Re-Imagined Radio considers Edward R. Murrow’s efforts to help American
listeners understand “The Blitz,” fifty-seven consecutive days of German
air force bombing of London during World War II. With his broadcasts,
Murrow sought to bring listeners in America closer to the war in London
than reports read by other news commentators from their studios. Without
a sense of presence (being close to the story) there could be no
understanding, Murrow often said. His keen observation, vivid verbal
descriptions, and attention to sounds provided unmatched immediacy. A
sense of what was happening. What could be observed. Radio historian
Jeff Porter calls the unmatched immediacy Murrow provided listeners,
“the proximity effect” (Porter Lost Sound 90) and says it
prompted a new form of radio storytelling. We sample several examples of
Murrow’s radio storytelling, and its “proximity effect,” in this