Laura Sydell Laura Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for the NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and NPR.org.
Laura Sydell
NPR/N/A

Laura Sydell

Correspondent, Arts Desk

Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and NPR.org.

Sydell's work focuses on the ways in which technology is transforming our culture and how we live. For example, she reported on robotic orchestras and independent musicians who find the Internet is a better friend than a record label as well as ways technology is changing human relationships.

Sydell has traveled through India and China to look at the impact of technology on developing nations. In China, she reported how American television programs like Lost broke past China's censors and found a devoted following among the emerging Chinese middle class. She found in India that cell phones are the computer of the masses.

Sydell teamed up with Alex Bloomberg of NPR's Planet Money team and reported on the impact of patent trolls on business and innovations particular to the tech world. The results were a series of pieces that appeared on This American Life and All Things Considered. The hour long program on This American Life "When Patents Attack! - Part 1," was honored with a Gerald Loeb Award and accolades from Investigative Reporters and Editors. A transcript of the entire show was included in The Best Business Writing of 2011 published by Columbia University Press.

Before joining NPR in 2003, Sydell served as a senior technology reporter for American Public Media's Marketplace, where her reporting focused on the human impact of new technologies and the personalities behind the Silicon Valley boom and bust.

Sydell is a proud native of New Jersey and prior to making a pilgrimage to California and taking up yoga she worked as a reporter for NPR Member Station WNYC in New York. Her reporting on race relations, city politics, and arts was honored with numerous awards from organizations such as The Newswomen's Club of New York, The New York Press Club, and The Society of Professional Journalists.

American Women in Radio and Television, The National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and Women in Communications have all honored Sydell for her long-form radio documentary work focused on individuals whose life experiences turned them into activists.

After finishing a one-year fellowship with the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, Sydell came to San Francisco as a teaching fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley.

Sydell graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree from William Smith College in Geneva, New York, and earned a J.D. from Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law.

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Story Archive

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announces features of the new iPhone X on Sept. 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif. The phone's new ability to unlock itself using a scan of its owner's face inspired a strong, divided reaction. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

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Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

iPhone X's Face ID Inspires Privacy Worries — But Convenience May Trump Them

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Apple Unveils Highly Anticipated iPhone 10 To Mark Device's Anniversary

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A drone is flown during a property inspection following Hurricane Harvey in Houston. The mass destruction brought on by Harvey has been a seminal moment for drone operators, proving that they can effectively map flooding, locate people in need of rescue and verify damage to speed insurance claims. Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

White nationalist Richard Spencer's free speech fight against Google, Facebook and other tech companies has some unlikely support from the left. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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Unlikely Allies Join Fight To Protect Free Speech On The Internet

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Kyle Quinn, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Arkansas, was wrongly identified on social media as a participant in a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va. Jennifer Mortensen hide caption

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Jennifer Mortensen

Kyle Quinn Hid At A Friend's House After Being Misidentified On Twitter As A Racist

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David Brown of Plymouth, Mass., sends a message during a protest Sunday, held in response to a white nationalist rally that spiraled into deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., the day before. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Some Are Troubled By Online Shaming Of Charlottesville Rally Participants

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Harvey Mudd College students Ellen Seidel and Christine Chen work on a summer research project in computer science. Harvey Mudd College hide caption

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Harvey Mudd College

Colleges Have Increased Women Computer Science Majors: What Can Google Learn?

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai says that he supports the right of workers to express themselves but that a senior engineer's memo had gone too far. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Google CEO Cuts Vacation Short To Deal With Crisis Over Diversity Memo

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Google Fires Engineer Who Criticized Diversity Efforts

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Google Engineer's Criticism Of Diversity Programs Sparks Controversy

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Google executives say their company is committed to inclusion, after an engineer's criticisms of its diversity efforts sparked conversations outside the company this weekend. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

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Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

A spectator at Wimbledon last month uses an iPad to take pictures of the action. Improved sales of the tablets were part of the good news out of Apple's quarterly report. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Inventor Thomas Edison stands in his chemistry lab in West Orange, N.J., in 1904. Thomas Edison National Historical Park/National Park Service hide caption

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Thomas Edison National Historical Park/National Park Service

Before Silicon Valley, New Jersey Reigned As Nation's Center Of Innovation

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