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And the winners are...

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well, you’ll know soon enough. The Third Coast International Audio Festival is kind of like the Oscars of radio documentary. I’ve actually never heard this comparison, but it seems applicable. Entries comes from all over the world. This year entries came from as far as Australia, Bolivia, the Philippines. And, of course, North America. This weekend, judges flew into Chicago to decide this year’s winners. I was a monitor, which means that I sit in with the 3 judges as they set out to select 2 winners from a group of 13-15 entries. The best part about the judging is the variety: it’s not just radio producers deciding what makes a great radio story. My group included a high school English teacher, an editor at a poetry magazine, and, well, an accomplished radio producer. It’s a pretty intense day, we start listening at about 9 and some groups don’t finish until about 5. The judges are very thoughtful in their critiques, and bring in many elements in their decision-in other words, it’s much more than, “Yeah, this would sound good on the radio.” This year, Third Coasters added a new category: Best News Feature. Other categories include Best New Artist and Radio Impact, among others. There’s monetary awards, as well as bragging rights to creating some of the best audio from around the world...like, winning an Oscar. Everything you do from this point forward will include “Third Coast Winner...” before your name. Again, not sure this really happens but winners should look into doing this. Oh yeah, winners will be posted on the site very soon...so keep checking back.

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