Role: Reporter, WNYC's Radiolab
1. How do you describe yourself?
My name is Tracie Hunte and I'm a reporter at Radiolab, a podcast and radio show produced by WNYC. I like to think I've been a journalist since I was a writer for my high school newspaper, but I've been getting paid to do journalism for about 11 years.
2. How did you end up at New York Public Radio?
In 2010, I was laid off from ABC News. For four years, I had worked as a production assistant for their newsmagazines 20/20 and Primetime. I was never really happy there and when I was laid off, I considered leaving journalism all together. But during a conversation with a friend, I said something like, "I get all my news from WNYC." And she told me I should work there. I've always loved public radio and listened to it wherever I lived, but it never occurred to me that I could work in public radio. Anyway, I applied for a bunch of jobs at WNYC. I didn't get any of them, but they invited me to train as a per diem producer in the WNYC Newsroom. I basically filled in for other producers when they were out sick or on vacation. I was soon producing the local broadcasts of Morning Edition and All Things Considered on a pretty regular basis. About six months in, I was offered a full-time position.
3. What's the best professional decision you've ever made?
Deciding to work in radio. This is a wonderful community of professionals and I really feel like I've had an opportunity to grow and learn new things.
4. What's something you learned from a professional setback or challenge?
Try not to take setbacks in your career personally. Our jobs are important to us and many of us define ourselves through our careers, so that can be hard. It feels really personal! But you can't let setbacks get to you. If it's a job you didn't get, ask for feedback. If you were passed over for a promotion, try to check in with your boss more and not just during employee evaluation time. And constantly ask yourself, "is this what I really want?" Sometimes a setback is a blessing in disguise.
5. What's one thing you wish you had known "then"?
During my years at ABC, I didn't do much writing and that skill became rusty as a result. Writing is one thing I feel really self-conscious about and I wish I had worked harder to keep it sharper, especially when I came to radio and I had to write all the time.
6. What event in your career are you most proud of?
Co-reporting my first story for Radiolab. And then reporting a Studio 360 "American Icons." When I started at WNYC, those were two things I never thought I'd accomplish. And then I did them both in a year!
7. What does your unique voice add to your media organization?
I think a lot of my co-workers look to me to be the honest, no BS person on the team.
8. What tips do you have for this year's NAHJ, NABJ, and AAJA attendees?
Don't be shy! Get out there and introduce yourself, ask questions. You're going to be in rooms with some of the smartest people in journalism. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Follow Tracie: @traciehunte