10: Tamara Keith

Tamara  Keith is NPR‘s White House Correspondent. She also co-founded B-Side Radio.

There’s drama in the human experience, and if people are willing to share that, there’s a way to make it into a good story… says the person who only does stories about the White House and Congress.


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9: Ann Heppermann

 

Ann Heppermann, a Peabody Award winner, produces Slate’s Culture Gabfest. She teaches radio writing and radio drama at Sarah Lawrence College.

I don’t think you want all crappy tape, but there’s something about texture of crappy tape and Skype tape. If you think about sound as a palette, I kind of like phone tape and I like how it adds an element of grit to it.


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8: Jeff Emtman

jeffemtman_selfie_75x75Jeff Emtman is the creator and host of Here Be Monsters.

You can think of your memory as a box full of photographs, like the ones your parents have in your basement. Just like old glossy prints. … And unfortunately, when you pick up an old photo print, what happens is you always leave a thumbprint on it, and overtime your memories become more and more thumb-printed. So if you pull up a memory enough times, you’ll just be looking at your own unique thumbprint.


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7: Zoe Chace

Zoe Chace is a reporter at NPR’s Planet Money.

A lot of times people don’t pay enough attention to their voicing at all. They don’t realize that their story doesn’t exist, unless people are grabbed by their voice. The story literally, like practically literally, is not happening. People are just missing it. So I always thought voicing is key, it’s central, like you have to grab people. And I had a real approach where I was just almost trying to scream out of the radio, “listen now!” and “listen now!” and “listen now!”


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6: Ellen Horne

ellenhorne_selfie_75x75Ellen Horne is the Executive Producer of Radiolab.

When you’re trying to create something new, that kind of risk-taking has to happen in a low-stakes environment.


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5: Eric Mennel

ericmennel_selfie_75x75Eric Mennel is a producer for WUNC and Criminal.

People pooh-pooh the idea of logging like it’s the worst thing in the world. Some of the best techniques I’ve learned, in terms of interviewing, was from logging good interviewers tape. … Listening to Alex Kotlowitz conduct an interview was like it’s own class on how to make radio.


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4: Sean Cole

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Sean Cole, a producer at This American Life, has also reported for Radiolab, Marketplace, and 99% Invisible.

Journalism is a translation of madness, and poetry is a transcription of madness.


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2: Jennifer Brandel

jb_selfie_75x75Jennifer Brandel is the Senior Producer of Curious City.

I don’t think that soft or fluffy news should be given such a bad rap. When you have a question that ignites someone’s curiosity and gets them interested in thinking about the world in a different way or considering things they haven’t done before, that is important. If you can accomplish that in your stories, they’re not fluffy — they’re interesting.


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1: Ben Calhoun

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Ben Calhoun is a producer at This American Life.

The nature of covering politics is one where often people don’t want to say to you the things that they are feeling or thinking. … You can create the diorama of that action in a way that you couldn’t if you weren’t willing to make them a character — founded on things that they said and beliefs that you know they have — than they’ve done for you on tape.


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