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.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Ellen Pao sued her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, alleging she was discriminated against and sexually harassed. She lost the case but is seen as a leading voice on harassment in Silicon Valley. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Struggling For Investments, Silicon Valley Women Reluctant To Speak Out On Harassment

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564498133/564557071" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This April 3 photo, taken in Washington, DC, shows President Donald Trump's Twitter feed. Some Twitter users argue Trump is violating the First Amendment by blocking people from his feed after they posted negative comments. J. David Ake/AP hide caption

toggle caption
J. David Ake/AP

First Amendment Advocates Charge Trump Can't Block Critics On Twitter

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562619874/562619875" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Chelsea Beck/NPR

How Russian Propaganda Spreads On Social Media

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/560461835/560660232" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings delivers a keynote address at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. He has admitted facing Amazon in video is a challenge. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Once Dominant, Netflix Faces An Increasing Number Of Video Challengers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/557161117/557198218" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

On Walk Under Ladders, Joan Armatrading makes a leap to a more pop sound without losing the distinct mix of styles of her previous work. Graham Wood/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Graham Wood/Getty Images

Police form a perimeter around the road leading to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino after a gunman killed 59 people and injured more than 500 others when he opened fire Sunday night on a country music concert in Las Vegas. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook, Google Spread Misinformation About Las Vegas Shooting. What Went Wrong?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/555320532/555425851" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

For months, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had claimed that security experts at Facebook had found no evidence of Russians involved in fake news. Now, Facebook is turning over thousands of ads to Congress it said had been placed by a Russian agency. Noah Berger/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Noah Berger/AP

Russian-Linked Election Ads Highlight Scope Of Facebook's Power

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/553532488/553532489" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/551897336/551897337" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/550492818/550492819" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
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

toggle caption
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Unlikely Allies Join Fight To Protect Free Speech On The Internet

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/545320833/545435119" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Jennifer Mortensen

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/543980653/544259841" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript