Radio transmissions are heard all over the world, from the largest urban centers to the smallest mountain villages. But what defines radio from a particular place, and what makes it different than radio from elsewhere?
Radio professionals from four different countries -- Australia, Belgium, Canada, and the United States -- play examples and talk about public radio broadcasting from their respective homelands, touching on issues of style and essence, general strengths and weaknesses, what epitomizes a country’s radio identity, and where radio might be headed in the not-so-distant future.
Radio Across Time Zones is moderated by Julie Shapiro (TCIAF) and features Edwin Brys (VRT), Torey Malatia (Chicago Public Radio), Robyn Ravlich (ABC), and Steve Wadhams (CBC).
Third Coast artistic director Julie Shapiro has been with the Festival since its inaugural year (2000). Before moving to Chicago, she spent years behind record stores counters before landing in North Carolina to work at the the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and gain a little radio experience at WUNC-FM. These days, besides Third Coasting, Shapiro teaches radio documentary in Chicago and beyond, keeps a blog about teeth signs, and can occasionally be heard on the public radio airwaves.
After a long career as a radio documentarian and head of the Radio Documentary Department at the VRT ( Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep), Edwin Brys now leads the Radio Training Department there. He teaches radio documentary radio at the Institute for Drama, Radio and Television in Brussels, and is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Radio Documentary Project Group and the International Features Conference. Brys co-produced Everyday Something Disappears with Luc Haekens, which won prizes at the the Prix Italia, Prix Europa and Premios Ondas in 1993. In 2002 he started up the EBU Master School for young documentary producers, and in 2004 compiled a box set with an overview of 30 years of radio documentaries from Europe and beyond.
Torey Malatia is president and general manager of Chicago Public Radio, where he oversees day-to-day operations, programming and production decisions. Malatia began working in radio in 1972 as music director for classical station KHEP-FM in Phoenix. His career took him to Chicago's Classical station WMFT, where he spear-headed the Beethoven Satellite Network, then to Seattle, where he served as program director of KUOW-FM. Malatia returned to Chicago where he joined WBEZ in 1993 as vice president of programming until 1996, when he assumed his current role as general manager.
Robyn Ravlich is the executive producer of the Radiophonic Unit of ABC Radio National, and a feature maker with a distinctive sound signature. Ravlich has worked on a range of innovative ABC programs such as The Listening Room and Surface Tension, and was the organizer of the 27th International Feature Conference (Sydney 2001) and president of the Radio Documentary jury of the Prix Italia (Bologna 2001) In 2002 her documentary about asylum seekers On the Raft, All at Sea was awarded the Human Rights Radio Award and the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Prize for Radio.
Steve Wadhams is a longtime producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, who, over the course of his 30 years at the CBC, has set himself apart as a masterful documentarian. Wadhams’ work has been recognized by a Prix Italia, two Major Armstrong awards and the gold medal at the New York Festivals.