World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Radio documentary

Article Id: WHEBN0000858475
Reproduction Date:

Title: Radio documentary  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Documentaries, Amongst the Medici, Ideas (radio show), Nature (radio programme), Radio ballad
Collection: Documentaries, Radio Documentaries
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Radio documentary

Recording studio in Germany (WDR, 1954)

A radio documentary or feature is a purely acoustic performance devoted to covering a particular topic in some depth, usually with a mixture of commentary and sound pictures. It is broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. Some radio features, especially those including specially composed music or other pieces of audio art, resemble radio drama in many ways, though non-fictional in subject matter, while others consist principally of more straightforward, journalistic-type reporting – but at much greater length than found in an ordinary news report.


  • Quotes 1
  • Documentaries in Developing Nations 2
  • Notable feature makers 3
  • Notable resources 4
  • External links 5


At its best, radio combines the power and immediacy of great documentary films with the intimacy and poetry of a New Yorker-style magazine piece.
— Columbia Graduate School of Journalism,
Staring red-eyed at the mirror in front of me, having spent another day and half of the night with my computer, I ask myself fundamental questions: Why radio? Why documentary? Answer: No other medium can provide me with more freedom of creation and investigation. It meets my urgent interest in reality and the desire for a 'musical' expression. The material (der Werkstoff) is sound. And sound always surrounds us. And: I'm not so much interested in the description of stable situations, but in processes. Our medium is not space, but time; our stories are not glued to the ground, but have motion, life ... That's why!
— Helmut Kopetzky, German author, Self-portrait
So what is a radio feature? Technically speaking, it is a 30- to 60-minute, elaborate broadcast from a semantic field related to a radio drama, that can contain all the elements from original sound (interviews) and author texts (epic or scenic type) to noise and music.
— Patrick Conley, 60 Years of Radio Feature in Germany, 2007

Documentaries in Developing Nations

There has been tremendous interest in the field of Radio Documentaries particularly in the developing nations such as India, Iran, South Korea and Malaysia. In India for example, Radio Documentary is gaining in popularity due to the flexibility, efficiency and accessibility to the masses. Producers such as Chitra Narain and Danish Iqbal have been accredited with its revival and popularity in the region. Danish Iqbal who is primarily a Drama Producer combined the elements of Dramatic narrative to produce some memorable Radio Documentaries. His Documentary "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai' is considered a Classic for the use of effective narrative and ambient sounds. This Documentary presents a heartfelt account of unseen bridges between a Kashmiri Shikarah Wala and his Auto Rickshaw Driver friend in Delhi. Although they never met each other but their unseen bond is the subject of this rare Documentary which transcends the barriers of political, religious and regional prejudices.

Because both Chitra and Danish had a long tenure at Delhi and had creative collaboration with many Media Institutes, their influence is seminal in shaping the thinking of many of their students and co-workers. Danish won twice the prestigious Public Service Broadcasting Award for his documentaries.

Notable feature makers

Notable resources

  • Association of Independents in Radio
  • American RadioWorks
  • Audio
  • Hearing Voices
  • Public Radio eXchange
  • Radio Diaries
  • Radiotopia
  • RTE Documentary On One
  • Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
  • This American Life
  • Third Coast International Audio Festival

External links

  • ABC Radio National Background Briefing
  • ABC Radio National Hindsight
  • ABC Radio National Earshot
  • ABC Radio National Radio Eye
  • ABC The Night Air
  • ABC Radio National 360 Documentaries
  • SoundFeatures.Com - Updated listing of downloadable documentaries
  • Pacifica Radio Network's Audioport
  • Cooper St. James - radio documentary-maker
  • Inside Out
  • Lichtenstein Creative Media
  • Sound Portraits
  • The Radio Ballads
  • BBC World Service documentaries
  • The Listening Lounge
  • The Sunday Edition
  • Swedish Radio, The Documentary Department
  • RTE - Documentary on One - Irish Radio Documentaries
  • Audiodoc
  • Talking History
  • Michele Freeman - radio documentary-maker
  • Siobhan McHugh - radio documentary-maker
  • The Stanley Foundation radio documentaries
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness - radio documentary series
  • Rowan radio documentaries
  • El Nuevo Sol documentaries
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.