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The Spot: The Truth in Radio Fiction

CBS Radio
1938 promotional photo of Orson Welles directing "The Mercury Theatre on the Air."

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

Decider,” from the podcast The Truth, produced by Jonathan Mitchell, October 2017. 

Each episode of the podcast The Truth is a loosely scripted drama, played out by professional actors, and recorded and sound-mixed using the same methods you would find in cinema. And it’s usually a pretty dark show too, like the Twilight Zone, but updated for the new Millennium. 

In one of their most recent episodes, they imagine a life where you could know ahead of time how satisfied you’d be with any decision, before you make it. What if you never had to say “what if” again?

If you want to hear more inventive and cinematic radio fiction, subscribe to The Truth. Find out how at thetruthpodcast.com

Panic, Mayhem, Hysteria – War of the Worlds,” produced by Roger McDonough for KCPW, October 2015.

On October 30th, 1938, American radio audiences had their nightly music program on CBS interrupted by a live news report: that beings from another planet had descended on New Jersey. We know it as Orson Welles’ infamous radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel War of the Worlds.

Through the decades, stories of the mass hysteria that occurred during that original broadcast have been told over and over. But, did America really go nuts during the broadcast, like we like to believe? KCPW reporter Roger McDonough spoke with Media Professor W Joseph Campbell to get a clearer picture of how radio listeners did and didn’t react on that October night, 79 years ago.

You can hear and read more of Roger McDonough’s work at kcpw.org.

This week's episode featured music from: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Broken Social Scene, The Kittens, Tycho, and Phantom Planet.

If you have a suggestion for a podcast or an audio project we should feature, please drop us a line at thespot@kalw.org.

Tune in next week for another episode of The Spot, only on KALW San Francisco.