Good radio can happen with a few qualities: narrative, intellectual engagement, emotional breadth, sonic engagement…

Powerful radio can be just one person, telling a story that hardly varies in how gut-wrenching or sad it is. No better example, than the story of Catherine, yesterday afternoon. Newstalk, Moncrieff.

They cleared the boards for three segments of an interview by Catherine Sutton with a woman, using the pseudonym of Catherine, who was raped by her step father, and had five pregnancies by the age of 21. The nearest to respite was fleeing to New York and starting to use drugs, and the mention she now has a husband.

Listen here.

There are times when the story is difficult to follow. And after it all, you don’t know what you could ever to do help. But you do know what you won’t do, what you will look out for.

Simple, powerful radio, with a social purpose. The programmes on other stations at the same time, with whinging phone-ins or classic pop music – feeling sheepish?