Voicing the Past: BBC Radio 4 and the Aberfan Disaster of 1963

Joanne Garde-Hansen

in Media and Memory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640348
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670949 | DOI:
Voicing the Past: BBC Radio 4 and the Aberfan Disaster of 1963

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Radio has a close relationship to oral history making and personal/collective recollections of the past can have profound effects personally, locally and nationally. BBC Radio 4 has a reputation for engaging with local communities, drawing upon oral histories and presenting the past in richly woven narratives that powerfully convey personal and collective memories. With a strong background in pioneering digital storytelling through their CaptureWales (2001-2007) project, the BBC has been instrumental in the performance of memory through media. This chapter will provide a fuller understanding of the BBC's role in making memories with local communities through an analysis of Radio 4's anniversary programme The Aberfan Disaster 1963. This is an important case study for understanding voice/sound as remembering devices, engaging listeners in emotionally charged reconstructions.

Keywords: Media event; disaster reporting; collective memories; Aberfan; radio

Chapter.  6052 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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