Highlighting the Best of 'News & Notes' 2007

News and Notes Web producer Geoffrey Bennett counts down the show's best and most memorable reporting from 2007 and talks about the topics that are making the rounds on the show's blog.

TONY COX, host:

This is NEWS & NOTES. I'm Tony Cox.

In just a few days, we will close the door on 2007. It's been a banner year for NEWS & NOTES. And we're going online to take a look back.

Geoffrey Bennett is the show's Web producer. He joins me now in the studio.

Hi, Geoffrey.

GEOFFREY BENNETT: Hey, Tony.

COX: So NEWS & NOTES highlights our 2007. What were they?

BENNETT: Well, for every interview and story that's heard on the air, there's also a Web version. So based on online performance and input from our producers, the highlights of the last year include our interview with literary great Chinua Achebe, your reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Division and the Bloggers' Roundtable with a memorable conversation about interracial dating.

COX: Really?

BENNETT: Yeah. And on our blog, Jena Six - the covers of the Jena Six case was definitely a watershed moment for News & Views and the larger black blogosphere, and this summer, when a local Houston news station uncovered the federal government spying on Coretta Scott King. Back in 1968, News & Views was among the first national outlets to pick up the story and we filed it the following day with interviews of all the key players on the show.

COX: Yeah, we did. I remember that…

BENNETT: Yeah.

COX: …as a matter of fact. So is there such a thing as a top NEWS & NOTES story this year and what would that be?

BENNETT: Well, if there were, it would be the - our interview with Senator Barack Obama. Farai Chideya interviewed him back in July. He talked about his plans for ending the war in Iraq, explained his stance on affirmative action and gave a revealing answer when asked, if he missed the freedoms of his former life before running for president. So folks can find a link to that and all the top stories at nprnewsandviews.org.

COX: So what are people talking about on our blog?

BENNETT: Right now, they're talking about Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul. Paul made news last week for keeping a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist. He said he wouldn't be influenced by the contributor's ideologies and would instead, quote, "take the money and try to spread the message of freedom." So we talked about that in our blog and we were inundated with comments from Ron Paul supporters.

COX: Hmm, I can imagine. Final thing is this, what can folks expect coming up on the blog?

BENNETT: We're going to roll out resources for folks who stay on top of the election news with the Iowa caucuses just eight days away. And next week, we'll be taking 2008 predictions on everything from politics to pop culture. So they can find about more at nprnewsandviews.org.

COX: Why don't we just tell them since we have a second or so…

BENNETT: Right.

COX: …where the blog is? Give them the information.

BENNETT: Well, there's two ways you can get to it. You can either type in www.nprnewsandviews.org or you can go to our main show site, which is nprnewsandnotes.org, and click on News & Views, which is displayed really prominently there on the front page.

COX: And you can find out all the stuff that people are blogging about.

BENNETT: Exactly.

COX: It's not just over the country; it's really all around the world, right?

BENNETT: Exactly, yeah.

COX: Thank you very much.

Geoffrey Bennett is the Web producer for NEWS & NOTES. He joined me right here in our studios at NPR West. Thanks.

BENNETT: Thank you.

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