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Read this: Ira Glass, Godfather of Sound

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Ira Glass, Godfather of Sound…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello, have you listen to a podcast series recently or tuned into a Radio 4 Series like intrigue tunnel 29 or this coming storm in so many ways they owe a huge debt to our guests today.

I'm a glass is the behind this American Life the first journalism podcast to win a Pulitzer Prize he also launched serial the series that went viral in 2014 kicking off a huge demand for long-form journalism Productions to the New York Times reportedly for 25 million, but there are problems to the latest series of serial is proving controversial and as we debate the role of Media in our divided world.

Where does a program like this American Life fit in a glass welcome to the media show with delighted to have a nice to be for those people who never listen to this American Life

Describe it, what is the premise of the stories? It's true stories where people come on adultery sometimes the stories are small and personal sometimes.

They are big journalistic things like will go on the board and try to talk to me.

What's happening.

You know we're with immigration policy, but we do it like basically.

What we do is we do me and I'm like individual people and tell us where I like the thing that makes the show different is that it's really traditional storytelling where like apart from the very beginning and hopefully put you anymore find out what's going to happen if people which is very surprising can pop in for a funny stuff.

What could be more American then the person is see something that never done before dreams.

They could do it goes after wet dream.

Will it be in today with a woman who dreams of directing a play in the small town where she lives for college town somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line in the hills of Apple that you and your the main house.

Do you do most of the end?

The interviews you introduce other reported sometimes such a big give us some facts and figures.

How long has it been going? What's the size of its audience that sort of thing we've been on here since 1995 and we started as a show on the American version of BBC and Dr amron radio stations in the United States and our weekly audiences about 5 million people about half an hour over the radio in the United States and Canada and Australia and then have a good one happy people listening downloading the podcast the shower so there is an outside the us because obviously you are quite us Focus it's called this American Life for a reason but yeah that will be lots of people are they want to know about what's going on in the states that you see when we started the shower, but we didn't anticipate that we will never be distributed outside again.

I said if we haven't given her a day.

Are we due story tomorrow over and you mentioned NPR national Public Radio was you've basically spent their entire career in what role just for background for people listening hear what does mpr.

Play in the US consciousness? Yeah, it's Public Radio bit different to the public perception for example the BBC in the UK and Empire is not like that a only began international institution in the 1970s and so it's much more much scrap.

You might as well founded, and I'm basically grew up as a network of individual 500-600 individual stations across the country that can be added together instead of producing national shows not like it's not the licence fee as we know it all the stations and all the shows have to raise money on their own and so there's a small amount of money that come from the Federal Government but I think it's Western 3 or 5% of the total.

Stations how to say like I've always been jealous of the British model and Canadian model and Australian model with this like strong public broadcasting idealistic and state-funded but there are changes to our system and one of them is that anybody can start to show when I wanted to start a shower there was nobody I don't have to get permission from anybody like that.

There was no BBC bored or something is no npro like anything just anybody at a public radio station.

We did a shout out of the Chicago public radio station and we got together.

I don't know a couple of $100,000 in Grant money and basically just started making a weekly show and then we would accept stations in Tredegar took them in the picking us up in each station you had you know we could talk him to pick us up with me on the other hand if they would pick us up and early days or promotion was a pick us up.

We sent the programme Nicholas Park and Ride

Now no and no shock shock I mean there isn't like great distribution of BBC Radio here in the United States and when I'm listening in my spare time no see I'm catching up on friends.

If I go I'm gonna have to talk to them over here with the during and to be honest with you listening you think so my god.

I will confirm this American Life if you listen to the BBC on pick the appeal of this American Life you go let's go back to the very first episode as he said from 1995 when it was not joking.

I think it's called you all radio.

Playhouse Chicago Illinois name of this shows your radio by house and CMC we've setting out to do that then for a from us.

We thought of it as an entertainment, but we are so that would be it will be journalists home, but it will be unashamedly out to entertaining entertaining in the biggest way where we went.

Both funny and you get caught up in like people and feelings and ideas.

You know who is saying journalism shouldn't be fine.

It shouldn't be entertainment.

Will you be in prison for that? We want nobody knows that we do as much and Esther Rantzen stories and break stories and things like that, but even those stories we really do try to people and if they are kind of topics where we always have to trick people into listening.

I can remember years ago when there was a flight of refugees into Europe in the degrees from Syria and elsewhere.

We will never agreed someone it just took you might like this poor country was dealing with this in front of refugees and we were very aware that nobody in America or Europe if you would start a Shell by saying ok refugee situation in Greece nobody said yes, I really want to hear that and we've had.

Before we came over to talk about like what could we possibly over the show with that would make you want to hear the shower and we liked it a brainstorm.

