Role: Intern, NPR's All Things Considered
1. How did you get started at NPR?
It’s funny: my first-ever radio interview was great, but the next day when I went to review the recording I realized that I had never pressed record. I wrote about that in my application, and all the progress I’ve made since then. I think NPR liked that I could own and learn from my mistakes.
2. What's your internship been like so far?
This is my sixth internship since I started college, and my most challenging yet. But it’s also the most rewarding. I leave every day with the satisfaction that I’m doing important work that reaches a huge audience across the country. And I think that’s pretty dang cool.
3. How did last year's NABJ/NAHJ convention help you in your career?
During the convention, Gene Demby-- who I follow on Twitter-- posted that he’d give tours of the DC office to anyone attending the convention. I ended up sitting in on a few minutes of the program All Things Considered, where I work now. That experience definitely gave me a better picture of what I could do here, and encouraged me to work very hard when I applied.
4. What was your favorite part about the convention?
It’s definitely being able to see so many incredible journalists that I follow on Twitter give presentations on their field of expertise. You learn so much, and it’s kind of encouraging to realize: “Hey, this amazing person is just a regular person, like me. Maybe one day I’ll be where they’re sitting.”
5. Why is Think. Public. Media an important message?
Out of the three words in the phrase, I think “public” is the most important part. Public media is about making the news accessible to everyone. As a public media journalist, I aim to appeal to everyone, regardless of social class or political party. I think we can all do better to serve and represent the people.
6. What tips do you have for attendees at this year's AAJA, NABJ, and EIJ conventions?
Talk to everyone! I know that’s daunting, but this is coming from an introvert who hates talking to new people. Talk to everyone. You’ll learn so much if you do, meet some of the most incredible people that attend these conventions, and maybe even land an unexpected opportunity.
7. What does your unique voice add to your media organization?
I’m the child of immigrants, and I grew up in rural Kentucky. When I’m sitting in a pitch meeting or when I pitch a story, I ask myself: “Who should be sitting here with me? What would they want to know? How can we reach out or better represent their stories?”
8. What's been the most memorable moment of your time in public media?
Is it a cop-out to say Chance the Rapper performing live at Tiny Desk? Because I’ll have a hard time forgetting about that (or not bragging about it to my friends).
Follow Lee: @lee_mengi