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Third Coast the place to be for a radio reboot

I was the lucky winner of the CMG lottery for a grant to attend the 2010 Third Coast Conference in Chicago. It is a gathering of radio producers from around the world, held every two years, and is attended by some of the best in the business. Third Coast is where you’ll find people who care about craft and storytelling. If you need a radio reboot, this is the place to go.

It was fascinating to look around the conference and know that every person does pretty much exactly what I do. They do it for many different radio companies, in over ten countries, in workplaces with their own unique approaches and cultures.

Every session offered was interesting to me, and applicable to my work at CBC. I attended a session on how to layer language translation over your tape without losing the emotion of the storytelling. Turns out it has everything to do with how the tape is recorded in the moment, and not what you do when you get back to your desk. I went to a session where the producers from shows such as This American Life, one of the most respected radio shows in the U.S, showed techniques for getting the best performance out of a host or contributor. I attended a presentation by a multimedia editor with The New York Times who taught us how to make engaging audio slide shows for the web.

I couldn’t believe how open people were in sharing their tips and tricks. At Third Coast, sharing was the name of the game. It happens in the sessions, it happens in the halls, it happens in the hotel bar late at night. Every presenter I approached was willing to spend one-on-one time with me and happily answered my follow-up questions.

I am still talking about what I learned at Third Coast with my CBC colleagues. I truly believe it is important for CBC producers to attend this international conference, and I am thankful that the CMG is willing to help send a member. Third Coast is a gathering of keen, enthusiastic, and innovative radio producers. Being there ensures CBC is part of the conversation, and a partner in the relationships that develop at the event.

Elizabeth Bowie is a radio producer at CBC in Ottawa. If you want to ask her more about Third Coast, write to elizabeth . bowie(at)cbc.ca

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