Aims & Scope
Aims & Scope
RadioDoc Review is a unique space that brings together audio documentary makers and storytellers, researchers, teachers and other serious fans of audio from around the world.
By audio documentary we mainly mean radio and podcast documentaries, narrative podcast series, audio features and other examples of the crafted (sometimes called ‘built speech’) factual form. We celebrate the classic radio documentary form that developed in Europe, Australia and North America, but also the diverse and changing forms that factual audio takes around the world. We are keen to explore more output from the Global South and we are always open to featuring new formats and genres of creative, fact-based audio storytelling.
Unlike the film documentary, the audio documentary has not been the subject of consistent and coherent theoretical analysis and teaching. Mainstream journalism tends not to review audio with the depth and rigour it reserves for film and TV. Yet worldwide the quality, quantity and variety of audio documentary has only grown with the advent of podcasting and its producers, audiences and scholars deserve better.
‘Audio documentary’ at RDR can include audio stories, investigations, features, but not conversational studio podcasts, celebrity interviews, live commentary, radio phone-ins or news magazines. We’re not looking for sound art, soundscape or field recordings or oral history recordings, unless they have a narrative frame. We’re not thinking of anything that’s all fiction or dramatized, though documentaries can of course include elements of dramatisation.
So at RadioDoc Review, we aim to:
- Showcase the best work from around the world and provide a forum for serious criticism of all aspects of the craft, format, genre, production, reception or content of audio documentary, narrative podcast and associated forms;
- Develop critical language and theory for the audio documentary and crafted podcast form;
- Chronicle developments within the field of academic study of the audio documentary /narrative podcast form;
- Try out new modes of critique and discussion, balancing the rigour of peer-reviewed scholarship with the openness and speed of non-peer reviewed pieces and pioneering audio as a format for scholarship;
- Support scholars and makers of audio documentary in developing their careers, including those in the Global South, through advertising opportunities to contribute to the journal with supportive editorial and peer review, to assist on our team, and by reviewing audio work;
- Make available for posterity a canon of diverse examples of excellent audio, interviews and articles for teachers, researchers and programme makers of the future.
As you can guess from our journal title, we publish in-depth reviews of audio documentaries. We also publish book reviews, interviews with producers, comment pieces and peer-reviewed scholarly articles. Items can be written or in audio form, and range from short pieces (maximum 1500 words) to 6500 word articles. You can read more about the scope and criteria of each of these in our policies page, left.
Scholarly articles are peer reviewed, but other pieces are normally only subject to light touch editorial review for clarity, quality and length, to enable non-academics to take part and to provide faster publication of topical content.