Storycorps Launches ‘National Day of Listening’ Nov. 28

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 25, 2008 — KRCU at Southeast Missouri State University will join with StoryCorps, the national oral history project, to launch the first annual National Day of Listening Nov. 28 in the Cape Girardeau and Farmington, Mo., areas.

On Thanksgiving, Americans and their loved ones gather to share a meal, express their gratitude and reminisce. On the day after Thanksgiving, this Nov. 28, StoryCorps is asking Americans to linger a little longer in the Thanksgiving spirit and honor a loved one by conducting an interview about his or her life. 

It takes only an hour to participate, using recording equipment readily available in most homes — from video cameras to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper. 

“Looking a loved one in the eyes and asking about his or her life is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another,” says StoryCorps founder and MacArthur “genius” Dave Isay. “The simple act of listening tells them how much they matter, and documenting that conversation for posterity tells them that they won’t be forgotten.”

KRCU General Manager Dan Woods said, “We are hopeful that many of our listeners will take some time during this Thanksgiving holiday to talk with a family member who is important to them. In our busy lives, we don’t often take time to sit down and just talk. This is a wonderful opportunity.”

StoryCorps encourages Americans to set aside time on Nov. 28 to record a conversation with a grandparent, an aunt, a neighbor, a soldier or a client at a local soup kitchen. The not-for-profit has created a simple tool kit of easy-to-use instructions, pointers and sample questions at http://www.storycorps.net.  

Sample questions from the Web site’s online Question Generator include:  • What is your happiest memory?  • What are you proudest of in your life? • What is the most important lesson you’ve learned? • How do you want to be remembered?

StoryCorps supplies tips for recording these interviews as well as simple instructions on how to archive and preserve them. For the National Day of Listening, StoryCorps will also recommend ways to upload and share stories online.

Over the past five years, StoryCorps has recorded more than 20,000 interviews with more than 40,000 individuals in 50 states across the nation. Each week, millions of Americans listen to StoryCorps’ award-winning broadcasts on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” Fifty of StoryCorps’ most emblematic stories have been collected in the New York Times bestseller Listening Is an Act of Love, which has just been released as a Penguin paperback.

The Library of Congress and NPR are the partners of this year’s National Day of Listening.

About StoryCorpsStoryCorps is the largest oral history project ever undertaken. Founded in 2003, StoryCorps gives pairs of participants the opportunity to leave a legacy in sound for future generations. Across the country, everyday people have visited our soundproof booths to record a 40-minute interview with a loved one.  One copy of the interview goes home with the participants on a CD, a second copy goes to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps has recorded more than 20,000 audio interviews. Excerpts of select stories are broadcast weekly on NPR’s Morning Edition. For its groundbreaking public service, StoryCorps was awarded a special Institutional Peabody Award in 2007.

About KRCU at Southeast Missouri State UniversityAs the area’s source for diverse musical programming and award winning NPR news, KRCU strives to continuously excel in providing the highest quality public radio programming to Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Nearly 1.9 million people within the listening area have the opportunity to tune in to KRCU 90.9 FM which is a 6,500 watt station located in Cape Girardeau and KSEF 88.9 FM, a 9,500 watt repeater station located in Farmington. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day from the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. More information is available at www.krcu.org.

About the Library of Congress & The American Folklife CenterThe Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to “preserve and present American Folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training.

About NPRSince its launch in 1970, NPR has evolved into a leading media company, award-winning news organization, and dominant force in American life. NPR produces and/or distributes more than 1,300 hours of programming weekly, including more than 150 hours of news, information, talk, entertainment, and cultural shows for 860 NPR member stations, with 26.5 million listeners weekly. With more than 90 podcasts, NPR is the most successful podcaster among American media companies.  Visit http://www.NPR.org for extensive original audio, video, photography, and text content, as well as nearly 15 years of NPR programming archives.