Introducing our advice column, highlights from KUNC, WNPR, WGBH and more

Aug 27, 2014

Hi all- happy August! We hope everyone’s staying cool and enjoying the end of summer.

We have a lot to share with you this month, including highlights from recent training visits to KNAU and KAZU, links to great work from KUNC, WNPR, WGBH and Nashville Public Radio and the launch of our advice column, "Well, it Depends."

Do you have a story we should highlight or questions to ask? Let us know (or just say hi) by emailing us at Get this monthly newsletter in your inbox - subscribe here.

Station Spotlight
KUNC Launches 'Hidden Colorado'

We’ve highlighted KUNC’s deft coverage of big breaking news events before, but the goal of a new project from their team is a little different. Hidden Colorado collects "the lost, forgotten, or little-known" stories in the state. "This was all aimed squarely at building a sense of place with Colorado," Jim Hill, KUNC's digital media manager, said. KUNC is hoping Coloradans will join in by suggesting "small town legends, local lost places, quirky monuments or random facts and myths" for future stories.  

The Beaker' Featured By Tumblr

The idea behind WNPR's Tumblr is simple: it's a blog about science and technology. WNPR reporter Patrick Skahill, who covers science with a focus on healthcare and the environment, created The Beaker, and posts a mix of fully reported stories, cool visuals, and, of course, fun GIFs. Earlier this month, Tumblr even added The Beaker to its list of suggested science Tumblrs.

WGBH Shows What Boston Would Look Like If Sea Levels Surged

What would happen if the waters around Boston surged by 5 or 7 feet? It wouldn’t be good, as you can see in this interactive map from WGBH. Bostonians can type their addresses into the mobile friendly map to see what would happen to their own homes, then read the accompanying story that offers possible solutions.

You Gotta Hear This' From Nashville Public Radio 

Credit Nina Cardona/WPLN

You gotta see Nashville Public Radio’s new feature “You Gotta Hear This." It includes sounds heard on the radio and audio clips created first for digital that are a must-listen. According to a station newsletter, "They cover a range of subjects from radio reporters crunching into hot chicken, to adults who sing like children, and the latest story: a comparison of the cheapest and most expensive instruments at Gruhn Guitars." Nashville Pubic Radio is also part of our social audio experiment.

Well, it depends...
An advice column from NPR's coaching and development team

Credit Original image via Flickr/donovanbeeson

As part of our work helping journalists and newsrooms reach multi-platform audiences, we’ve found that stations share many of the same questions and concerns with us.

This advice column is one way to help make those questions and answers more public. By making public radio’s collective knowledge accessible, we can continue to learn from each other.

All thoughts, questions and feedback are welcome. Submit your own questions for future installments of the advice column in this form

For small (or understaffed) stations: In your experience, has it been worth trying to get reporters to produce stories for both radio and web/mobile platforms, or is it better to focus a reporter on one medium?

Read our answer, as well as responses from staff on our blog.

Training Update

Credit Cindy Carpien/NPR

Hands-on Audio Training Pilot at KNAU and KAZU  
Reporters at KNAU in Flagstaff, Ariz., and KAZU in Seaside, Calif. recently completed an intensive, hands-on audio training pilot with trainer Cindy Carpien. KNAU reporter Aaron Granillo reported on efforts to make it easier for elderly Navajos to get birth certificates. KAZU news director Krista Almanzan visited a Salinas Valley lettuce field where machines are starting to perform tasks that previously only humans could. (Fun fact: one way to lessen raging wind during an interview – have your interviewee become a wind shield.)

ICYMI: here are a few recordings from recent training webinars. Do you have a topic suggestion for a future webinar? Email it to

More from the August newsletter: A Peek Inside Lizzy Duffy's Digital Life.