basic rights and protections that are granted to married couples. )

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Review of In My Neighborhood

This is a good, well produced, thoughtful piece. But I am not sure how useable it is for other stations because it is a time and place specific story. The producer took a walk through her neighborhood in Utah and talked to neighbors about Amendment 3, a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage (though more complex than that as the piece explores). The piece refers to the election "tomorrow."
But even if you can't air the piece now, it's a good one for news and program directors to listen to as an example of a creative approach to an election story.
The producer introduces us to her neighborhood and tells us a diverse group lives there (although my impression in the end was that it was a more left of center crowd than I imagine some other neighborhoods might contain). Anyway, she takes us on a walk to meet the neighbors and hear them talk about their opinions on Amendment 3. The producer does a nice job sticking with the frame - the "walk" - and finds elegant ways to move between characters. using sound and ideas. She draws out subtle similarities and differences between opinions, and gives us personal details of the charcaters that help us understand where they are coming from. It ends up being a thoughtful conversation about gay marriage (and homosexuality). The ideas in the piece are as relevant today as when the piece was produced, but the report itself feels dated by the specificity of the impending vote.
Another small observation about making local pieces possibly relevant to a larger audience in other parts of the country - beware of "localisms." At one point in the piece, the reporter uses the term "LDS" and I was stumped. The actuality that followed helped me figure out pretty quickly that "LDS" is "Latter Day Saints." But the term stopped me briefly and took my focus away from the piece. It's a little thing that you may not think about when producing for a home audience but it's good to be aware when you are slipping into vernacular.
Overall, good piece, and good idea for a piece that another reporter or assignment editor might want to borrow next election season.

Broadcast History

Aired in November 2004.
It recently won a 2005 Clarion award for public radio features

Timing and Cues

14:00 to tag, plus minute of music

In November 2004, Utah voters were considering a constitutional amendment ? Amendment 3 ? to enshrine in the constitution the state?s gay marriage ban. It would also prohibit other domestic unions from being recognized as a marriage or from being given the same or substantially equal legal effect. Producer Jenny Brundin headed into her own neighborhood to see if her neighbors understood the amendment and if they thought it would impact their live. But she found that people weren?t familiar with its details and instead found what they really wanted to talk about was homosexuality. She also learned how a close-knit neighborhood, with radically different views on gay marriage, can still get along and respect each other?s opinions.

(Supporters of the amendment say it was necessary to prevent gay and unmarried couples from creating domestic or civil unions. Opponents of the measure say it would prevent non-traditional couples ? gay and straight ? from being granted more than 1,000 basic rights and protections that are granted to married couples. )