Vocal Color in Public Radio: "authentically black, but not too black"
January 30, 2015 10:53 AM Subscribe
This summer during the Transom Traveling Workshop on Catalina workshop, I produced my first public radio piece. While writing my script, I was suddenly gripped with a deep fear about my ability to narrate my piece. As I read the script back to myself while editing, I realized that as I was speaking aloud I was also imagining someone else’s voice saying my piece. The voice I was hearing and gradually beginning to imitate was something in between the voice of Roman Mars and Sarah Koenig. Those two very different voices have many complex and wonderful qualities. They also sound like white people. My natural voice — the voice that I most use when I am most comfortable — doesn’t sound like that.On the sound of public media, on the air and in the podcast world, from Chenjerai Kumanyika, communications professor and hip-hop artist. (via NPR) See also: All Things Considerate, How NPR makes Tavis Smiley sound like Linda Wertheimer.
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