Taken from the July issue of the NPR newsletter:
National Public Radio welcomed 30 new faces to the internship program this summer. Working in nearly every department of the company, the latest additions to the NPR staff were involved in everything from copyright law to jazz music, while exploring the world of public radio.
Spearheaded by Debbie Howe and Jean Durr, the internship program provides participants with both office experience and an education in radio programming. Many interns reported that they were actively involved in their departments since the first day. "[I helped] to do research and find archival tape for [Morning Editionís 20th Anniversary]," commented Morning Edition intern Ashley Gross. "Itís a lot of fun listening to the news of the past twenty years, [and when] the pieces go on the air, I hope to hear some of the tape I dug up from old reels!"
In addition to their duties within their departments, interns participated in a wide range of exciting activities. One popular event was the series of weekly brown bag discussions led by NPR employees from different areas of the company. Speakers for these informal presentations have included Jeffrey Dvorkin and Murray Horwitz, of the News and Cultural departments, who spoke candidly and humorously about NPR and its listeners. The NPR internship schedule included practical education as well, with workshops on such topics as writing for radio. These occasions provided hands-on training and experience to interns, many of whom were unfamiliar with the technical aspects of radio and, specifically, NPR. In addition, interns had the opportunity to visit a member station and the Newseum. "The tour of the member station was worthwhile because it gave us chance to see how NPR is viewed from an outside point of view, and why particular shows are picked [for programming]," observed Weekend Edition Saturday intern Irene Nolan. The schedule of events concluded in early August with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol.
The interns ultimately put these experiences to use to research, write, and produce their own radio show. "I think that the intern-produced radio program was an excellent idea," Nolan commented. "It was a great opportunityÖ to work on issues or stories that interest us." The final product was aired on August 5 at the intern program closing luncheon and on the NPR Intranet and Internet sites.
The aim of the intern program is to provide students and recent graduates with the chance to be a part of an institution that many have been familiar with for years. Mushtaq Kapasi, assistant to Nina Totenberg, mentioned that he chose NPR because he has been a "News junkie [and] Science Friday fanatic" since childhood. Others, like Development intern Jonathan Russell, wanted experience working in a dynamic and challenging business. "Iím having a blast," said Russell. "Everyone seems to take a large amount of pride in their work and to feel strongly about NPR. Itís a great environment to work in."