It's ok people who fell in love in a refugee care about somebody is running some sort of weird business a refugee camp brainstorm of West End when we're going out trying to talk about what you doing.

Where are keeping around for like what opens the show that would make anybody want to hear a member of the things we ended up being the Sherman brothers in Cabin with sauna in Grease and everybody was showing me pictures on their phones of these wild boars that would buy coming to the camp at night and you want to take your kid to pee in the house with destroyed crystallised to get there and then get there beginning of a wild Pigs is just like both very sad and very funny and also the everything this is the opening hours till you see this is a handmade top and she walk me out in the words with wanted refugees about Claire show me the traffic.

Cat the Boars Head was my picture produced while sounding obviously natural and chatty I suppose that might not be to everyone's taste.

I don't know it seems very funny.

I have to say and everything that we were doing quite sure what she sounds different than the World presenter is sound heard on the radio here in the states are in Britain or anywhere else like like I remember when I was first in the show I really try to talk on the radio exactly the way I talk and it so I would have a script but I would try to add live from The Script into talk as much like myself in the kind of rushed not the radio voice or the TV and that was actually a problem getting up talking station to the picking us up because they would say like what you are is good reporter and all I can do is a good reporter for NPR but like when you going to get a real like somebody who knows what they're doing any work.

Sorry this is.

But I thought I would call my parents in Baltimore and ask for advice on this our first evening of our brand new with your show hi Mum can you show goes on there this week and is part of the show we were thinking about having me come around to different people and get advice from them and I want to know if you would have any well, can I see another question it's very common thing in podcasts for somebody who just tried to just talk like themselves as much as possible absolutely on your website.

It says the programs are divided in two acts with a Prologue and also read you love musicals as do I fit on the roof.

Is it is in particular when I was he left and that you reckon musicals can teach you everything you need to know about how to tell a story on the radio on what you mean by that I mean the thing.

From musicals is something.

I only realised after had been doing this show for a while and I feel like when I was a kid.

I didn't have any special feeling about journalism you no more than anything and then it became a reporter I started working at the news network on a daily news shows and it's like I was always trying to push my stories to have more feeling and have my part and be funnier and be like at the you know even covering the news and it's some point after I created this American Life 4 hours ago.

I understand what I'm doing like the aesthetic of the show is like the aesthetic of journalism.

If journalism Whiting Broadway musical artists like anything about traditional Broadway musical and this is true from the old ones like one of the roof to the new ones like Hamilton you know like I get stuff like so funny and people with humour and so like in the same way.

I feel like the typical story that we do starts off like funny and very like out to charm you.

Tomorrow more serious over the course of its sell-by the and it's just about bigger things and bigger Felix just reminders cos you know your Show won the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 audio reporting first time ever in there that would happen.

What did you win it for and what does it mean everyone in for an episode that we did kind of summarising President Trump's policy at the Mexican border where he had instituted which basically you didn't of our refugees to come into the United States and apply for asylum inside United States he basically return people in Mexico and we did a series of Story some of them taking deep investigator stories.

We had us directions to people who were charged with enforcing this for talk about that just how they thought they were doing was both a violation of previous for an existing law and tomorrow they can I go sending people back to their deaths in many cases the people will never spoken on the record before that we got to.

And having a shower almost everyday.

She thinks about the people she's returned to Mexico all the time.

It's nearly 100, but there's one family in particular that you can't stop thinking about a father and son you think that case sticks with you really young I haven't own.

the kid get kidnapped

to get murdered, what's my moral culpability in that another story we did was like somebody who can basically get sent back in the moment.

He goes back over the bridge you get kidnapped because there's just have a business work when I see you ok, when owing amount of people get sent back.

What can happen and then just try to get any money we can have the families and then we follow the negotiations as family tries to get my loudest of the cartel torture the renting with $9,000 for Derby in another 9000 first son so 18000 total they put it on the phone briefly so she was alive in the kidnappers get on where in the world.

Are we going to get this money? I mean like what's great about the Pulitzer Prize is my ears and a word doesn't catalyst your parents have heard of it presumably I heard of it like that would be great.

Next next time in life fit into that.

I'm sure you can find a deal with Apple on Spotify audible for your back catalogue to become exclusive on their service but you know something in the UK it's all up on your website for free Wi-Fi casters like we just wanted to be up there right now been at the business model that we have is that we make our money from advertising so I could do this all spots at the end of a 15-second like at reeds and that that's plenty of money.

Will it in terms of podcasts? I just wondered what your instinct is about a company like Spotify and how it's now using podcast cos you know you can look at some of some of its exclusive podcasts automatically playing video 4 min or longer just audio in a bit of sleep aid extraordinary amount of cash for Joe Rogan's podcast you've already said you wouldn't want to go for a day like that.

