Co-host and Reporter, Short Wave
Emily Kwong (she/her) is the founding reporter and now co-host for Short Wave, NPR's daily science podcast. Her first homework assignment in kindergarten was to bring in a leaf to class. She's been looking at trees ever since.
Before joining NPR, Kwong was a reporter and host at KCAW-Sitka, a community radio station in Sitka, Alaska. She covered local government and community news, chasing stories onto fishing boats and up volcanoes. Her work earned multiple awards from the Alaska Press Club and Alaska Broadcasters Association. Prior to that, Kwong taught and produced youth media with WNYC's Radio Rookies and The Modern Story in Hyderabad, India.
Kwong won the "Best New Artist" award in 2013 from the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition for a story about a Maine journalist learning to speak with an electrolarynx. She was NPR's 2018 Above the Fray Fellow and reported a three-part series on climate change and internal migration in Mongolia. Her team's multimedia narrative, "Losing the Eternal Blue Sky," won a White House News Photographers Association award in 2020.
Kwong's reporting style is driven by empathy and context — a desire to slow down and spend time. There is a sense of people being real people, and of their lives continuing on after the story ends. She is proud to have interviewed both of her parents, shining a light on mental health for StoryCorps with her mom and heritage languages for NPR's "Where We Come From" series with her dad.
Kwong takes great pride in co-leading NPR AZNs, the employee resource group for (ERG) that supports over 100 staff members who identify as Asian, Asian-American, and/or Pacific Islander. Kwong is also co-president of the board for the Association for Independents in Radio (AIR) and was a 2015 AIR New Voices scholar. She learned the finer points of cutting tape at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2013.