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The Media Narrative


Listen to The Media Narrative to hear from a range of media makers—authors, journalists, producers, artists, and others. They'll talk about their ideas and stories, how they work, and their approaches to making and consuming media.

Listen to The Media Narrative to hear from a range of media makers—authors, journalists, producers, artists, and others. They'll talk about their ideas and stories, how they work, and their approaches to making and consuming media.


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Listen to The Media Narrative to hear from a range of media makers—authors, journalists, producers, artists, and others. They'll talk about their ideas and stories, how they work, and their approaches to making and consuming media.




Jim Infantino: Sci-Fi, Music, and the Future

He is a novelist, songwriter, bandleader, designer, web developer, and entrepreneur, among other things. It's likely that he's best known as a musician and the leader of the Boston-based band, Jim's Big Ego, but Jim Infantino's latest creation is his first novel, a work of science fiction that takes us about 80-90 years into the future. In The Wakeful Wanderer’s Guide to New New England, half the people have technology implanted in their brains that allows for thexting - communication that...


Pooja Agarwal: Strategies for Teaching

Cognitive scientist and author Pooja K. Agarwal has spent a large portion of her career connecting education research and classroom teaching. For a long time, educators didn’t have access to relevant research, but Agarwal and Patrice Bain have co-authored a book—Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning—that’s bridging that gap. The book is also packed with insights and exercises that will not only help teachers, but anyone who has any interest in learning as well.Agarwal, a...


Charles Giuliano: Chronicler of Counterculture

The sixth book by Charles Giuliano, Counterculture in Boston: 1968–1980s, features new interviews with journalists, authors, radio hosts, producers, and other luminaries, such as George Wein, Jon Landau, Charles Laquidara, and Dexter Gordon. It’s an invaluable oral history of the work, culture, and arts that marked one of the most tumultous periods in U.S history. The book also features several of Giuliano’s photographs from that period, as well as vintage images by other photographers. In...


Rona Elliot: Covering Rock for Network Media

Rona Elliot has witnessed some of the biggest moments in rock history, including Bob Dylan plugging in at the Newport Folk Festival, the Beatles performing in 1966 at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, and everything that happened while she was working at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. As a network radio reporter beginning in the 1970s, and then in the 1980s—as a music journalist for The Today Show—she interviewed greats such as Tina Turner, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Aretha Franklin, Paul...


The Media Narrative Joins Climate Strike

In this brief episode, we join striking students and citizens and hard-working media organizations to spread awareness of the growing climate crisis. You'll hear the voice of 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and your host reads an excerpt of a New York Times column by Jamie Margolin (Zero Hour). Additional audio provided by #Podstrike.


Jordan Rich: Voice, Radio, and the Art of the Interview

As a kid growing up in Massachusetts, Jordan Rich had dreamed of being an actor. But he was just as passionate about the "theater of the mind," as radio is often called, and went full bore into that industry once his voice dropped. He began his career as a weather reporter in the 70s, and thousands of interviews later, he continues to work in the field, not only in radio, but as a voice actor, producer, voice teacher, podcaster, speaker, and in several other roles. During our interview,...


Pod in the Summertime

The host of the show asks for listener feedback, with some specific questions, provides some newsworthy updates on two past guests, and hints at upcoming episodes, one related to Woodstock, and one to the wide world of voice. Listener Feedback Questions Please email any responses to Related Links Julio Ricardo Valera WaPo column Ear Hustle (Radiotopia) news


Susan Rogers: Music and Science

In 1978, Susan Rogers sent $1.75 in postage to the U.S. army and received a box full of electronics manuals, just because she asked. She began teaching herself audio technology from these manuals, and a few years later, found herself at a recording console, capturing the tracks that would become Prince's monumental Purple Rain album. Rogers's resourcefulness emerges, at least in part, from a wide-ranging curiosity in many things, but she's particularly obsessed with music and science. After...


Joia Mukherjee: Global Health Delivery

When Dr. Joia Mukherjee visited her father's hometown of Calcutta, India as a child in 1972, she observed for the first time how poverty and lack of healthcare wreaks havoc on quality of life. She went on to study medicine, volunteer in Africa, and ultimately—after becoming a doctor—join Partners in Health (PIH), a nonprofit that strives to improve access to health care in countries that are most in need. She now serves as chief medical officer at PIH and teaches global health at Brigham...


