I've been thinking a lot lately about bias, especially the political variety. As I listened to Ira Glass discuss allegations of NPR's supposedly liberal leanings, I wondered why one of my favorite storytellers was leaning so heavily on a concept (objective reporting) that by definition couldn't exist. As I do when I need audio advice, I turned to John Biewen. In his foreword to Reality Radio, John celebrates a form of documentary that embraces individual voice and perspective. The producers in Reality Radio not only acknowledge their role in shaping "true" stories, they use it to create innovative pieces and push the boundaries of reporting. And I dig it.
I produced a more news-oriented version of this segment for tonight's "In Our Backyard" on WORT-fm. But after rereading Katie Davis' manifesto, I was inspired to throw objectivity to the winds and tell a story in which I'm an active participant, complete with my very own opinions.
INTRO: Signs of spring are finally emerging after another epic Wisconsin winter. As down parkas become scarce, the food carts reappear on Library Mall, and UW students flee town for the week, thousands of midwesterners will celebrate warmer weather by sitting in the dark. Preparations for the 2011 Wisconsin Film Festival are underway across an otherwise deserted campus. Lauren Peterson caught up with one of the festival’s masterminds at their temporary box office on the second floor of the Memorial Union.