Josh Shepperd on the Preservation of Radio History
In this episode, Josh Shepperd, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the Catholic University of America, Sound Fellow at the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), and Humanities and Information Fellow at Penn State, discusses his work on the history of radio broadcasting and the preservation of sound recordings. Shepperd begins by explaining the purpose of the NRPB and the Radio Preservation Task Force. He describes the perilous state of the archival record of American radio, reflecting on why so many recordings are lost or destroyed, and how many recording are rapidly deteriorating. He argues that radio recordings preserve a unique aspect of American cultural history, distinct from any other, and focused on the lived experience of marginalized groups. He also discusses his forthcoming history of public broadcasting, and the little-known story of how Theodor Adorno came to the United States to advise the government on educational radio policy. Shepperd is on Twitter at @joshshepperd.