Interns live exciting lives. Honestly. Some of this excitement
comes from the cool stuff we get to work on at NPR. Some of it arises from
excursions with other interns on the weekend. And some of it is just the
novelty of a new city. Whatever it is, we're showcasing it all here. From
D.C. to L.A. and beyond, enjoy.
Internship Committee      |
August 7, 2006      |      Permalink
- August 7, 2006 - Intern 411
- August 7, 2006 - The Finale
- August 2, 2006 - Radio Expeditions: A Day in
- August 1, 2006 - The Music Director's Playlist
- July 31, 2006 - Foreigners on Foreigners
- July 28, 2006 - How to Run (Into) a Host
- July 27, 2006 - Intern to NPR Pro: An Interview
with Ari Shapiro
- July 25, 2006 - BBB: Bach, Beethoven, and
- July 25, 2006 - It Affects Us All
- July 24, 2006 - Not Your Average Girl...
- July 20, 2006 - Why I Won't Be Jaywalking
- July 19, 2006: Looking Up Homelessness
- July 18, 2006: Boxes & Circles
- July 18, 2006 - To Webify or Not to Webify
- July 12, 2006 - A Horse Designed by Committee
- July 6, 2006 - It Ain't So Old School
- July 4, 2006 - Fireworks
- June 26, 2006 - Saying Aloha to Radio
- June 25, 2006 - Diversity in America - Crossing
- June 18, 2006 - Inside NPR West: First Real Assignment
- Resourcefulness (good research skills)
- Strong communications skills
- Interest in their major/career choice as evidenced by their pursuit of activities beyond class work
- Ability to work well as part of a team
- Experience in journalism or public radio helpful (for news interns)
- The Internship Committee reviews all applications
- Applications are forwarded to their respective departments
- Intern Edition
- Making new friends
Number of Former Interns Who Now Work at NPR:
Source: Barbara Sheppard, human resources professional and co-coordinator of the NPR Internship Program
Intern Edition Staff      |
August 7, 2006      |      Permalink
Blogmaster Ko Im signs off.
As the summer 2006 internship period closes, blogmaster Ko Im gathered the
following thoughts on the internship experience:
"The highlight of my internship was getting to write scripts for Performance
Today!" -Jamie Hammon
NPR Music Editor Marty Ronish is really impressed with her intern:
"Jamie is an incredible writer. We thought her (Intern Edition) story was
so good… and we're making it into a story for Performance Today."
"Not only did I get the opportunity to meet wonderful and talented people,
I picked the brains of some of NPR's greats, and used their techniques/words
of advice." - Arwa Gunja
Weekend Edition Sunday Senior Supervising Producer Bob Malesky will miss
having Arwa around:
"Arwa's intelligence was obvious the first time I spoke with her… I think
she did a fabulous job both on WESUN and on Intern Edition."
"NPR opened the first door on Massachusetts Avenue, and I found a lot more
to explore. Morning Edition was really supportive of me going around to different
parts of the building and shadowing everyone from Ted Clark to David Folkenflik."
- Ko Im
Media and Arts Information Unit Correspondent David Folkenflik reflects
on a specific mentoring experience:
"I very much valued the chance to get to know Ko - not only to offer what
I guidance I could, which I enjoyed, but also to get her perspective! I often
found her suggestions very helpful."
"The highlight of my internship is to be able to learn from those who are
passionate, not only about journalism but producing quality shows that continue
to keep NPR as the credible news organization that it is." - Amanda Nembhard
Morning Edition Supervising/Update Producer Sarah Mobley Smith has confidence
in her mentee:
"Amanda was a pleasure to work with. I have no doubt she'll be a successful
"By the end of the summer I will have worked with three different intern-reporters.
It was so much fun!" -Emilia Costa
"So many highlights… but I particularly enjoyed working with people from all
over the country (and beyond)." -Daniel Peters
Audience and Corporate Research Supervisor Ann Peters enjoys her interns'
"In order to work in our department, a person also must be numerically gifted.
She is very talented in (the creative) area as well, and it's been great to
have someone in the department that has a "foot in both worlds" so to speak...
His prior internships were in engineering and strategic communications, and
I can hear his background in radio news in his Intern Edition piece!"
More quotes from interns:
Intern Jenee Darden poses with Smokey Robinson
"I must say, meeting Smokey Robinson was really cool"- Jenee Darden
"The highlights of my internship were 1.) seeing India Arie live at TOTN and
2.) successfully putting together the IE event with Meredith." -Jessica Skwir
"I got to witness an impromptu knife fight while working on a story, and it's
moments like those that I'll cherish when I think back to my days at NPR."
"The highlight of my internship was shadowing newscaster Lakshmi Singh. Newscasting
is something that has always been a passion of mine and so while I was in
the studio, I literally had to pinch myself and remember that this is a reality!"
"I feel like I'm really walking away with some invaluable skills - I don't
want to leave, it's made me want to work at NPR full-time!"- Maja Cholody
"The highlight for me was meeting other young peers that were as interested
in public radio as me." -Nicole Beemsterboer
"I still frequently walk in and have the "my heavens I'm at NPR" moment, and
that simply can't be beat."- Nathan Taylor
Radio Expeditions: A Day in the Life
Kira Neel       |       August
2, 2006      |      Permalink
Radio Expedition stories are just like National Geographic articles—except,
at NPR, the exquisite photographs are made with sound:
-In-depth pieces on Morning Edition
-Interviews with scientists/conservationists on Day-to-Day When I come into
work, I read through about 15 different news sources for information about
threatened cultures and environments. We always have a list of topics of interests-
stories we are currently working on, or ones that have aired recently.
When I first arrived, we did a story
that showed how conservation efforts for rhinoceros in Nepal were limited
by the civil war between the government and the Maoist rebels. The latter
controlled the forests where the rhinos lived, and wouldn’t allow anti-poaching
teams (comprised of people in the military) in. Thus, the rhino population
suffered because poachers did come in. When the news is so focused on violence
and war, it can be challenging to find information on the subjects of the
stories, but they are always there. I have been keeping my eyes open to other
ways that war affects conservation. For example, the
in the New York Times yesterday about the effects of the current
war on the Lebanese environment.
Radio Expeditions tells great stories from everywhere—under oceans, in caves
and rainforests, down rivers or on the tops of mountains. I like to sit in
the editing booth while the stories are being mixed. Radio Expeditions uses
sonic solutions -- you should hear it for yourself!
Kira Neel is the Radio Expeditions intern
and enjoys the sounds of nature on radio.
Music Director and Nordic invader Lars Gotrich
The Music Director's Playlist
Lars Gotrich       |       August
1, 2006      |      Permalink
Lars Gotrich’s Top Five Songs of this Summer:
Song: “Dogwood Rust”
Artist: Comets on Fire
The opener to the new Comets on Fire is both an immediate change and an immediate
place of recognition for fans of the freak-out masterpiece Blue Cathedral
Bluesy, psychedelic, Hawkwind/Ash Ra Temple guitar riffs don't pummel through,
but are in mid strum, and we can now actually hear Ethan Miller's voice sans
the aural obliteration of the cavernous echoplex machine. You can tell the
band really sat down and wrote "Dogwood Rust" as well as the other tracks.
Song: “Something Isn’t Right”
One of the most fascinating electronic musicians, known for his lofty concepts
(creating albums entirely out of food or body samples, for example), has released
his most accessible and dance-ready album yet. The song itself features Herbert
on vocal, British as all get-out, with frequent collaborator Dani Siciliano
backing. It's almost a straight disco track rich with strings and a drum beat
that was probably recorded underwater, but its rhythm is rooted in minimalism.
Song: “Pull Shapes”
Album: Pull Shapes single
Artist: The Pipettes
Don't believe the press release that claims this revival girl-group is out
to redefine pop music. They aren't. The full-length album may not equal the
celebratory middle finger attitude of this nearly punk rock and string-laden
single, but there's no reason why we can't treat The Pipettes like the 45
RPM hits of yesteryear.
Song: “Paint It Beige”
Speed up a legendary soul-jazz vibraphonist's sample; keep the crackle of
the vinyl in the mix. Put a ridiculously difficult drum part behind it, and
I've almost described your favorite Stereolab song. Admittedly, these folks
are friends from my stomping grounds in Athens, Ga., but the town hasn't heard
this kind of detailed attention to arrangement and songwriting in a long time.
Album: City & Eastern Songs
Artist: Jeffrey & Jack Lewis
First time in a real studio for Jeffrey Lewis, the NYC Lower-East-Side, world-travellin',
anti-folkie, and it's with the inimitable Kramer producing, no less! Co-written
with his brother Jack, "Posters" is almost like a lost Pavement gem with a
vocal chorus Malkmus could have never written. Sure, the lyrics are kinda
dumb, which is unlike Jeffrey's usually smart, rambling narratives, but I'd
like to think it's in the spirit of its musical tribute.
Read more about my intern experience and how I choose music for the Intern
Edition show in my personal blog, National
Lars Gotrich is Music Director of Intern
Edition and interns with All Songs Considered.
Foreigners on Foreigners
Ko Im       |       July 31, 2006
reported today that AOL
Executive Ted Leonsis
, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, have teamed up to produce a documentary
about “The Rape of Nanking.”
Apparently, Leonsis read Iris
’s book, and says the documentary will be like Steven Spielberg’s
We’ll see about that; I hope the music’s just as great.
I recently reread “The Rape of Nanking,” and I’m torn. The documentary focuses
on the heroic efforts of foreigners who saved 250,000 Chinese from the Japanese
army. It makes sense, I guess, to focus on one time period and one group of
people, but I hope they shed light on the plight of the Chinese themselves,
too. I understand it would be more difficult to get testimonies from Chinese
victims. East Asia has a shame-based culture. It would be embarrassing, not
brave, to retell the atrocities from that era. Still, I’m glad somebody is
finally doing a documentary on the incident but wonder what the American,
German, Chinese, Japanese and Korean reaction will be. I predict the Asian
countries will be more critical.
On a random note, documentary director, Bill Guttentag, is an alumni of my
school, University of Pennsylvania
Ko Im wants to be a foreign correspondent for
East Asia one day.
How to Run (Into) a Host
Ko Im       |       July 28, 2006
I burned some calories at an odd time yesterday.
I ran scripts for All
This means, I went back and forth to STUDIO 2A
to hand the most recently updated scripts hot off the printer to the show
director and hosts, Robert
. Nicole Beemsterboer, one of the two ATC interns this summer, and
I swapped duties today -- she came in at 5 a.m., which is when Morning
airs, and I came in at 10 a.m. for the morning All Things
I may have missed the brown bag with Program and Acquisitions Manager Eric
Nuzum discussing the differences between the programs, but I learned firsthand
today that the shows are, in fact, different, and it’s not just the time of
day they air. It was fun.
I’m planning on coming in for ME’s overnight shift next week and running scripts
just for the show director and fill-in guest, since Renee
is at NPRWest and Steve
is away. No vacation for me, at least, not yet. And for now, I’ve
said good-bye to heels.
Ko Im thanks the Digital Media Team from the
bottom of her heart for keeping the blog updated in a timely manner to appease
Intern to NPR Pro: An Interview with Ari Shapiro
Ko Im    |    July 27, 2006   |   Permalink
“Secrecy is the enemy of democracy. If politicians are acting honorably,
they can do it with the doors open and the lights on.”
-- Bob Edwards
If you’re a college student like me, you’ve probably spent a LOT of money
on coffee. And if you’ve had Starbucks this summer, you’ve probably seen Bob
Edwards’ quote on your caramel macchiato. It’s Starbuck’s way
of documenting America’s media icons
. Maybe Ari
will be quoted one day. Five years ago, the then twenty-two-year-old
was an intern for Nina Totenberg. Now, he’s NPR’s justice reporter. In an
exclusive interview, I found out his “dirty little secret,” his opinion about
blogging, and how Bob
taught him to strip a script down to its skeletal structure. Here
are just a few of the Q and A’s.
Ko Im is a Morning Edition intern and
thinks Ari Shapiro is an inspiration to us all.
BBB: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms
Jamie Hammon       |       July
25, 2006      |      Permalink
Here I am, enjoying a scorching hot summer in our nation’s capital, working
with a bunch of really smart classical-music geeks in NPR’s
. They are the kind of people who call Shostakovich “Shosty,”
who call a great violin solo “hot,” and who play drop-the-needle with Beethoven
symphonies at office parties. (Like when old-school music history professors
drop the needle of a record player onto the record and students have to guess
the piece of music, composer, style, year, etc.) When else in my life, outside
of academia, am I going to get to be surrounded by a bunch of people like
It’s an odd environment. In the office, classical music is everything – it’s
what we talk about and what we listen to and what we write about and what
we think about. Not only do we play drop the needle at an office party, but
we get right answers. Which is a strange side of the musical fence to be on,
considering how obsolete a knowledge of classical music has become to the
lives and cares of even the most intelligent and sophisticated of people.
I’m not going to complain about an American cultural deficit or get on a soap
box for Bach or anything – I love Kelly Clarkson as much as the next guy.
I’m just pointing out the odd position of working for an extremely niche show
with extremely niche people, broadcasted for an extremely niche audience.
A show that honors and showcases the music most people would only hear while
shopping for panties at Victoria’s Secret, or fulfilling a cultural requirement
in a music history class.
I’m so glad to be a part of it. As I write this, I’m listening to a stunning
performance of a Chopin Ballade, and it’s time to wrap up so I can write about
one of Lehar’s waltzes for tomorrow’s show…again, when else in my life will
I get a chance to be in a work environment like this? It’s lovely. Viva la
If you want to play drop-the-needle at your own parties, you better brush
up on your Beethoven first. Try listening to all
nine Beethoven symphonies, played by the amazing Philadelphia Orchestra.
