Audrey loved podcasts. I often thought she loved them more than I did — and I was the one leading the independent study in podcasting. Her eyes always lit up when we discussed certain episodes or storytelling techniques during class, and she had a good voice for audio.

Podcasting is a completely different form of storytelling than print or online journalism. It’s auditory, for one, and you have to make the story seem casual, not rehearsed. We all tell stories aloud, but doing so in a way that is actually as compelling as a written story is incredibly difficult.

But Audrey took to podcasting so quickly, so effortlessly.

When I proposed a personal subject matter of some kind for the second audio assignment, I thought that Audrey might try to tackle the story of her brother, but I wasn’t sure. She did, and it was one of the best things she ever created.

Audrey never shied away from difficult subject matter; she approached every topic with the perfect balance of curiosity and reserve — especially this one. With such a personal story subject, it would have been easy to drift into “too much information” territory or be a little biased. But Audrey wasn’t. Her second podcast, posthumously titled, “Unconditional Love for Johnny,” showcases Audrey’s talent as a storyteller.

When I gave written feedback, I wrote: “I’m proud of you for tackling this story and I hope you’re proud of how it has turned out, too.” The same is still true today.

Text by Britton Perelman

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