The Secrets of Making Great Radio with Steve Drummond

NPR Senior National Editor Steve Drummond shares his thoughts on making stories pop in this 30-minute chat with StateImpact reporters.

Among his tips:

  • Break up the routine. Make sure your stories don’t follow a template or map. Think in every piece, “How can I do something different?”
  • Don’t short shrift your host intros. They need to clearly tell the listener what the piece is about and grab their attention. Make sure they don’t just repeat the first few lines of your story. In fact, look at your intro and the beginning of your piece as a conversation.
  • The first piece of tape should be really good and should be close to the beginning of your piece. Leave some of the heavy listening (geography, time, etc.) further down.
  • Don’t lean on sound as a crutch or use it when it is gratuitous. If it doesn’t advance the story, scrap it.
  • Try to put something in every story that delights you. A funny response, a metaphor, something unexpected.

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