A lot of research was done during my application for Next Generation Radio. I read through the work produced by the fellows of the Early Career Project last year (including Stephanie Kuo’s, who turned out to be my mentor). I looked up what has been shared with the #nextgenradio hashtag. I imagined a lot about what this week would be like and, now that it’s over, I realize how much I feel truly inspired in many ways.
First, I had a wonderful mentor. Stephanie poured her insights on the project very early on and constantly provided fresh ideas of how to best approach the story. My story required a character who could speak to the issues and history of the Duwamish River, but while I had plans to meet with people who saw the well-being of the river as their mission, Stephanie suggested the character should be the river itself. And that’s really what the story needed. I am good with coming up with ideas and pulling threads together, but the guidance Stephanie gave and her ability to point me toward a new/better direction will stay with me after the project.
I also became fascinated learning how to manage a story like a project. Storytelling paired so well with a comprehensive planning process that I enjoyed this week. I love thinking about the story’s goal and who my audience is (and where to find them). I love setting small goals everyday and sharing the reporting process on social media. Those are the things I’ll take back to my public radio newsroom and carry with me for the rest of my career.
The Next Gen Radio team is an impeccable group of people. Our fellows, mentors, editors and engineers all bring their diverse background and experience into the program. There’s something to learn from and share with everyone. I can’t wait to cross paths with these great souls again soon.