Category: NPR-Was/Archives

Series of articles on what NPR was and is.

Carolyn Jensen Chadwick

CJC Photos:
Elephant sealElephant seal, California’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

humpback whaleHumpback whale near Maui, Hawaii.

Mali camel herder “On the Edge, Timbuktu.”

Roy Sesana, Bushman elder (Kalahari Desert, Botswana), on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, “From the Kalahari to Malibu.”

CJC, EP of Radio Expeditions, on the Rio Tiputini (photo: Flawn Williams).

Splendid with Sound: The audio world lost a great producer today, Carolyn Jensen Chadwick. With her husband Alex she co-founded NPR’s Radio Expeditions (article in Current) and produced the Interviews 50 Cents films.

Carolyn was Maya Lin’s sound consultant for “What is Missing?” She produced scores of sound-drenched, audio-intense stories for NPR — we’ve run several, with more coming.

We hope you’ll spend an hour soaking in her sonics below. Hubby Alex once described a jungle as “splendid with sound.” That phrase also does justice to CJC’s enveloping, enrapturing, sometimes ecstatic, and always engaging work.

Master-engineer Skip Pizzi (NPR, Microsoft) would play this first piece at workshops to illustrate how a simple story can be superb, when elegantly enhanced with stereo sound. David Molpus narrates a portrait of “Equestrian Olympian: Bruce Davidson” (1984 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer / 12:39 mp3):

Radio Expeditions often recorded those who recorded sound, such as Rex Cocroft on “A Journey to the Edge of the Amazon(2006 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer / 8:54 mp3):

Among the natural sounds CJC captured were those of human nature, as when her husband Alex pitted wits with the regulars at a small-town casino, playing “Poker at the Ox” (Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Michael Schweppe, engineer / 9:55 mp3):

The Chadwicks spent time in India charting the Geography of Heaven: Vrindavan. In this first of three-parts, they walked “The Streets of a Holy Hindu City(2005 / Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Flawn Williams, engineer / 8:57 mp3):

And in the mountains of Payette National Forest, it’s all guns, guitars, guts, and wild game, inside an “Idaho Hunting Camp” (Carolyn Jenson Chadwick, producer; Michael Schweppe, engineer / 12:57 mp3):

We’ll miss you, Carolyn.

Carolyn's Memorial notice in LA

DC Streets: ATC Day1

Reprinted by permission from the (private) AIRdaily:

Today is the 39th Anniversary of the first All Things Considered. The first program included a documentary of the largest anti-war demonstration in history (wikipedia). The demonstrators filled the roads, blocked the bridges and stalled the morning commuter traffic, all in an effort to shut down the government. The demonstrators were met with 10,000 federal troops, 5,000 D.C. police and 2,000 National Guard. By the end of the day, over 6,000 had been arrested, the largest mass arrest in U.S. history.

Reporters fanned out, from the Pentagon to the Mall, recording multiple perspectives of the events as they happened. I directed the program that first day, and we hustled to edit the multitude of voices into a cohesive documentary for the 5:00 ET start time.

What followed was an extraordinary 24-minute, sound portrait of the events as they happened, with the voices of protesters, police and office workers above the sirens and chopping of helicopters. Yes, there were flaws, and yet it stands as probably the best sound record of that historic day.

It also was a strong statement of the intention of NPR to get out of the studio, to use sound to effectively tell stories.
—Bill Siemering

Bill Siemering is Prez of Developing Radio Partners, NPR’s first Program Director, and author of their original 1971 mission statement National Public Radio: Purposes. You can hear that seminal DC Demonstrations report at NPR and in our HV hour of Protest. The piece still stands as both a valuable historical document and an example of what radio news can be.

“Today in the nation’s capital, it is a crime to be young and have long hair…”
—Jeff Kamen, NPR Reporter