Audio was once described to me as an immensely intimate medium. An idea can be transferred from mouth to ear without much of an outside influence. It is like you are sitting in a room, witnessing a conversation, a bystander in the story, yet it is intensely personal.
Audio storytelling has the power to place the audience in a story simply by creating the sounds of an environment. A well told story can make listeners forget whatever task they are doing and become engrossed.
It pulls the audience in and they feel personally connected to the story, like they personally know the show’s host.
That’s how I felt with the podcast Call Your Girlfriend. It was the first show in the medium that allowed me, as a listener, to become engrossed. I had been listening to the radio for as long as I can remember. The local radio station, WKLH is a staple in the house and listening to the morning radio program, Dave and Carole in the Morning, was habitual. However, that type of radio isn’t the same as podcasts or audio storytelling.
It is really interesting to see how passions change and evolve over the years. Like I mentioned, I have grown up loving radio. To the point that my sister and I would listen to the Dave and Carole in the Morning “Best Of” CDs in our room at night. For years we would fall asleep to the rotation of CDs. We got to the point where we could fully recite the comedy routines. Over the years that radio show has transitioned and so have I.
Call Your Girlfriend acted as a bridge from radio entertainment programing to podcasts. The show has a more conversational tone. The two hosts, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, talk rather informally about current events, topics in the media and what is going on with their lives.
Friedman, a Mizzou Journalism alum, came to campus this past week on behalf of Mizzou Online News Association, ONA. Not only was I super excited to hear her speak, but she also came into my online audience development class and I was fortunate enough to take a masterclass with her on freelancing. [To hear more about freelancing, check out next week’s post.]
I was so excited to meet her, but also kind of nervous. One downfall to audio storytelling is that there is a lack of visual communication. You don’t see the storyteller like you would in a video. So I was very curious to see her and interact with her in real life.
Let me tell you now, it was great.