Experience London during the Blitz with Re-Imagined Radio

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Re-Imagined Radio will explore Edward R. Murrow’s shortwave radio reports from London during the 57 nights of bombing in World War II that is called the Blitz. The April episode, titled “Proximity Effect: Edward R. Murrow’s Radio Storytelling,” with Murrow’s at-the-scene vivid verbal descriptions and keen attention to sound, created a realistic experience for listeners as well as a new form of radio storytelling, “the proximity effect.”

The episode premiers at 1 p.m. April 17 on KXRW-FM, Vancouver, and KXRY-FM, Portland. Subsequent broadcasts and streams will be provided by local, regional and international broadcast partners.

Murrow wanted to help Americans understand the horror felt by Londoners during the dark days of the Blitz, as the German air force relentlessly pummeled nonmilitary targets. His embrace of the sounds of the bombings made his work stand out. “With his broadcasts, Murrow sought to bring listeners in America much closer to the war in London than written reports read by other commentators in their studios,” said John Barber, a faculty member of WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program and producer of Re-Imagined Radio. The episode will sample several examples of Murrow’s proximity radio storytelling.

Murrow began broadcasting in 1930, his last year at what is now Washington State University. His first official news broadcast was the “European News Roundup,” precursor for “CBS World News Roundup.” Early on, he developed his signature approach, addressing three questions: What is happening? How does it relate to America? And how do ordinary people feel? On Sept. 8, 1940, he reported the bombings that marked the start of the Blitz.

Re-imagined Radio premieres episodes on the third Monday of the month on KXRW-FM. In addition, every Sunday, an episode of Re-Imagined Radio is broadcast on KXRW, drawing from previously broadcast episodes. Episodes can be streamed on demand from the Re-Imagined Radio website, reimaginedradio.net.

Community Partners

Re-Imagined Radio draws on community voice actors, Foley artists, musicians, sound artists and engineers. Partners include KXRW-FM, KXRY-FM, Fuse Audio Design and Holly Slocum Design

About Re-Imagined Radio

Re-Imagined Radio was begun by Barber in 2013 to celebrate radio storytelling. ”We select, produce and perform classic and contemporary stories across a spectrum of radio genres, from dramas to comedies, from oral to aural histories, from documentaries to fictions, from soundscapes to sonic journeys, from radio to sound art,” Barber said. 

About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is in the homeland of Chinookan and Taidnapam peoples and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601, brenda_alling@wsu.edu