Sunday, October 25, 2015

NPR voice

“If I could attempt to transcribe it, it sounds kind of like, y’know  . . . this ”: “‘NPR Voice’ Has Taken Over the Airwaves” (The New York Times).

[I’ll refrain from addressing the writer’s generalization about the “slacker-intellectual tone” of blogs.]

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

I can't figure out what he's trying to say. This stood out, however:

"Whereas once only trained professionals were given a television or radio platform, amateurs have now taken over the airwaves and Internet."

On Those Were the Days, there are countless stories from the early days of radio and TV of people who weren't trained professionals who had talent and were in the right place at the right time. I remember one Chicago announcer trying to balance his "real" job with his radio opportunities. Also, while Roger Ebert was a writer, he wasn't a trained film critic but it worked out anyway. I'm not disparaging training or professionals, but the notion that once upon a time everyone came from trained professional stock just isn't true.

Michael Leddy said...

I think of it as a contrast between people speaking so as to be taken seriously and people speaking to an audience suspicious of people speaking so as to be taken seriously. The passage that stood out for me is from Ira Glass: “Any story hits you harder if the person delivering it doesn’t sound like a news robot but, in fact, sounds like a real person having the reactions a real person would.”

Sounding like a real person . So a way of speaking that affects not to be mannered but is of course mannered.

I think you’re right: “only trained professionals” is pretty dubious. Alex King (first husband of our friend Margie King Barab) was a regular guest on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show and had his own show on WNET: he was an astounding talker, but not by dint of any training.