Role: Producer, Morning Edition at WNYC
1. What’s the best professional decision you’ve ever made?
The first was moving to New York City and joining the WNYC News team. I had the opportunity to develop a talk show at my previous station, but the opportunity to be at a station with the reputation of WNYC and to work in a highly respected newsroom was too good to pass up.
The second was applying for and getting to participate in the inaugural Next Generation Leadership program from the CPB and WGBH in Boston. The goal of the program is to develop the next generation of editorial leadership with a focus on promoting diverse leaders. The program has given me the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and from my colleagues at NPR where I've had the opportunity spend a few weeks. It’s been eye-opening and has provided real world skills.
2. What’s something you’ve learned from a professional setback or challenge?
I learned from a recent pilot project that breaking up the regular routine while maintaining the best parts of the old ways can be extremely effective and difficult. When you're faced with a demanding audience, resting on what you've always done can lead to some harsh realities. But that also means you can create some rewarding pathways forward. I’ve learned that having a vision is more important than ever. Equally important is having an understanding of what your listeners/readers/subscribers want and giving it to them…with a few surprises along the way.
3. What is one thing you wish you would’ve known “then”?
That there shouldn't always be a set way to do things. Experimentation, trying and failing are crucial parts of the process. Also, questioning old ways of doing things can be healthy.
4. How have you leveraged experiences you’ve had and connections you’ve made at NABJ/NAHJ conferences?
This is my first NABJ/NAHJ conference, so I'm ready to network and make those connections. Not only am I ready to grow my personal network but I’m also to open the possibility of helping talented Latino and Black journalists find a home at WNYC.
5. What’s one of your favorite public media stories, podcasts, shows or series? Why?
There Goes the Neighborhood from WNYC Studios hands down. Gentrification is an important topic for me as a Brooklyn resident and for any city that's struggling with affordable housing. Providing an intelligent look at and interpretation of a complicated issue like gentrification is the true definition of public service. For those unaware of their rights or options, it's podcasts like this that I believe can give people a fighting chance against a system that works against people at times. And that's really the core of why we exist as public media.
Follow Lee: @Lee_Hernandez