“What’s something that is common knowledge at your workplace that will be mind-blowing to the rest of us?” Quora users are asked. One anonymous contributor wrote:
Public Radio: No one is that eloquent.
The majority of radio interviews (especially public radio) are pre-recorded, edited, tightened to take out “uhs” and “hmmms” and generally cleaned up before they air. Very rarely is a public official or person of interest put on live in news radio except during breaking news (and usually only reporters go live).
This goes for the host as well. All of their breaths and stumbles are edited out to give them that polished, perfect pitch. Also, quite often the host and guest are not face-to-face, but in studios in different cities.
EDIT ADDED 7/28:
Since this is getting a lot of upvotes, I do want to clarify that hosts do, however, give live reads when a show first airs to transition between the edited reporter pieces and interviews. I did not mean to give the impression that absolutely no public radio is live.
But often the version of a show you hear on your home member station, if it is not being aired directly from the first, live airing, is a second or third feed that has been cleaned up and corrected.
I’ve invited NPR to comment on this “mind-blowing” revelation.
UPDATE: Two readers remind me that “On the Media” addressed this topic five years ago.