BBC Invites Listeners to Talk

BBC Radio 4 has launched The Listening Project, inspired by StoryCorps, the massive American oral history project.
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New York & United Kingdom (April 5, 2012)—BBC Radio 4 has launched The Listening Project, inspired by StoryCorps, the massive American oral history project.

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The ambitious new partnership between the network, BBC Local Radio, the BBC's national radio stations, and the British Library aims to capture the nation in conversation.

The Listening Project will invite people across the United Kingdom to share an intimate conversation. Some of these conversations will be broadcast by the BBC and curated and archived by the British Library. This will build and preserve a unique picture of lives in the UK today for future generations.

Program contributors decide what they will discuss. It could be a story about a moment of joy, sadness or reflection. The project is about creating the space for people to have that conversation they always meant to have.

"We want to bring a new kind of conversation onto Radio 4, made possible by the unique nature of radio," says Radio 4's controller Gwyneth Williams. "I'm really delighted that Fi Glover, a BBC journalist and former host of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live, will be presenting The Listening Project for Radio 4."

"The Listening Project has an element of magic to it," says Glover. "Radio provides the perfect place for the intimacy of a profound conversation between two people. The Listening Project is awesome in the scale of its ambition but humbling in the intimacy of each conversation. I am thrilled to be a part of it."

"The Listening Project has found its moment," says Tony Phillips, comissioning editor for the Listening Project. "I am proud to have been inspired by the creative sparks that have emanated from the great oral historian Studs Terkel and from DaveIsay at StoryCorps."

Audiences in the UK will also be able to submit their conversations to the BBC through The Listening Project website www.bbc.co.uk/listeningproject where they will also find guidance on how to plan and record conversations.

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