Jamie recommends listening to the second movement (the Allegretto) of the
7th symphony – it’s too gorgeous to miss.
And, check out Performance
Today’s recommendations for the fifty classical albums everyone should own
Jamie Hammon listened to Mozart as a Victoria’s
Secret sales clerk before getting her degree in piano performance. She’s
an intern with Performance Today.
It Affects Us All
Ko Im       |       July 25, 2006
As part of my internship duties, I edit and post comments for Leroy
on NPR’s website.
Today he wrote: “It's sort of amazing that with all of the money, time and
knowledge that has been poured into the war on cancer, there still isn't a
But this past weekend, my friend helped get closer to that goal. She raised
so much money hosting a benefit party in Brooklyn for her little brother’s
success battling leukemia. All proceeds were matched by a company and went
towards the National Childhood
. AND, she shaved her head for Locks
Meagan Kozhimala hosts a party to celebrate her brother, Ryan's, good health
after battling leukemia and to raise money
for childhood cancer research.
I’m so touched, and so proud of her. Sievers’ blog may be called “My Cancer”,
but as I witnessed on Sunday, we realize it’s more like OUR cancer. Congratulations,
Meagan and Ryan Kozhimala!
Not Your Average Girl...
Jessica Skwir and Stacey Loomis       |
July 24, 2006      |      Permalink
Last Thursday, the NPR staff was invited to attend the intimate performance
chat in Studio 4A with India.Arie
Talk of the Nation. There were only 25 seats available for
employees. Interns Stacey Loomis and Jessica Skwir both managed to snag spots.
Jessica describes the significance of the event for her:
Knowing that India.Arie was playing live on Talk of the Nation
I was quick to RSVP for a seat in the audience of the live performance. I
hadn't gotten a response by the time I left work so the first thing I did
when I got home was log into my account … which was followed by a combination
of shrieking, grinning, and jumping up and down. Why? Because I got a seat
for the show! I LOVE India.Arie. She is the most amazing woman ever, not to
mention having a beautiful spirit and voice!
It's interesting that I care so much about this artist. I grew up in a Catholic
household, and I even went to a liberal arts college founded under the Dominican
(Catholic) tradition, yet I am far from devout and quite hesitant of secular
religion. Still, India.Arie's voice speaks of life, reality and hope. Her
message to me is one of great depth and spirit.
On the show, she briefly spoke of her service to the public through UNICEF,
offering a human example of how giving of yourself makes a difference in the
world. She spoke and sang about her past relationships, conveying a realistic
spin to the hurt and personal growth a relationship can bring. I may not be
the best judge of faith, but if her words aren't of spiritual significance,
I don't know what is.
Stacey reflects on the powerful performance:
Until recently, I had limited exposure to India.Arie's music. I had heard
the singles from her debut album, Acoustic
. I sometimes sang the chorus from her hit song, "Video." I liked
her music and her message of self-empowerment that underlies most of her songs.
But what really impacted me was a documentary called Tracking
that I watched on VH1. India traveled around the slums of
Nairobi, Kenya, and brought love and hope to AIDS orphans. When India sang
to a young girl with sad, somber, soulful eyes and gave her a hug and a backpack,
the little girl finally smiled and laughed while I broke into tears.
The performance was honest and unrehearsed. India walked in about a minute
before the show went live, dressed casually in jeans, a white t-shirt, brown
boots and white head wrap. Her band - a keyboardist/backup singer, bassist,
drummer, guitarist/backup singer, and two backup singers -- was in place and
ready to go. She opened the show with the first single from her new album,
"I am Not My Hair." Her voice was crisp and beautiful. She sang four other
songs throughout the show. "Wings of Forgiveness," inspired by Nelson Mandela,
gave me goose bumps. I also loved bluegrass-tinged "Summer."
After the performance, the host Neal
asked India a few questions about the inspiration for her songs.
It was clear that India's answers weren't rehearsed, even though some of the
questions were pretty predictable and have probably been asked of her many
times before. She even had to ask Neal what his name was during the show but
later explained that she's actually a fan of the show and is used to hearing
of him as "Neal Conan," not just "Neal."
India also answered questions from listeners and the studio audience. I was
so tempted to ask one about her influences, but I never worked up the nerve.
My favorite questions ended up being from two of the most diverse callers.
