Nationally renowned journalist Ira Glass will speak about journalistic approaches to storytelling and radio production techniques at 8 p.m. tomorrow in Campbell Hall.
Glass’ award-winning public radio show “This American Life” has more than 1.8 million listeners, is featured on over 500 stations and has garnered widespread recognition including the prestigious DuPont-Columbia University Award. The lecture will center on the program’s production and inspiration and feature a live audio performance by Glass compiling various media including memorable audio clips from the show, pre-taped quotes, music and his own narration.
The show’s episodes last roughly 48 minutes and are broken down into several acts varying in length and content. The stories are often first-person narratives addressing a wide range of topics, from international politics to child reasoning.
According to Arts & Lectures Assistant to the Director and Contracts & Grants Analyst Heather Silva, Glass’ show provides current news in an intimate format.
“His presentation has a lot of substance,” Silva said. “After his show, people might rethink the idea of journalism and how media can be transformed. It’ll be eye-opening and personal instead of just relating news.”
Since the show began airing on public Chicago radio station WBEZ in 1995, it has achieved various honors — including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Third Coast International Audio Festival Award and the New York Festivals Award — and featured several best-selling writers like David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Dave Eggers, Tobias Wolff and Anne Lamott.
First-year physics major Michael Kamkar said Glass’ interactions with such renowned figures lends a broad perspective to his reporting.
“It’s truly remarkable that Glass has gotten to meet and work with so many famous authors and artists,” Kamkar said. “I think that students can learn a lot from what he has to say.”
Additionally, first-year biology major Elizabeth Dang said the show will appeal to a wide range of listeners.
“When younger people listen to a radio podcast program, you already know it’s probably really good,” Dang said. “It means it can relate to people of all ages.”
The lecture offers a rare opportunity for students to connect with the opinions, talents and overall expertise of someone at the top of their field, according to Silva.
“It’s a very unique presentation. Ira’s really good at holding audiences’ attention and does a great job translating the radio show into a large presentation,” Silva said. “It’ll be a really good chance for people to witness someone who is a master of their craft.”