Contemporary British and Italian Sound Docudrama (Book)

Traditions and Innovations

The book focuses on radio and sound docufiction/docudrama through comparative analysis of case studies from BBC Radio and from Radio RAI and Italian independent producers. It explains how radio language in its acoustic dimension allows access to unpredictable layers of truth complementary or alternative to documentary truth.


The book focuses on radio and sound docufiction and docudrama through comparative analysis of the British and the Italian output from post war years to the 2010s, from both a historical and formal point of view. It sheds light on a rather neglected area of study providing a systematic survey of the development of the form and of its current status and perspectives, and at the same time constructing viable analytical tools that can be used to investigate individual productions.

Considering the different docudramatic output in formats and quantity in the two countries, the book explores case studies from BBC Radio, which continue to air a high number of programmes with a great variety of formats and subgenres, and Italian case studies from both independent bodies and the Radio RAI, whose docudramatic production has declined since the late 1980s.

Specifically, the study seeks to explain how radio language in its purely acoustic dimension allows access to unpredictable layers of truth often complementary, when not overtly alternative, to the documental truth of declaredly journalistic or scientific programmes.

A well-researched resource for university students, scholars, researchers and educators in media, sociology of media and history. In-depth analysis of an original topic.

Sabina Macchiavelli has a Ph.D in creative industries, University of South Wales, UK. She is an author, a teacher and an independent researcher in the study area of contemporary radio docufiction.



1. The Formation of Trends in Radio Docudrama: Case Studies from Italy between Documentary Urge and Postmodern Paradoxes

2. The Development of Continuities in Radio Documentary: Ideology, Biography and Collective Creation in British Programmes

3. The Warping Action of Sound on Facts in BBC Broadcasts: Documentary Intent and Fictional Deviations

4. Modalities of Sound’s Action in Italian Productions: The Bellaria Film Festival

5. Storytelling, Narration and Symbolic Resonances in Docudrama



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