Frequently Asked Questions of Dan Roberts
1. How did you come up with the concept of A Moment In Time?
During an early graduate-school experience, I became an avid fan of the infant network National Public Radio, especially its first news magazine, All Things Considered, which contained long, serious attempts at understanding complex social and political issues. It was a rare and valuable effort at public service.
While completing my Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, I met one of the senior producers for NPR in Washington and did some commentary for Morning Edition. In the spring of 1993, having taught undergraduates at the University of Richmond for almost a full school year, I recognized they were bright, intelligent students, hungry for knowledge and enlightenment, but they seemed disconnected from history. Having produced two school shows for local radio stations while in high school, I felt perhaps some means could be devised to break into popular culture with the story of the past. This led to the conception of a new type of public history program, a series of two minute vignettes: short, compelling, entertaining. A Moment In Time was born.
Working closely with Richmond's local public radio station, WCVE-FM, especially Producer Steve Clark and General Manager Bill Miller, the program went from conception to reality, and finally premiered locally in early January 1994. It went on the NPR satellite the following March and acquired the first non-Virginia station in April. The rest, as they say, is history.
2. How long has AMIT been on the air?
A Moment In Time was first broadcast in 1994, but the program had been in active development for seven months prior to its first airing.
3. How do you decide on which subjects to use for your radio show?
An active paradigm is utilized which includes episodes concerning:
1. North American History (50%)
2. European History
3. Non-European Cultures
4. Historical Contribution of Women
5. Historical Contribution of Minorities
6. Interaction between ideology or faith and political action.
7. Progress of technology and innovation
8. Or, suggestions by colleagues, students, and interested listeners
4. Do you have a favorite topic?
While I have no real favorite area of exploration, I constantly find myself in awe of the variety of human experience and fascinated by topics which previously held no interest for me. One of the advantages of A Moment In Time is there is no limit to the subjects we can examine.
5. If you could pick one single event in history that is the most meaningful to mankind today, what would it be?
Our world is too complex to isolate a single event as the most meaningful to mankind. The development of civilization is a demonstration of interdependence. Events, achievements and innovation depend on preparation, previous cause and effect, and insight. No event or person stands alone.
6. Is there a procedure one can follow to have A Moment In Time broadcast in a particular city?
You can contact your local public radio station and encourage them to broadcast A Moment In Time. If you need help in finding contact information, call Nancy Waldo at the AMIT office, 1-800-928-1776, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. How does AMIT reach around the world?
A Moment In Time is broadcast on the 400 stations of the Armed Forces Radio Network, where it reaches our service men and women. It is also carried on the Sirius Channel, where it is broadcast openly to a huge audience.
Please submit any questions you may have regarding A Moment In Time:
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA 23173