I suppose it’s a cliche to say that this week was a learning experience for me, but that’s the best way I can describe this workshop. I’ve never worked with radio, with audio, with anything this program was about. I walked into WUNC all smiles and jokes to fool everyone into thinking I was actually confident. Plot twist- I was terrified. What if I had been accepted by a fluke, by some technical mishap? What if they start talking to me and realize that I’m not cool or interesting, let alone not a good reporter or journalist?

Thankfully, the universe is kind and filled the program with gentle and talented individuals. My mentor, Carrie Jung, thankfully understands my humor and my anxiety and showed me the ropes with patience. My fellow journalists were all amazing to be around as we silently mixed our audio, desperate to meet the next deadline. Apparently, despite only meeting each other on Sunday, Emily and I get along like old bosom pals (even if she forgets our handshake every day).

Speaking with Pierce Freelon was an intensive experience. He’s an incredibly charming young man, distractingly handsome and well-spoken, so thankfully, my job was made easy. Taking photos was a slightly panic-filled affair (I think I filled up about 6 gigs of data on my phone with blurry shots of the Durham sidewalk from running around so fast). But Carrie and Erica, our visual editor, were pools of calming energy for me and helped me capture just the right moments.

Next Generation Radio is completely different from anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve never considered my audience so carefully, never spent so much time planning for or editing a story. Being in print journalism for so long makes you used to stories you look at for a few days before forgetting about them. But this program has given me the chance to pour all of my talents and energy into telling a single, beautiful story.

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