Intern Edition Spring 2005

Features: Workshops

Workshop Dates

June 10th


Introductions by Doug Mitchell and Emily Schmall

Doug Mitchell has been with NPR since 1987, when he served as an overnight editorial assistant for Morning Edition. Since then, he has worked for a number of NPR programs, including Weekend Edition Saturday, Weekend All Things Considered, and Weekly Edition, an NPR news program that is no longer on the air. For the last 10 years, Mitchell has spent his time teaching the next generation of journalists, mostly through NPR’s “Next Generation Radio” training initiative. The program brings NPR radio professionals together with people interested in careers in public radio journalism. As a result, this internship program developed. Today he introduces interns to the project and to Emily Schmall, executive producer for Intern Edition.

Minutes from June 10th

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June 15th


Margaret Low Smith and Jay Kernis discuss creating stories with interns

On June 15, Vice President for Programming Margaret Low Smith and Senior Vice President for Programming Jay Kernis sat down with interns in the Board Room East for lunch as part of the Brown Bag Lunch series, a sequence of meetings intended to bring NPR staff face to face with the next generation of public radio.

As vice president of programming, Smith oversees all that's involved in programming development and evaluation at NPR. She oversees NPR's music and entertainment shows as well as NPR's acquired programs. Smith has more than 20 years of broadcast experience. Smith spent 10 years as the award-winning producer for NPR's All Things Considered.

Kernis oversees the creation, acquisition, development and growth of all NPR programming as the senior vice president of programming. Kernis brings more than 30 years of experience in broadcast and radio to NPR. He began at NPR in 1974, only a few years after NPR was born. Kernis was instrumental in the creation, development and design of the NPR news program, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Minutes from June 15th

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June 17th


Pitching stories with Jonathan Kern

Former senior editor for All Things Considered, Jonathan Kern now spends his time holding workshops for new NPR journalists in the News Division. He usually trains everyone from hosts to reporters. He recently did a workshop on news, balance and the journalistic issues around the two. Today, Kern joins interns to give them some tips on how to develop the right idea to get to the right story to get to the right pitch. If you have journalism questions regarding pitching, story ideas and more, Kern can be reached at his extension 2426, or by e-mail at

Minutes from June 17th

  What is My Story?
  Making Your Story Your Own

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Bill Marimow discusses changes from print to broadcast journalism

Interns were invited to have lunch with Bill Marimow, NPR's managing editor, on June 15 at 1 p.m. in the training room as part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series. Marimow is a veteran of print journalism with more than 34 years of experience. He was editor at The Baltimore Sun prior to NPR, where he received many Pulitzer Prizes for feature writing, investigative reporting and beat reporting. He joined NPR in May 2004.

Minutes from June 17th Lunch

  When a Story Touches a Nerve: Snigdha Prakash's Vioxx Report (Listen to the Report)

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June 22nd


Walt Swanston discusses diversity of NPR

Walt Swanston, director of Diversity Management had joined the interns for lunch on June 22. Her main role at NPR is to shape diversity strategies in staff development and programming for the national nonprofit radio service. She has worked more than two decades of work in journalism and came to NPR from the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF), where she directed the organization's diversity, educational and international programs for three years.

Minutes from June 22nd

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June 24th


Discussing ethics in journalism with Jeffrey Dvorkin, NPR's Ombudsman

NPR's ombudsman, Jeffrey Dvorkin, engaged interns during the June 24 meeting as he discussed ethics and responsibility in journalism. Since his appointment as Ombudsman in February 2000, Dvorkin has served as an agent for listeners, investigating and responding to queries from the public about editorial standards in programming.

Though NPR has only had an ombudsman for five years, the concept is not a new one, Dvorkin informed interns. The concept of an ombudsman has been around since the 1920s, and took off in the 1960s as a way for news organizations to establish and increase their credibility. The way Dvorkin sees it, if people have suspicions about one area, then they're bound to have suspicions about another. The sense in which journalists see themselves is different from how audiences and listeners see them. Ombudsmen create a sense of accountability and transparency in a news organization to raise standards outside of the organization. At NPR, he helps listeners understand why NPR does what it does.

Minutes from June 24th

  Ethics in Journalism
  Journalism as a craft

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July 1st


Using production equipment with Doug Mitchell

The Intern Edition meeting began promptly as first, a few announcements were made. This week, some interns learned how to edit using Dalet. If interns wanted to practice more on the program, they needed to contact Rolando or at extension 2427. To get equipment for Intern Edition, interns need to contact Emily Schmall. After you've recorded, you need to take your discs to the operations desk on the third floor to have it loaded onto Dalet. Following this announcement, Doug Mitchell went over all the equipment found in each recording kit and how to use and properly hook up all the parts.

Minutes from July 1st

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July 6th


The present and future of NPR Online with Maria Thomas

The Vice President and General Manager of NPR Online, Maria Thomas, joined interns for lunch on July 6. Thomas came to NPR in late 2001 after spending three years at While at Amazon, she played a key role in the launch and management of’s camera and photo store, including forging its partnership with Ofoto. At lunch, she spoke about her role and responsibility of the development and delivery of NPR content on new media platforms including and mobile devices.

Minutes from July 6th

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July 8th


Writing for radio with Jonathan Kern

Jonathan Kern again joined interns for their weekly Intern Edition meetings. At the meeting, Kern went over some key tips about writing for radio. When writing for radio, Kern says that you get only one shot to appeal to the audience. In print journalism, readers can go back through the article several times to grasp what the story is about. However, for broadcast and radio, the audience receives the information linearly. Also, when people are listening to radio, they are always doing other things, often distracted. People can also quickly change the radio station or tune our what they hear. You want to hook ‘em and keep ‘em hooked for the full time. Here are some key tips for writing radio.

Minutes from July 8th

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July 11th


Diane Rehm comes to NPR headquarters for lunch with interns

Diane Rehm's career in public radio began in 1973 when Rehm started as a volunteer for Washington, D.C.'s NPR member station, WAMU, and has since then flourished. For 25 years, Rehm has offered her listeners compelling conversations with the world's most interesting and important people. During her visit with interns, Rehm took a range of questions from interns regarding Ken Tomlinson, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's CEO, her favorite guests, and those wish list guests, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Jesus. Read here for more of what Rehm talked about during her visit.

Minutes from July 11th

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July 15th


What you can do to stay at NPR, a perspective on working at NPR with Neda Ulaby

Neda Ulaby came to NPR in 2000, recruited through the Next Generation Project. Her work has included profiles on authors, musicians and more for the arts and culture desk. Before she came to NPR, she spent a lot of time as a freelance writer in the Midwest. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College and she worked as an intern for the features desk of the Topeka Capital-Journal. She now lives in Washington, D.C.

Minutes from July 15th

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Summer 2005 Intern Edition
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