Thursday February 12, 2015

The whiteness of public radio: What qualifies as a "good" radio voice?

What does a "golden voice" really sound like? And who gets to decide?

What does a "golden voice" really sound like? And who gets to decide? (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

Listen 21:09

Does public radio sound too "white"? Do the CBC and other traditional broadcasters privilege one dominant style of speech and narration — one that is deemed "professional"' sounding? If so, should we consciously expand our definition of a "good" radio voice?

Guest host Sean Rameswaram tackles these questions with professor, hip hop artist and radio producer Chenjerai Kumanyika — whose recent post "Challenging the Whiteness of Public Radio" went viral.

He also checks in with CBC Producers Nick Davis and Mariel Borelli.

Your letters

After receiving a flood of letters, comments, emails and tweets on this topic, q producer Rachel Matlow and guest host Sean Rameswaram read some feedback on air.