Just Words (WYPR-FM)
Don’t be fooled by the modest title. Just Words speaks volumes, and it has its own spare eloquence. The series of 55 four-minute reports broadcast by WYPR-FM in Baltimore, WYPF-FM in Frederick, Maryland, and WYPO-FM in Ocean City, gave some of that urban area’s most marginalized citizens a rare, mainstream-media opportunity to speak for themselves unfiltered. On Just Words, an HIV-positive ex-felon describes the difficulty of finding a decent paying job. On Just Words, a 70-year-old woman explains how she struggles to raise the grandchildren her drug-addict kids have left with her on $700 a month. On Just Words, workers at a city stadium, Camden Yards, talk about their campaign, which included a hunger strike, to secure a livable wage. The presentation is never sensational; it’s almost matter-of-fact. Yet the stories that are told linger in the memory and accumulate poignancy and power. For giving a voice to people often relegated to the abstraction of statistics, Just Words receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producer: Marc Steiner. Producer: Jessica Phillips.