My children were not impressed that I spend my days helping put out a radio program devoted to news. Especially news that didn't involve their friends, their school - the important things.
But then I told them about the Pakistani girl who'd survived an assassination attempt after speaking out about the need for girls to attend school. And about United Nations plans to build an urban playground, virtually, using Minecraft, before constructing it for real in a Nairobi neighborhood. But what really got my kids' attention was when I produced a story about some of their classmates, Japanese students whose families were still coping with the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Making the news relevant to people, even children, is an important part of my job. I write the daily 30-second radio ads that preview stories coming up on The World. Sometimes I have an opportunity to help write and produce those stories, and that is a distinct pleasure.
I also help public radio stations- maybe yours - to make The World a successful part of their broadcast day. I write the short fundraising messages that you may hear anchor Marco Werman read on the air during public radio pledge drives. Several times a month I direct the radio program, and get to drive our roller coaster of an hour through reports, interviews, host intros and musical bridges, all the while watching the clock to make sure we don't collide with a newscast or a station break.
Some background: I joined the staff of “The World” in 1998. Before that I was senior producer of public radio’s “Sound & Spirit." From 1989-1995 I produced the Peabody Award-winning children’s news program “Kid Company” on WBZ in Boston.