One was a 12-year-old girl who asked India how she gets the confidence to
perform (I didn't know 12-year-olds listened to TOTN!) The second question
came from a 47-year-old truck driver who, in his shaky voice, said he'd never
heard of India before but was deeply moved by her performance and the knowledge
that there are people like her in the world.
It was an amazing opportunity and definitely the highlight of my NPR internship
so far. Unfortunately, I couldn't stick around to meet her, but I feel fortunate
to have been able to be a part of such an intimate performance, something
I may not experience again for a long time.
Stacey Loomis, an intern in the Development
department, and Jessica Skwir, an intern in
the Corporate Communication department, were two of the few lucky fans who
enjoyed the perks of interning at NPR.
Why I Won't Be Jaywalking
Ko Im       |       July 20, 2006
Ko will try to resist the temptation to jaywalk
at 7th and Massachussetts.
According to WAMU's Lisa Nurnberger, the
crime rate in D.C. is up this summer
. Just two weekends ago, someone was
near my apartment. So why are police officers waiting around at big intersections
instead of staking out the dark alleys?
One of my first experiences with my roommate from Indiana, Amy*, was getting
issued a jaywalking ticket in Georgetown, at M and Wisconsin. The police officer
issued us a warning, misspelled our names on the ticket, and told us to be
careful. Relieved, we left the "crime scene."
Just yesterday, though, Amy's mom got a letter in the mail saying Amy's license
will be revoked if she does not pay the bill. I'm waiting for a call from
my mom. Thank God mail gets to my island slower.
Note to self: DO NOT JAYWALK.
D.C. is not Guam or Indiana. Even if you look like a tourist, no one will
stop for you, and you are not invisible to the police.
*This name has been changed.
Ko Im is a Morning Edition intern and will
try not to jaywalk this summer.
Looking Up Homelessness
Ko Im       |       July 19, 2006
Edition continues its series this week on homelessness in various cities.
Washington, D.C. has 5,518 out of its 553,523 residents. This translates to
1%, according to a 2005 study
done by the Weingart Center.
But to me, it seems like a lot more. You see it everyday. On the Circulator
to NPR, I see people in business suits walk on the green past homeless people
sleeping on benches. I've worked in soup kitchens in high school for International
Baccalaureate program requirements and at college as an Alpha Phi Omega brother,
but I never took the time out to look into the causes of homelessness:
- Eroding Work opportunities and housing
- Decline in Public Assistance
- Lack of Affordable Health Care
- Domestic Violence
- Mental Illness
- Addiction Disorders
Cheers to Morning Edition for covering homelessness. There are several soup
kitchens in the area, if
you want to give up two hours for a good cause.
Boxes & Circles
Kelly Reeves       |       July
18, 2006      |      Permalink
I live in a box, I work in a box, and I travel in a box. I'm tired of it,
and wanted to save $4.60 a day in metro fares, so I decided to start biking
to NPR from Silver Spring, Maryland. I took the Georgetown Branch to Capital
Crescent to Rock Creek Park and along the Mall, before arriving at 635 Mass
The treacherous journey Kelly faces each day,
wrought with peril beyond human comprehension
...And an invitation for back pain.
I saved money and I certainly got exercise, but I threw out my backâ€¦ Hereâ€™s
what you should do to avoid similar mishaps:
- Stretch and warm up before the trail.
- Start with a shorter distance.
- Do yoga once or twice a week.
- Just because your cardiovascular system is in great shape does not mean
your back muscles are.
- You've been sitting at a desk for eight hours.
- Your muscles get tense and weak.
So take care when starting exercise that could strain your back, especially
if you're riding twenty-five miles with a heavy book bag strapped to your
Kelly Reeves is an intern at the Science
Desk and took up biking this summer in an effort to ward off the label â€śold
To Webify or Not to Webify - That is the Question
Danielle Trusso       |
July 18, 2006      |      Permalink
Just as the site's designers had to make some compromises, every editorial
decision is a give-and-take with the writer. Each word is scrutinized: Is
this what you want to say? Did I capture your thoughts and the meaning of
your story in just a few words? Are they just the right words?
Why so much trouble? Well, aside from wanting to adhere to professional NPR
standards, this site has to convey what it means to be an intern at the most
listened-to public radio station in the country
As I write this blog, I'm tidying up Intern Edition story
and concocting headlines for each one. (I'm also trying to get
these music buttons to work for the Fresh Air page, something that confounds
me more and more each time I do it, even though it should be the simplest
task ever created, but that's another story).
Stepping into the world of radio from a background in print media has been
interesting. The spoken word doesn't always translate with ease to the written
word, and vice-versa. So, everything that appears on the Web site initially
has to be "webified." (That's right, webified, or, edited for the web).
