Thanh Tan

This American Life

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I tracked my piece for This American Life today. It took well over two hours. My producer is quite the pro at coaching me to speak less TV news reporter-like. Indeed, it’s much harder to sound conversational… when you’re actually trying to be conversational.

So here’s a link to the preview. If you really don’t want to open up a new window, here’s the synopsis:

344: The Competition

Stories about the unintended consequences of market forces, including the story of a Tulsa businessman who tried to cut costs—not by outsourcing his operations to India, but by bringing workers from India to Tulsa. With decidedly mixed results. Also, a story about two competing TV news teams in Boise, Idaho, who begin with the exact same set of facts about a local sex offender, and end up with totally opposite conclusions.

My trusty producer said Ira Glass would probably be too busy to get involved in the editing of this story- a first since she’s been there. I was bummed. But alas, he came through and helped out with the final edits. There’s substance behind all the hype about him, and I think that’s rad. After telling hundreds of stories, he still cares about each and every one. In total, my story has been filtered through at least three producers, a senior producer, and Mr. Glass. Now that is quality control.

I’ve done my part. Now, it’s up to the TAL folks to finish editing the piece before it airs this weekend.

Look up your local public radio station. Find out when This American Life is airing. Enjoy the show.

I’m nervous as hell. But in a good way.


Written by Thanh Tan

November 29, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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