The WildeBeat

The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.


The WildeBeat edition 101: The Next 100

This is a supplementary transcript of our audio program. CLICK HERE to listen to the original program, and see the associated show notes.

For a hundred shows, we've helped you get into the wilderness. Now we need your help. This week on The WildeBeat: The Next Hundred.

[Intro Music & SFX; 0:07.6 and under]

News from the Wildebeat, the audio journal about getting into the wilderness.

This is program number one oh one.

I'm Steve Sergeant.

[Intro Music: 0:04.5 ends]

STEVE: From fixing your feet to using your head, from camping in the snow to backpacking in the desert, we've spent two years finding ways to help you get into the wilderness. The WildeBeat is a free public service to help you discover, and get the most out of America's wild public lands. And while the show is free to you, it costs us a lot to bring it to you. But before I ask for your support, I'm going to tell you a little more about what we do for you.

STEVE: We talk about wilderness in ways that make it accessible to you. We talk about how a wilderness experience can transform your life. We do this using the techniques of radio documentary production. We keep the programs short and to the point. We look for ways to give you an experience, not just a lecture. I'd like to give you a look at how we do this, and what goes into our shows.

STEVE: It starts with an idea for a story. Sometimes we brainstorm an idea, and then work for months to put that story together. Sometimes we happen upon a good story by accident, for example, waking up in a noisy campground.

STEVE: This motor home just started up a motor ... just as I was preparing breakfast.

STEVE: And once we have the idea, and some kind of start on the story contents, we have to find the rest of the people to tell the story, or someone to provide a balancing point of view.

STEVE: Excuse me, would you be willing to talk to me for a moment...

STEVE: Some of these people I need to interview, especially those overworked and underfunded folks in the government agencies, are really hard to schedule time with.

STEVE: Hi. Is this the office of the natural sounds program? My name is Steve Sergeant. I'm trying to contact, Kurt Fristrup, your acoustic scientist. I produce an Internet and radio series called the WildeBeat -- I want to interview him about your group's work. When would be a good time to try to contact him?

STEVE: It can take us weeks, and in a few cases as much as a year to schedule an interview or field time with someone. Once we have that time with them, making the best of it is sometimes just as challenging.

KURT FRISTRUP: ...or those generators brought to parks by visitors to power their RVs or other equipment.

KURT FRISTRUP: I want to do this again how patient are you?

STEVE: [09:17] Well I'm going to have to move on about quarter after eleven. Let me just re-ask the question again, then.

STEVE: Why should natural soundscapes matter to a typical park visitor?

STEVE: And it's not always a guest choosing his words carefully, or an otherwise awkward conversation, that causes problems.

DOUG THOMPSON: ...that was kind of an issue.

STEVE: ...those are military jets, right?

STEVE: For each of our ten minute shows, we sometimes collect several hours of raw material. A lot of this material is just plain useless. Some of it is off-topic or repetitious, and only just a few minutes of the remaining material is actually going to be interesting to most of you. To find that best material, we transcribe each recording.

[SFX: Transcribing.]

STEVE: Next, we sit down and write a script based on the interview transcripts. Once we know the parts of the interviews we're going to use, we have to edit out the parts we don't want.

[SFX: Editing]

STEVE: We do the editing for several reasons. One of the reasons is to keep the interviewees comments on-topic for the story. Another reason is to make sure the guests express themselves clearly. We want you to listen to what they're saying, and not get distracted by the ordinary stumbles of conversation. We take the time to make sure your ten minutes are well-spent. Next I record the narration, and then put the whole thing together.

[SFX: Beginning of E089.]

STEVE: Finally, we have another finished program for you.

[SFX: Fade E089 intro.]

STEVE: From there, we upload it to a server, where you or your radio station downloads it. That costs us money. And by this point, all of this has taken us many hours to put together. On the average, about twenty five hours per show. Though, as you might imagine, the shows that we have to travel for take us a lot more time. It actually works out to more than a full-time job.

STEVE: Like I said at the beginning, we want the WildeBeat to remain a free public service. But all of this costs us a lot of time and money. Some of you have helped us out, and we can't thank those of you enough. But mostly, what you've heard on the show has been a result of us emptying our own, relativley shallow pockets. In order to keep going, we need support.

STEVE: We're a non-profit project of Earth Island Institute. What does that mean? It means that we have a reputable and larger non-profit corporation managing what money we have. But, they don't provide us any financial support -- just some guidance, and non-profit, tax-deductible status.

STEVE: So here's our main message this week. This show is free to you, but it's not at all free for us. With your support, we can continue to bring you our weekly features. Without it, we'll have to cut back on what we're doing -- a lot. Please join up, and give us the support we need to bring you the next hundred editions of the show.

STEVE: We need those of you who believe in our mission, and have the resources to support our work, to go to our web site, and click on our Support link. There's also a big box on the left-hand column of our main page that says, "Join Now, become a member." That'll take you to a form where you can make a tax-deductible donation to support our work. Annual memberships start at sixteen dollars for students, seniors, or as a first-time trial. A regular annual membership is forty eight dollars, which works out to about a dollar per show -- about what you'd pay if we sold our shows as songs on an online music store.

STEVE: Members of the WildeBeat get access to our WildeBeat Insider web site. This site includes additional bonus audio material, and opportunities for discussion. Also, only available to members, we'll soon offer special deals on the WildeBeat Insider web site. These'll be discounts and free products from book publishers, equipment manufacturers, hospitality vendors in trailhead towns, and guide services. As a WildeBeat member, you can also get a free subscription to the Earth Island Journal, our parent organization's award-winning quarterly magazine of environmental news.

STEVE: We're passionate about helping get you into the wilderness. We want to bring you more of our helpful skills education shows, our visits to wild places, our trips on outings with wilderness-oriented organizations, and those gear reviews provided by BackpackGearTest dot org. Please join us, so that we can.

STEVE: We'd like to hear your comments about, well, almost anything. Do you have a favorite wilderness area you'd like to tell us about? Did you go on an adventure you'd like to share your story about? Do you have a topic you'd like us to cover in our skills shows? Please tell us what you'd like to hear on the show, or what you think about our show. You can call our toll free comment line any time at 866-590-7373. Or, you can send e-mail to comments at wildebeat dot net. [Closing Music: 0:10 and under]

Our official website is WWW dot WILDEBEAT (that's W-I-L-D-E-B-E-A-T) dot NET. The WildeBeat is produced by Steve Sergeant, with help from Jean Higham, as a nonprofit educational project of Earth Island Institute.

This has been The WildeBeat, program number one oh one. Thank you for listening.

[Closing Music: ends.]

Next time -- rangers.

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