No sounds exist to help the story along, necessitating the removal of notes
indicating sound, such as, fire truck siren. The words have to create the
sounds themselves, to give a full and detailed picture that would otherwise
easily come to life as it reaches our ears from the radio.
But as I've been working on my Intern Edition
(my very first broadcast story ever, I might add) and this site
simultaneously, I'm finding that the worlds of print and broadcast, though
very different, also have their fair share of similarities.
At the July 7 Friday-morning meeting
Danny Zwerdling talked to us about putting together a radio story that grabs
the reader. His advice didn't stray too far from what I've learned about writing
print stories. In short, a really good, interesting, "driveway
story has a cast of memorable characters, a journey and some sort
of conflict. It is relatable and conversational, sucking the reader in with
details and personality.
We've tried to incorporate these characteristics not only into our stories,
but into the Web site itself. With all the writing and editing that goes into
it, all the compromises made, the story being told is the bottom line.
Danielle Trusso is an intern with NPR Digital
Media and senior editor for the Intern Edition Web site team.
A Horse Designed by Committee
Jeremy VanderKnyff       |
July 12, 2006      |      Permalink
I never ran with scissors. I knew from an early age the importance of sharing
played well with others. I'm not a brooding loner with a
shadowy past. Yet when it comes to my work, particularly Web design, I always
maintained a strict hierarchy of work: the client gives me an assignment,
I do the assignment, then when the client inevitably demands that there be
I argue vehemently, ask, "Uh, who's the designer here?"
and then eventually get what I want. It's really the only way Web designers
can work. You give us the information, and we make an interface that's spiffy
and, more importantly, easy to use, and that's just the way things are.
Then I found myself having to work on a team with Web design. Imagine!
Sometimes, the Web design team felt like this.
Just kidding. But they did tell interns who were
uppity about getting their bio photos taken that
this would be their mugshot.
Multiple people with multiple ideas that have to be taken into account. And
here I was with no experience dealing with differing viewpoints on design
other than fulfilling that crucial role of the Web designer: to listen very
carefully to what the client says he wants, and then convince him as to why
implementing all those requests will ruin the page. "Your children will hate
you. Your wife will leave you. Your friends will shun you. That's why you
don't want any more buttons, Sir."
Yet this summer I've found myself working with two very talented designers,
one of them well-acquainted with Web design as well. The result has been conflict,
something I'm really not used to dealing with. I like dark colors, and she
likes light colors. I prefer the interplay of all elements on the page, and
she likes to keep things simple and distinct. If you've ever worked with artists
before, it's not that we're all so arrogant that we think we know best. It's
just that we're overprotective of our work. At least, I know I am. I'm used
to criticism of my work, and have never been offended, but that's when it's
my work. This is a team effort. I can't just pick and choose what opinions
I choose to listen to.
We didn't argue, but we did disagree. In the end, the three of us looked at
every detail of the layout and design and worked out a compromise. I think
the compromise looks great. I hate to sound like the kids from South Park
but, you know, I learned something today. The only way we got a great-looking
page was because of the reconciliation of two entirely different visions.
Now enough of my moralizing. Enjoy the site.
Jeremy "Captain" VanderKnyff is an
intern with NPR Digital Media and part of the design team behind the Intern
Edition Web site you are currently perusing.
It Ain't So Old School
Doug Mitchell       |       July
6, 2006      |      Permalink
I'll go a long way to make a point, so please bear with me...
I'm reading the paper on the subway this morning, as always. I like to physically
touch a version of the news in the morning. It's the last "old school" thing
I do anymore with media. (You know, I wish they'd stop trying to hand me that
tabloid thing in and out of the subway. Also, it gets thrown on my lawn each
morning. What a waste of good trees).
Anyway, in the paper is an article on how the anchor of a popular "vlog" (video
log) was fired from her job. She co-owned the vlog but had 49 percent of the
shares to her former business (hmm...) partner's 51 percent. There was a sexist
comment insinuating that most of the 300,000 hits were from people who watched
because she's attractive. A still photo accompanied the article, designed
to help the reader make a decision in that area.
I got off the train and kept thinking about the story about the vlog. About
the 300,000 people taking time out to watch this person deliver "the news."
The article hinted that the site is a threat to traditional media. Duh. But,
I won't watch it. I won't even click on links forwarded to me by people I
know. Watch a vlog? Read a blog
Which is exactly why I'm writing the inaugural entry for the Intern Edition
Blog. We've had issues with interns and blogs. We had to insist that they
not "blog" while at NPR. At least for other people. But, I saw no reason why
they can't blog for themselves. In fact, on our last next generation radio
project, our student participants (DrNiceGuy, J Ma, konakafe and JC) blogged
during the week. But, as someone who is right now sitting at his desk listening
to an Internet Radio station (no commercials, only music), writing this and
keeping an IM conversation going, too, the article on the vlog got me thinking
not so much about my insisting on holding the newspaper each morning, but
realizing much of what I do now for NPR isn't really about my choices.
