Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

Located in Portland, Maine, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers a 15-week immersion program for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in documentary writing, photography, or radio.
This blog is an update of current Salt students insights and musings.


"Hopelandic" is the thing with feathers

Some of the radio kids have been quietly watching the progress of The Bryant Park Project to see how it will fair in the NPR market. The new morning show, named after the part of NYC where the studio is located, is NPR's latest attempt toward identifying with listeners in their 20s and 30s. Color me curious, and a little skeptical.

The best thing I've seen on the site so far? This disastrous interview with Sigur Ros. The onus for this interview's fate rests mostly on the shoulders of BPP co-host Luke Burbank, who asks some really amateur questions and then hates on himself for the rest of the interview in hopes of winning self-deprecation points with the band. (Hey, it's happened to the best of us. No need to get smug about it.) Rather than burying the ill-fated interview, BPP aired its dirty laundry last week by posting the piece on their blog, taking some pretty nasty hits from their Icelandic fan base—a surprisingly large base, as it turns out.

Well, BPP took it a step further this morning by posting a play-by-play commentary with music journalist Jancee Dunn about how Burbank could have improved his interview. For those of us hoping to break into the biz at some point, this is a pretty helpful breakdown of how NOT to interview your favorite band. I really learned a lot. I especially loved Dunn's suggestion about interviewing the eager drummer in order to get other band members' egos a little piqued. Check out the clip here.

Learning opportunity aside, what the heck is BPP hoping to achieve here, exactly? Do they think that by airing this we'll think they're hip for being so forthcoming? It reminds me a little bit of Kentucky Fried Chicken's move to rename themselves KFC to identify with a younger demographic. Do you guys remember the "cool" cartoon Colonel with the skateboard who thought buying fried chicken was "sweet"? Have you seen him around lately? Yeah. Me neither.

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