Marcella Bombardieri: Affordability in Higher Education

After years of award-winning work as a journalist and investigative reporter for The Boston Globe and other publications, Marcella Bombardieri took a bold left turn in 2016 and joined the Center for American Progress (CAP) as a policy analyst. But after years of newswriting on the subject of higher education, Bombardieri made a smooth transition to a progressive think tank where her focus would be on higher ed policy. As associate director of postsecondary education at CAP, Bombardieri has...


Van Morrison Revisited

Meet three of the musicians who accompanied Van Morrison on the stage and in the studio in 1968, when Morrison was working on the songs that would appear on his classic second solo album, Astral Weeks. Bassist Tom Kielbania, drummer Joey Bebo, and saxophonist/flutist John Payne spoke about their collaborations with Van Morrison at a panel and celebration in December 2018, right around the 50th anniversary of the album's release. Author Ryan H. Walsh also spoke during the day; his acclaimed...


Brian Coleman: What Ads Teach

Where many of us see advertisements as annoyances and interruptions, author and journalist Brian Coleman sees the arc of a place's history and the evolution of its artists, businesses, music scene, and social justice movements. In his fourth and newest book, Buy Me, Boston, Coleman curates and presents more than 400 print ads and flyers of 60s, 70s. and 80s Boston. It reveals the city's passions and ambitions, as well as its prejudices and challenges. Coleman worked as a music journalist...


Liz Linder: Image and Story

Liz Linder is a talented and prolific photographer, but she is also a storyteller, artist, entrepreneur, mentor, and deep thinker about the ways contemporary society and technology shape the work of creative people. She has taken portraits of many celebrated figures, including Lou Reed, Esperanza Spalding, and Quincy Jones; shot for corporate clients such as MTV, Louis Vuitton and Takeda Pharmaceuticals; and published photographs in dozens of publications, including The New York Times,...


Growing Up on Radio

Your host, having just launched a music show on Boston's WUMB-FM, reflects back on a career of stumbles and steps on the way to finding a voice, literal and metaphorical, while working on the broadcast airwaves. It's a story that begins with a kid listening to baseball games while growing up near Philadelphia, before taking over a morning jazz show in college—one that revealed his lack of jazz knowledge and a weird desire to display a subtle Boston accent. His professional radio journey...


Duke Levine: Guitar Master

It takes a very specific skill package to be an accomplished sideman, with musicianship and congeniality at the top of the list. Duke Levine brings those qualities in spades, but his versatility, humility, and self-awareness also play critical roles in a career rich with high-profile tours and notable recording projects. Among the artists he's toured and/or recorded with are Peter Wolf, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rosanne Cash, Aimee Mann, and Otis Rush, plus he's performed on a host of TV shows...


New Orleans Travel Tips

Podcasts providing travel advice can be a great help to first-time travelers. On a trip last week to New Orleans, I relied heavily on an episode of the Beyond Bourbon Street podcast, hosted by Mark Bologna. It was an incredibly helpful hour-long guide to planning a few days in New Orleans.And then, in discussing that podcast and my trip, I realized I had created a travel tips podcast of mine own. Oops.In the process, however, I forgot to reveal what question I forgot to ask my last guest,...


José Massó: Latin Music Radio Legend

José Massó is host of the longest-running music show in Boston's radio market, on WBUR. As host of Con Salsa, Massó not only brings a range of Latin music and interviews to listeners all around the world, he works tirelessly to make his show—and his life—about addressing social issues. He's a fascinating and well-spoken person who has also worked as a school teacher, sports agent, and liaison on U.S. presidential campaigns. During our conversation, he talks about being inspired by musician...


New Year, New Plan

Everyone scoffs at New Year's Resolutions these days, but who doesn't think about the year ahead in early January? Your host reflects as such on this year's first episode, touching on some developments for the Media Narrative in 2019, including: radio host Jose Masso Related Links Lore podcast Aaron Mahnkee's Twitter series on podcasting The Gist with Mike Pesca The Ezra Klein Show WUMB-FM


2018 Year-End Solo Wrap-Up

In this quick end-of-the-year solo show, your host runs down the year and expresses gratitude. You'll also hear some news about the podcast, some recommendations for other shows to listen to, and the big media question of 2019. Subscribe at

Chris Faraone: Alternative Press Champion

Journalist Chris Faraone began his career covering the hip-hop scene for local and national publications. By the time he joined the Boston Phoenix in 2008, he was spending most of his time covering political and civic news. Faraone went on to become editor of alternative weekly Dig Boston and found the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.