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

Tech Companies Have Mixed Feelings Toward Trump Administration

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Rise Of Artificial Intelligence Met With Mixed Reaction At SXSW

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Pro-Trump supporters, left, argue with demonstrators after a Feb. 18 march in Los Angeles to protest the president's immigration policies. Sociologists say President Trump's actions and rhetoric are politically energizing both conservatives and liberals. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

On Both The Left And Right, Trump Is Driving New Political Engagement

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Even after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, there have been efforts to pass a religious freedom bill. LGBTQ rights advocates believe lawmakers anticipate support from the Trump administration. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

LGBTQ Advocates Fear 'Religious Freedom' Bills Moving Forward In States

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, shown here in December 2016, has left President Trump's business advisory board because of flak from the president's critics. MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images

Uber CEO Leaves Business Council After Criticism From Trump Opponents

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Apple did away with the headphone jack when it introduced the iPhone 7. Wireless earbuds or an adapter must be used. Stephen Lam/Getty Images hide caption

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Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Even Without A Headphone Jack, iPhone 7 Boosts Apple's Sales

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Trump Immigration Order Strongly Criticized By Tech Executives

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Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple TV app during a product launch event in Cupertino, Calif., in October. The company now plans to make original movies and TV programming, according to sources. Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Apple Looks To Compete With Netflix Originals, But Making Hits Is Hard

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A Syrian woman and her child sit in their refugee living space in Lebanon. They are featured in Four Walls, a virtual reality presentation by the International Rescue Committee. YouVisit Studios hide caption

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YouVisit Studios

Can Virtual Reality Make You More Empathetic?

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"The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right." Fanatic Studio/Getty Images hide caption

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We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned

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Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, supported Hillary Clinton and he says he will continue to work and lobby for what he believes. Lisa Lake/Getty Images hide caption

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Tech Leaders Vow To Resist Trump, But They Also Hope To Find Common Ground

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A screen shows a Netflix series, The Killing. Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

What's Hot On Netflix? A Startup Aims To Track Ratings In The Streaming Age

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