The Best of “Outfront”

OUTFRONT

The CBC Radio program Outfront was one the best uses of radio on the planet.

Outfront is [or was] radio stories about real life. It’s all about your ideas, your experiences, your perspectives, your story. It’s fifteen minutes of storytelling, experimental audio and new ways of making radio. Stories told from Canadian perspectives about the Canadian experience. You won’t hear traditional storytelling, and you won’t hear reporters or hosts. Outfront explores new ways of presenting stories which break the radio mold.

The producers would give ordinary people a microphone and a tape recorder, provide some basic instructions on how to record and tell their stories, and then leave them to it. The results were often compelling and — well, it was one of the best uses of radio on the planet. But then Stephen Harper became prime minister of Canada and funding for the arts and for cultural institutions like the CBC got cut.

Since then, the producers of Outfront have posted 50 of their favourite episodes available as free MP3 downloads. Get them while you can. Outfront was great radio.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

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