Miscellany

NPR Interns On James Baldwin, Butter, Flashmobs, And More

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NPR, like lots of other organizations, has interns. They work all over the building in all kinds of capacities, many of which — in the great tradition of being an intern — are not glamorous. But they also get the opportunity to do their own work and to showcase it.

A lot of them stick around — former NPR interns include not only scads of people working in production and editing and (again) all kinds of capacities, but on-air personalities like Guy Raz and Ari Shapiro, and even bloggers like Patrick Jarenwattananon, who writes the jazz blog A Blog Supreme.

And today is the day this season's crop of interns released Intern Edition, their 30-minute show that offers a listen to some of their radio work, which is enhanced with photos and video elements in some cases. And a lot of it, though not all of it, has ties to arts and entertainment.

The show features stories on the famous no-pants subway rides conducted by flashmobs; a look at the D.C. Hip-Hop Theatre Festival; a moving essay on why James Baldwin moved to France (which could have fallen right out of This American Life); a multimedia piece on playing bike polo in D.C. (that one is put together really interestingly); a discussion of a perplexing disorder that causes uncontrollable laughing and crying; a nice piece on charitable donations in the checkout line; and a glimpse of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears as opera fodder (oh, it's real). You can watch it right here (though it's bigger, so the photo stuff is better served, if you go to their site).

Intern Edition Summer 2009 from NPR Interns on Vimeo.

But! Not all of their work is included in the show, and you should make sure to check out all of it — some is audio, some is writing, and some is neat multimedia stuff.

Even outside the premiere, you'll find an insightful response to David Denby's book Snark, a terrific look at state-fair butter sculptures that warmed my Minnesotan heart, a meticulously researched look at D.C.'s Go-Go music scene, and a very, very funny discussion of battling rats in a New York apartment that, unfortunately, brought back memories of my time in Brooklyn.

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