Radio but I wonder your assessment of the importance of podcast now to Spotify and what it says about your Sandra that you know they're going to pay that much money for Joe Rogan I mean that's interesting no that when Spotify first garden to the podcast business one of the reasons they did it was because when people stream music they have to pay for the music and I just don't like when we get people talking.

That'll cost a smile, but it'll still be a lot cheaper than paying for others music and that was part of the motivation when they first by the game Word This podcast company and garden to podcasts like this will be aware like people listening on our app now.

I guess with the rogun sapphire.

Can I guess it's not necessarily cheaper.

I don't know but you know they want to keep people on on the app not like to ask you just more broadly about podcasting.

Is it been so successful in proving to be so successful.

I wonder what you think it means for Public Radio is it will it kill off Public Radio and somehow seem to survive because people.

Crazy Android they want to just get in there card on the radio and you don't have that and then also like people want a live person talking to us like as long as that need to sterilise like but Public Radio will continue to exist let's have a look at you.

You know incredibly popular podcast serial which was a spinoff from this.

Just remind us what the original cereal was the producer and the Host they created the show where basically Sarah Sadia the story was basically was the case that she thought with a wrongful conviction cases teenager who was accused of killing his girlfriend 10 years before when she started the story she don't like oh maybe this is wrongful conviction and then as time went on she became Piri uncertain about what it was so I can leave it wasn't around for convection and honestly.

Can I put back and forth them would just like to put that in the show that you cannot work decide one Way Or Another respect one thing and another season on cereal.

I think something good for anybody.

Did it feel like a real change of Direction if I go huge change of Direction and it's really hard to remember this because it's such an accepted thing now.

We had never heard of anyone doing a true story that lasted more than one episode.

We didn't know that you could do a piece of reporting that that you could say OK continue next week in the way you would do with like a piece of Fiction on on Netflix or something like nobody had done it and then we thought about documentary the staircase but we don't even know about that.

Cereal that we're just inventing a thing and we had no idea people would stay with it like cereal because you're just everything about this is knew it would be a serial a story that are robots week.

It was something on satisfying.

I guess we like stories of the beginning middle and end in a sense and yeah, you know you follow the twists and Turns but in the end without being a plot spoiler different from what were used to as listeners.

I think the things that make a story like that is fine are probably just the Dynamics of the people that in that it makes it girl is you know that relationship with him as he tries to figure out like it's very intense and very personal and you really getting no he almost everybody has said well the on and I know you didn't do it like a guy.

I knew couldn't have done it, but maybe you really are trying to answer.

Mystery that keep you going forward and then is journalism IBC like she's an incredible investigative reporter in subsequent Seasons like we tried to take on things that were very different for that.

We have we lost all interest in and get the rest of the internet that up and you have the season after was on the US military and the season after that we basically trying to diagnose, what's wrong with the American Court system.

I mean that first was such a huge success in a went viral lead you to co-founding in an entire production companies zero Productions which he then sold to New York Times reported 25 minutes.

Are you still involved in the day-to-day company now? I am not involved in the day-to-day running of the company, but he never words like there was run by Julie Snyder but I am involved in everything story.

It's like all the stories and our most recent podcast of the Affair did multiple edits on every episode of course I was going to come onto that because you don't investigate story much closer to home for us in the UK it looked at the

Most likely to be a hoax but sent anonymously to Birmingham City Council in a decade ago the letter secret communicate between Islamic extremist infiltrating the City scores and I suppose it called operation trojan horse it was a huge deal here at the time.

It kicked off your series the government investigations into extremism with teachers and others jobs an awful.

Lot of claim and counterclaim an awful.

Lot of news reporting now.

You're series has also proved very controversial in some of the people you interview say they were misled or Miss quoted and you sent one of the episodes and issued a correction.

What do you think went wrong? So I don't actually know the facts about from serial Productions and your x I'm Brian Reid and I'm saying it's the Trojan horse affair.

Back to podcast some of the contributors to the Trojan horse affair according to recent news stories in the British press that the times and the Daily Telegraph have made some pretty serious allegations about the journalist and I'll be in Birmingham England one night.

When is journalism student came up with happy to try and answer these questions and even offered to do another interview after getting a briefing for his team, but instead we approached the New York Times and cereal products directly they say that the podcast is the culmination of years of reporting and they underwent extensive fact-checking and legal review more broadly you know do you know Productions as campaigning journalism because I suppose we've had a lot of people saying particular America that happens here as well about that.

Sort of cosy Liverpool list of all the people who work in the media.

I just wondered you know you've got episode gambling.

Present the case of a woman who did big us casino in it would have felt like David and Goliath story her against the big capital of beast.

Do you see your programs as having a political stance of things come up with you think like wow.

That's bad something new that something something to talk about like for example the trump policy at the border which is like that seems bad.

I wake up in the morning and then we follow the facts where they go I totally understand that I told you buy into that everything at the moment feels more phonetic inner senses terms like culture walls thrown around that you had a programme recently when he was a life and conservative Christian but she's become pro-choice the baby was like I'm going to die so here.

We are in a situation.

Where was death and death and there is no real choice fair.

So that really changed my view on abortion feels like a natural story for this American Life and I just wondered whether you do a story in the reverse in a person moving from Liverpool position.

Right wing conservative position, but there any stories that we do which which go inside the world of Conservatives you know we did another story on the proud boys.

Just completely inside the world.

We've done stories inside Militia group.

So glad we destroy the election.

We went up when we run around with these Militia groups.

I was supposed to be like patrolling polling stations and that was on this year.

They were going to be dating photos and it's been really was just trying to document here is how this guy see this is Tuesday morning election day Jones and disguises split between two pickup trucks videos with me is dressed in Battle gear in the M23 closed when the bathroom first before 5 strapped to a pistol and holster is no objectivity in journalism to talk about like shooting for objectivity that she look for something.

It's not real and I find it to be got always a kind of annoying construct.

I don't think you can be objective.

I think you can be fair.

Baroness is a kind of like standard that that you can meet in normal reporting then I feel like we go out of her way to be fair to all parties in any dispute the reporting on the media as soon as pretty polarising at the moment.

We're all accused of highlighting divisions as or finding the extremes and I just wondered what this American Life World in that bring people together.

Would you push them further about I mean? It's funny that I don't think about it that we're not together.

We're trying to bring people together apart.

I feel like you know what a very particular kind of documentary show where will try to get into people's World's End End show the point of you were trying to say is that this person is here here's the picture you might have them in your head and who they are often that the more radical things to be doing like he's away this argument.

Is is talked about what year is the reality on the ground that was appointed early in the trump administration wear one of the things I was told.

What the time was hell immigrants coming into doing jobs at the time between the general Jeff sessions one of the people who have been like saying this for years former senator in the United States for trump.

He was a big anti-immigration person in Washington DC and then we can get 20 general from big greedy businesses, who are illegal workers in Harry knows numbers bad things or hundreds of thousands rapport down the wages of American cities and so will I get so you like with actually look a bit so that's going to a town let's go to a poison see if George was so unhappy actually charities from Alabama I would just like to what's the time in Alabama which are wider grants for somebody can make this claim and we went to the doctor's with chicken pie and Sarah that is some point just try to bring in Mexican workers until the town which have been like all white our Charlestown where's between 3rd and 4th Mexican and we're just like what they do this town.

Did they steal jobs and we really like winning spent mind sent by card and economist.

Google card, where did wages were the jobs in ethic and it's best that kind of reporting but it does it says he's all these people yelling at this thing.

What is go replace and see what really happened with just felt like our jobs was in joke with you from the time my clock in until 10 and I was worried about work was going to happen to my future here at a chicken fly the overall number of jobs grow because when you have them in the workers coming in the construction for housing and do Aikido people selling my food and just like actually boosted the overall economy, the county was not more unemployment among workers, but if I remember right it did keep wages depressed.

You know when everything feels quite 10 at the moment Innocence over certain topics.

I just wondered are there.

Are there areas that you would just avoid on this American Life or is everything up for discussion and revelation everything's up for discussion.

I can't think of anything.

That's come up.

Like honest therefore we talked about why should we do this and there was a fire bike now.

I stay away from that now.

I can't give anything what he was here right now.

What's the next one me personally you back I stumbled story about nfts with a sky said that Amen Corner how the blue and said ok? Did you start this website and it's like I did start that website like years ago and I took a Down cos like whenever you like.

I think you invented nfts.

I think you made the first.

Nft or one of the first anyway, and if that's true.

You should start selling it again because you'll be rich and then come inside your crazy and then like it.

Just there to a point I like to think he's getting ripped off by this guy, but he also makes millions of dollars.

Do I get to cycle to take a crazy story that takes you into that world is useful because most people still there for some time now.

You've had a huge impact.

On the types of Radio podcast many people listen to to tell us.

What is next what kind of audio will we be listening to in 10-years time? Can you make a prediction of things we have now there is some narrative podcast the people like people doing journalism.

I think they'll be a bunch of interview shows that can be for when will enjoy and I'll be loud mouths like Joe Rogan out there too.

I'm sure I'll still be going thank you so much.

I would last for joining me today.

Thank you as well.

So Bob nestles Today studio engineer the media.

Show will be at the same time next week.

Thanks for listening and good.

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