Prof's 10 seminal moments in the history of audio storytelling

Damian Radcliffe, SOJC professor, working at a computer

From Orson Welles’ 1938 radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds” to President Obama agreeing to be interviewed in a podcaster’s garage, audio storytelling has come a long way in the past century.

Journalism professor Damian Radcliffe wrote an article identifying seminal moments in audio storytelling for the online publishing platform Medium. It was republished on

Many people think of the Walter Cronkite TV news report when considering the news of President Kennedy’s assassination.

“But, for many people, radio would have been where they turned to hear about the latest developments as this story broke and where they could continue to listen as the story unfolded,” Radcliffe writes.

A later moment Radcliffe identifies is when Apple brought podcasting to iTunes in 2005 and audio storytelling began to experience something of a renaissance.

“Low barriers to entry meant some people call the medium the “Wayne’s World for Radio,” but Jobs called podcasting ‘the hottest thing going in radio,’” Radcliffe writes. 

For Radcliffe’s full list, see “A history of audio storytelling: 10 seminal moments and timeless formats”.

Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the UO. He is a digital analyst, consultant and researcher. He regularly contributes articles about digital trends, social media and technology to outlets such as the BBC Academy, CBS Interactive and the Huffington Post.