“The Quiet Answer” for Public Service by a Regional Station

WBBM Radio

Selecting a critical local problem as an opportunity for public service, Station WBBM sought the cooperation of sixteen major agencies and a panel of outstanding authorities in gathering the facts about tensions and conflicts in race relations in Chicago. Using tape recorded interviews as a basis, drama and music were skillfully blended in a seven-week series of hard-hitting dramatic essays titled, The Quiet Answer, which revealed to Chicagoans what they were saying, feeling, and doing. Scheduled at a season usually characterized by racial violence, the programs achieved high audience acceptance and directly stimulated improved local legislation. The careful preparation, the intensive publicity, the skilled presentation, and the follow-through may well serve as a model for local public service.