It's about our next generation of consumers. It's about the next generation
of media professionals, regardless of their medium of choice although we hope
it's public media. And, it's about how many different ways there are now to
purpose and re-purpose information. A guru of mine told me years ago, "he
who controls distribution, controls the world." That was true until now. The
decentralization of media means everyone has control. Media companies that
work in silos won't last. A vlog or a blog (either of which I expect to soon
come as attachments to text messages on my cell phone as spam) are the latest
incarnation of spread of egalitarianism in media, content development and
distribution. In other words, everybody rules. It can be a problem but let's
not go there now.
So, to wit, the Intern blog for the summer of 2006. Our interns are much more
interesting than me, ya know?
Doug Mitchell is the project manager for the Next
Generation training programs and keeps track of former NPR interns to
see how far they really do go.
Heather Smith       |       July
4, 2006      |      Permalink
Rain, flooding, rain, and more rain meant the crowd gathered on the Mall to
watch the fireworks was unusually sparse. The presence of the Smithsonian
meant that the concession food was, officially, the
Best Ever Obtained at a Holiday Festival that Involved Explosions.
Fireworks on the National Mall, one of many delicious things
The festival happens every year in the weeks surrounding the Fourth. It exists
as a means of both unfurling a glorious rainbow of musical diversity, and
gently broiling the fans of said rainbow in the stultifying July heat. In
, several people plaintively asked, Richard Kurin, director
of the Folklife Center, if it were possible to hold the festival under less
heatstroke-inducing circumstances. The answer, in short, was no. Folk tradition
and patriotic expressions go together like fluffer on nutter, and that's all
there is to it.
This year the festival focused on the music, crafts and, of course,
of New Orleans, the Latino Communities of Chicago, and the Native
American communities of Alberta, Canada.
I had an ear of Peruvian corn (giant kernels, very chewy, drenched in butter
by yours truly) and a mango lassi (no word as to why there was a lassi stand
but no sitar music or Bollywood dance troupe. I also spotted a hot dog stand
off in the distance, also without musical accompaniment.) Nonetheless, the
lassi and corn were delicious together, despite having originated on separate
The fireworks show began. People milled around and oooh-ed and aah-ed, couples
snuggled, small children began to cry. I ate my corn and thought about how
lucky I was to be, for once, seeing a fireworks show that wasn't obscured
That was, of course, before my friends called from San Francisco the next
day to report that the skies had been preternaturally clear AND there had
been a free show in which mimes satirized the narrowing separation of church
and state. Showoffs.
Heather Smith is an intern with Weekend
Edition Saturday and is always on the lookout for super-delicious food.
Saying Aloha to Radio
Ko Woon Im       |       June
26, 2006      |      Permalink
Photo courtesy of Ko Im
Ko with the K-Drama Fan Club
I just got back to rainy D.C. from the Asian
American Journalists Association's
18th Annual Convention in Hawaii. I
was one of four students on the radio project to produce a newsmagazine within
What I learned:
On a more practical note:
- CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Dr.
Sanjay Gupta fiddles with his hands when he's not talking.
- SPF 70 is not as powerful as you want it to be.
is the coolest music.
- It's easy to get "lei'd" on an island.
- Know your stuff. It's all about the research, so don't just Google 24/7.
- For the Interview
- Follow up on your questions.
- Don't be afraid to interrupt.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Gather more than enough ambient sound
- When you're writing the script, think in color. Be descriptive, remembering
your audience has only your words as visuals.
- For voicing, be yourself: conversational, energetic, professional!
I have to give a Mahalo to Doug Mitchell and Reena Advani for this wonderful
For the story and more, check out the details at NPR's Next Generation website:
-Ko Im is an intern with Morning Edition who
has used a lot of sunblock this summer.
Diversity in America - Crossing Lines
Christina Tran       |
June 25, 2006      |      Permalink
I'm sitting in the Barnes & Noble on 12th and E surrounded by books and glossy
magazines. It has two stories, escalators and a security guard by the front
door. I'm here to buy a planner, but it's also to escape from how I was feeling
earlier. My Intern Edition
reporting brought me into Columbia
alone on an overcast Sunday afternoon. The unexpected combination
of feeling like an outsider combined with a little bit of fear and anger at
myself for feeling those emotions, left me with a gnawing realization that
I am embarrassingly more middle class than I thought. And it left me wondering
again about diversity in America.
