Saturday, July 5, 2008

Backstory - podcast review

Backstory is a recorded radio program from VFH - Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. A  panel of three historians meets in the studio to discuss the background story of an item in the news. For example, as in the episode I heard: family values.

They featured three recorded interviews with relevant specialists in the field. In this case, since there is some political debate on family values, they took one person from each side of the spectrum and a third who was a history researcher on the subject. This sounds a bit more organized than it worked out, but as a popular science program it worked rather well.

The commercial breaks are cut out of the podcast (here is another reason to hear the podcast and not the radio show), but what is kept in, is the phone in section. In this particular episode, the caller came with very good questions, worthy of an item themselves. So, even if the end result is a very entertaining and slightly informative show, many questions basically left unanswered. Well, you cannot expect that from a radio show; you'd have to have a podcast series to definitively dig into the history of our family values and the practical ways in which we lived in families.

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