Magazine article Nieman Reports

Chasing Down the Sounds: With a Podcast, Dina Kraft, NF '12, Taps Her Inner Audio Reporter to Tell Stories of Friendship and Connection between Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, and Arabs

Magazine article Nieman Reports

Chasing Down the Sounds: With a Podcast, Dina Kraft, NF '12, Taps Her Inner Audio Reporter to Tell Stories of Friendship and Connection between Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, and Arabs

Article excerpt

I HAD LONG been a print reporter with a serious crush on audio. But until the opportunity to host a podcast fell in my lap, becoming lucky enough to make audio stories seemed like an elusive dream.

Now I'm a year into creating and hosting "The Branch," a podcast about Palestinians, Israelis, Arabs, and Jews who work together, "even when it's complex," as the tagline says.

Each episode in the series, sponsored by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, focuses on a different pair who have become close through their work together.

Where I once chased words, I now also chase down sounds. In one episode I tried to position myself on the edge of a stage to get the best audio of an Orthodox Jewish oud player singing classic Arabic love songs alongside his longtime musical partner, a secular Muslim pianist. And I have become attuned to the pitch of a voice, the peal of a laugh, and how those make characters feel real. That felt especially true recording a conversation between two prominent feminists and close friends, one Palestinian Israeli, the other Jewish Israeli, who together ask why leaders of the Women's March in America think they have to agree on everything in order to work for the same cause and capturing one of them say, with a laugh, "Why do we all have to be in the same ship? Why can't we be on different boats going the same direction?"

Every episode becomes my favorite one as I work on it, but Episode 10: "From Gaza to Tel Aviv" has special personal resonance. It's the story of a rare friendship made possible by journalism and the captivating personalities of Jonathan Ferziger, NF '96, aka my first boss (I interned for Jonathan in Jerusalem as a college student) and Saud Abu Ramadan, his fixer turned friend. …

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