Snap Judgment Pilot

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If you were listening to KRCC this past Saturday at 1 p.m. we hope you caught the pilot episode of a new hour-long radio show called Snap Judgment. If you didn’t, you missed a rare moment on public radio: the birth of an excellent new public radio program hosted by an African American. And luckily for you, you can listen to the whole thing again right here by right-clicking on the blue link to download or clicking on the play button to stream.

Created by Glynn Washington, one of the winners of the Public Radio Talent Quest sponsored by the Public Radio Exchange and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the show brings a compelling and much-needed African-American voice to the public radio storytelling format made popular by This American Life.

While the show borrows some of the tried-and-true production elements from TAL (music beds that enhance the narrative with far more hip-hop), it focuses more on stories about the moments when people are forced to make decisions (or not) that will change their lives irrevocably. Among the stories in this first episode on the theme of “passing”: a man with the name Mohammed decides to fly internationally without his green card; an introverted, 12-year old African American math prodigy is sent to college 1,000 miles away from home.

You can download the podcast above by right-clicking on the blue link or you can stream it by clicking the play button. Enjoy and tune in next Saturday at 1 p.m. for the second episode. We’ll air three more episodes in February. Snap Judgment will go into full production later this Spring and your feedback will help us decide if we want to carry it full-time.

Let us know what you think in the comments or send us an email to Thanks!


4 Responses to The Best New Program on Public Radio?

  1. andrew says:

    Quite far from it.

    “[i]t focuses more on stories about the moments when people are forced to make decisions (or not) that will change their lives irrevocably.” OK, does it focus “more” on this, or exclusively on this? In either case, the phrasing is overly verbose and confusing to the listening, especially when they have to repeat it five times an hour to remind the listener what exactly it is that distinguishes them from TAL. Moreover, my guess is that they’ll run out of content that fits this narrow scope sooner than they’re imagining. TAL has a huge scope, and they’ve still been in repeats for three shows in the last month…

    These facts aside, the show was OK. The music was really good, but in the course of dude’s awkward interviews I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Kasper Hauser TAL parodies from a few years ago. Leading question after leading question, as if they didn’t expect the guests to go anywhere interesting on their own.

    So yeah, it was OK, and very well might deserve a spot in your lineup. But “the best new program on public radio?” Give us a break…

  2. Mary H says:

    Interesting opening song. Too long get on with the story, or tell me why it fits. Why play another one after it? Is this a music show? The music between pieces was ok.
    Great stories. Good to have one long one with shorts in between.
    Good concept. Probably could make more of a point in the stories or interviews how this one qualifies as a snap judgement.
    I like story shows. Story Corps, TAL, this one. I’ll definitely tune in, and recommend to others.

  3. Noel Black says:

    One thing that should be pointed out, in all fairness, is how terrible This American Life was when it started out. Shows like this often evolve as they refine their focus, get attention, get better pitches from producers, etc. So, from my perspective, it’s a pretty great show out of the gates. And, of course, radio (like TV) has all kinds of tropes and cliches that are, to some extent, unavoidable. The leading questions, like any other elements that seem forced or fabricated, well… that’s just show business, even if it is public radio. And yeah, the show’s theme is pretty broad and loose. Don’t want to paint yourself into a corner too soon.

    Keep in mind that this is the pilot. That’s my opinion.

  4. daisy says:

    That is true Noel, I recently listened to an older TAL and the music was painfully overwrought, hitting the listener over the head. I caught this on Saturday, though I didn’t know what I was listening to. I love story shows, and there are plenty of stories to tell out there. I was really gripped by the story by Mohammed Baghdadi, found myself laughing out loud and gripping the wheel tensely alternating (I was driving).
    Anyways, my two cents, give it some time.


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