New York Festivals 2018 Radio Awards celebrates the award-winning content created by global content creators and broadcast executives dedicated to providing outstanding content to their listeners.
From trophy-winning digital content, podcasts and audio books, live events, dramas and documentaries, breaking news coverage, multi-genre music specials, sound art, and promos from around the globe, NYF’s Radio Awards celebrates the World’s Best Radio Programs.
This week’s Spotlight features a round-table discussion with trophy-winning broadcast executives: Anna Maria Tremonti, Host of The Current, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Edith Bowman, broadcaster and writer, host of Soundtracking; Thomas Black, narrator/producer of RTÉ Radio 1’s documentary “007, The Irish Connection”; Jody Avirgan, producer/host of ESPN’s 30 For 30 podcasts; Liliana Manna, journalist for Radio Rivadavia Argentina; and Sue Zizza, Owner of SueMedia Productions, adjunct member of the Tisch Film School and Program Chair of the HEAR Now Festival.
NYF: Do you have any advice for people just starting out in radio? What’s the best advice some shared with you?
Anna Maria Tremonti: My advice for anyone in journalism – radio or beyond – is to stay curious. Curiosity will give you a long career – without it, no matter how talented or clever you are, your journalism will eventually suffer. Curiosity is what makes you look around corners others ignore, it is what prompts you to ask a follow-up question, and it is what drives you to knock on one more door. Also – never forget that the story belongs to those in the thick of it: listen to them, capture the sounds around them, be open to hearing things you might not anticipate.
Thomas Black: My only advice is to find a subject matter that you are truly passionate about as this will see you through those tough moments when you feel you are getting nowhere and also work with great co-producer.
Edith Bowman: The best advice I can give you from my own experience is to not take no for an answer, if you believe in yourself and know you have the conviction, anything is possible. The tools you need to get something out there are there, nothing is stopping you. Gone are the days you need to rely on a traditional broadcaster to make programmes, the world is your oyster. And my other piece of advice is be yourself, don’t be someone you think someone else wants you to be.
Jody Avirgan: Just make stuff. The barrier for entry to this medium, in terms of equipment or technical expertise, is relatively low. And no matter what your “main” gig is, think about all the other things you want to do and find ways to take on side projects that scratch that itch. One other thing, that I learned from one of my radio heroes Robert Krulwich, is to find people you like to work with and attach yourself to them in perpetuity (if they’ll let you.) We spend a lot of time looking for role models or mentors above us, older people to look up to or get advice from; but don’t forget to make strong horizontal connections with your talented peers. And then, pitch us! (If anyone wants to get in touch, drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liliana Manna: The best advice was given to me by the First Woman Journalist in Argentina who dedicated herself to the production of radio and TV programs. She was called Paloma Efrom (Blackie). She said that journalists should never lose their capacity for wonder and that journalism was a job of 25 hours a day.
Sue Zizza: Try it. Give it your best shot. Have fun telling your tales.