Passion meets Progress
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Catherine Burns, Artistic Director, The Moth, New York, US

Radio stories

Catherine Burns and Sarah Austen Jenness (The Moth, USA) spoke about their innovative approach to storytelling through radio.

They also spoke about how The Moth has become one of the most talked about content providers on the east side of the US.

The presentation not only captivated the entire audience on an emotional level, but also educated those eager to learn about how broadcasting personal stories can be a success.


Catherine suggested that it’s all about anecdotal stories. The storytelling method adapted by The Moth includes not only personal stories, but also stories told live in front of an audience with no manuscript.


Sarah Austin Jenness, producer of The Moth said that it was about providing original, humorous and personal stories at the station. Storytellers at The Moth range from novelists to comedians and even fashion columnists. Of course, everyone is invited to tell their story. “Sometimes we work anything up to 20 hours with a storyteller to produce the final content”.


Sarah explained that there is an array of opportunities for individuals to come forward. “We seek them out, but they also come to us. We set up open mic nights across 17 cities in the US. People wait for hours for a chance to get involved. We also offer a pitch hotline where anyone in the world can call and offer their pitch”.


Now receiving over 100 pitches per month, The Moth has really made its name, not only in the States but throughout the world. This was evident given the number of delegates in attendance.

Catherine Burns interviewed by Trevor Dann, Radiodays Europe: