I've really been enjoying this "backstage pass" of Fresh Air. It really makes me feel closer to you guys and NPR in general. So, kudos for that! Keep up the good work - I've really enjoyed the updates on stories as I don't get to listen every day.
Thanks. Right back atcha — we all sit at desks in an office building all day. So it’s really very nice to interact with listeners!
“I called my wife. I told my wife, because I had seen my legs were gone, I told my wife, ‘Listen. Legs are gone. But I think I’m going to be OK. I think I’m going to live.”—Joao Silva’s immediate reaction after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan. [Silva’s photographs and interview, conducted via tape sync from Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital.]
“if herzog is on fresh air then does that mean that herzog is in philadelphia? — adjectivez”—Actually 99.9% of our guests aren’t here physically. They go to a studio close to their homes and sit in a tiny little edit booth and we hook everything up via ISDN. The only way we get in-person guests is when they’re from Philly….
“There is a plan to re-create the cave outside in some sort of what I called the Disneyland version. Since nobody’s going to be allowed in the cave, they will replicate the entire cave. They’ll replicate the paintings on the walls. And there was even a plan to re-create, in our imagination, the scent inside of the cave. Which means maybe some carrion of rotting cave bears, some fire, some … resins. I’ve found a master perfumer who fantasize[s] wildly about how the odor may have been 32,000 years ago. However, when you are entering there, it is slightly humid. There’s no significant traces of any smell of anything significant in there.”—Werner Herzog’s plans to recreate the Chauvet Caves in France…outside of the caves.
After reading this article in The New York Times, some of my coworkers and I have decided to investigate whether or not it would be feasible to convert our (sitting) desks to standing desks. Has anyone here done this cheaply? What material did you use?
To build from your previously received comment, how does one land a job with NPR? I realize there's probably not a formula, but perhaps you could tell us a little bit about yourself and how you and your coworkers found yourselves working for the greatest news source in the country.
I received the Kroc Fellowship from NPR in 2006 after graduating from college and have been here basically ever since, in various capacities. In college, I wrote a weekly humor column for my school’s newspaper and edited the humor magazine. I also was in marching band, which I’m sure has nothing to do with my current gig — but was really fun. While working for NPR, I’ve lived in Chicago and Washington and Philly — where I’m from — so I was happy to return home, because I like my family quite a bit.
A lot of my friends with jobs started out at member stations and/or in print and then transitioned over. Several of our staffers here started out in film and music, too. Basically, there’s no one path. If you’re interested, the CPB has a list of jobs and/or you can go to your local member station website and see what’s available.
If I would go back to college, I would have taken more classes in economics and statistics. I’ve learned about them on the job by writing about them, but it would have been helpful to have more of a concrete background — and anything you take, really, will be useful for a career in journalism.
Among the things I wish I could do with my life is someday work for NPR Fresh Air. I love you guys! I wish I could be part of the club. Keep up the good work!
Thanks. It’s a fun little group. There are about 15 of us here, chugging along. Currently, people are researching war photographers, editing interviews on plastics and the brain and education and documentary films, booking a guest for later this week, figuring out what’s on the weekend show, writing about plastics and/or recording stuff. Weirdly, I think the majority of us are left-handed. We also all like to read and write….