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"U. S. A. is the slice of a continent. U. S. A. is a group of holding companies, some aggregations of trade unions, a set of laws bound in calf, a radio network, a chain of moving picture theatres, a column of stock quotations rubbed out and written in by a Western Union boy on a blackboard, a publiclibrary full of old newspapers and dogeared history books with protests scrawled on the margins in pencil. U. S. A. is the world’s greatest rivervalley fringed with mountains and hills, U. S. A. is a set of bigmouthed officials with too many bankaccounts. U. S. A. is a lot of men buried in their uniforms in Arlington Cemetery. U. S. A. is the letters at the end of an address when you are away from home. But mostly U. S. A. is the speech of the people."

The 42nd Parallel -- John Dos Passos

The words 'National Public Radio' should ring strange and thrilling in your ears, for in some sense it sounds like a hodge-podge of anachronisms. Most media has been telling us for years that the 'nation' is hopelessly divided between reds and blues, that the 'public' is an outdated term concealing the struggle between the 'real' Americans and the appeasers, or the 'intelligent' and the masses. And though radio might not be as endangered as the newspaper, most people can spot a dying medium when they see it. What could something as confused and backward as NPR actually mean to us?

Lucky for us, National Public Radio defies these easy definitions. Though broadcast nationally, NPR begins locally, born from the lives and stories of countless individuals. With local member stations now contributing some of the most unique national programming, and the internet leveling the media hierarchies of old, National Public Radio is poised to embody and channel the voices of an ever-growing sphere of the public. As President Lincoln might have said, NPR is radio “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, and that is why it is so very precious.

Intern Edition is our attempt to generate some of NPR's unique fire on our own, sharing our stories and those of whom we meet. Separated by different floors and departments and states, Intern Edition is where we can gather as our own community -- presenting our experiences working for NPR and our thoughts as young Americans plugged into a national media center in turbulent times.

This is also our attempt to infuse NPR with some of the questions and concerns of our rapidly rising generation of 'Millenials.' Consequently, we'll have writings and rants on anything we care to tackle. We’ll have moving pictures and half-hearted protests, radios, aggregations, and travels. Our own slice of America will emerge, however large or small.

But mostly it will be us, and the people, speaking.

- Ben Platt, Intern Edition Blog editor









© NPR Intern Edition, Fall 2008