Radio - This American Life | Artopia



A Closer Look

This American Life first aired in 1995 on public radio station WBEZ Chicago. The producers write on their website, "We're not really formatted like other radio shows at all. Instead, we do these stories that are like movies for radio. There are people in dramatic situations where things happen to them...what we're doing is applying the tools of journalism to everyday lives, personal lives." What do you think they mean? What tools of journalism do they refer to?

About the Media

Go Ask Your Father is episode 289 of This American Life. In this show, sons and daughters get to find out the one thing they've always wanted to know about their father. And the answers aren't always what they hope for. When Aric Knuth was a kid his dad, a Merchant Marine, would leave for six months at a time and Aric would record cassettes of himself and send them, leaving one side blank for his father to record a response. But he never did. Aric talks to host Ira Glass about what it was like to finally ask his dad why.

About the Artist

Ira Glass, the producer and host of This American Life, began his career as an intern at National Public Radio's network headquarters in Washington, DC. Under Glass's editorial direction, This American Life has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence, including the Peabody and DuPont-Columbia awards, as well as the Robert F. Kennedy Award.


  • Make a list of what you see and hear in the radio production.
  • How does the producer express the message of the radio commercial?
  • What is your opinion of the radio production? How does it make you feel?