4 Metro stops apart, Gallery Place and Columbia Heights are distinctly different
neighborhoods...or are they?
It's easy to say something like, "Racial differences don't bother me. My company
is very diverse, and my kids go to school with people of all different backgrounds."
Even though we may interact with people of different races on a daily basis,
those we have relationships with are usually of similar socio-economic backgrounds.
It's easy to say, "Race doesn't bother me. I don't even notice a person's
skin color," because when you're out and about in a place where you feel comfortable,
you generally don't notice. I don't notice the blackness or whiteness of the
dad giving his little son a juice box on 7th and F because my guard isn't
up as it is on Columbia and 16th where I notice the brownness of every man
sitting in silence with his friends on apartment stoops. Do they also wonder
about my yellowness because I'm failing in my attempt to pretend that I'm
completely comfortable? Why don't I feel comfortable? And why shouldn't I?
Is it not so much an issue of race as it is an issue of class? Furthermore,
not so much an issue of diversity in demographics of an entire city, but segregation
of people within that city? I went to college
in Austin and was surprised to learn that I-35 was a physical and mental divide
between east and west Austin, and crossing some lines meant you were in a
supposedly poorer, more ethnic, and in some cases, more dangerous place. In
the case of Austin, as it is wherever these barriers grow throughout history,
most of these "East Austin" traits are a result of inherited perceptions that
go unchallenged and which are taken as given -- leading to self-fulfilling
prophecies which only reinforce the initial prejudices. What a difference
crossing a highway makes. What a difference a couple of Metro stops makes.
As a side project, I'm currently mapping people's music selections as they
ride the Metro. I'm only polling people on my regular Metro routes as I explore
the city as a summer intern. It'll be interesting to see the clusters of data
along the red line that I ride on my daily commute and the spattering of information
as I venture forth at other times on the green and yellow lines, the orange
and the blue. Will I ever go into Southeast DC? Will I linger around Columbia
Heights anymore? I honestly don't know. But I hope so.
When I told my former supervisor I was going to DC, he smiled, thinking of
his own post-college escapades. He told me, "You learn the most about yourself
when you go to a new city." Now I just have to face the me I'm finding --
and the hidden things that I don't have to confront when I'm comfortable in
my daily routines, surrounded by non-strangers and traveling the same routes
I have always traveled.
Christina Tran is an intern with the Creative
Services department who loves the Metro after living in a car city all her
Inside NPR West: First Real Assignment
Maja Cholody       |       June
18, 2006      |      Permalink
Photo courtesy of Maja Cholody
Maja seeks out World Cup fans in cafes and bars.
My day at Morning
West begins bright and early at 5:30 a.m. Those ridiculously early
morning shifts have pretty much been the standard for me ever since I started
working in radio news. It comes with the territory, I guess -- the news doesn't
sleep and apparently, neither do I.
This past week was a pleasure to get up, however, as I was given my first
real assignment -- to
cover the World Cup in the Los Angeles area.
My coverage involved visiting
various local bars, from a run down cafe in the not-so-pleasant neighborhood
of Inglewood, to a dingy British pub in Santa Monica. I headed out at 8 a.m.
skeptical of finding any fans at such early hours, only to come across 500
Brazilians dancing to samba beats, drinking beer for breakfast, and being
more than happy to speak about the wonderful culture surrounding their favorite
Even though Trinidad and Tobago lost both of its games, by far the happiest
people I interviewed were in the small Trinidadian community in Inglewood.
The cafe was swarming with a sea of black and red, as people danced around
the small restaurant waving large flags while Caribbean music blasted from
the DJ's speakers in the background. This was Trinidad and Tobago's first
appearance in the World Cup, so everyone inside was bursting with joy and
positive island energy.
The British fans were a completely different story. As I entered the pub it
was pitch black with the smell of stale beer and sweat in the air, the only
light coming from the various television screens displaying the game. I saddled
up next to a British lad but I soon learned the British were less than willing
to give me any quotes. I made the mistake of trying to speak to him while
the game was still playing, only to be yelled at for interrupting his concentration.
After the game and England's victory, people warmed up a bit (about as warm
as England gets) and a couple enthusiastic Brits explained to me how soccer
is in "the blood" and "yer born with it in England."
My interviews were a great experience. Actually hearing my sound and interviews
on this morning's show was extremely gratifying. This is ultimately what I
hope to do one day, so with any luck I can continue working for NPR and interviewing
such diverse and colorful people.
Find the story at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5494836
Maja Cholody is an intern with Morning
Edition West and living it up on that coast.