Meet Kainaz Amaria

Jan 17, 2013

Meet Multimedia Specialist Kainaz Amaria.  Kainaz has been with NPR since December 2011. She took some time to tell us a little bit about herself.  

Kainaz Amaria seen in the Arabian Sea covering the Ganpati Festival in Mumbai, India in December 2010.
Credit Nick Oza

How did you get into journalism?
I graduated from Boston University with a degree in Political Science and International Relations. Not knowing where I wanted to go after that, I moved to London with a few friends and $500 in my pocket. I worked odd jobs, ate on the cheap and fell in with a bunch of artists and photographers. That is where I found photojournalism - it is the perfect blend of everything I love: people, travel, culture, story and art. I moved back to the United States and began interning at local newspapers…and I never looked back.

How have you been able to adapt with the changes in the industry?
I stepped into the industry when newspapers were scrambling to stay afloat. So I've never known the industry to be static or stable. It's always been changing and adapting - I guess I choose to focus on what I know best - strong visual storytelling. And then I try to learn all the new platforms and techniques on how best to deliver that story to our online audience.  

 Who do you pay attention to learn the new platforms and techniques?
I pay attention to story in all mediums - news media, entertainment and art. I find cool things via word of mouth, Poynter, and my FB feed. Usually if there is an industry buzz about a specific story it's worth spending time on it. I also try to get inspiration outside the walls of journalism. For me that’s film, TV, art exhibits, even just the people I see while commuting are all visually intriguing.

How do you pay attention to the important stuff, and tune out the rest?
I don't know! Sometimes I find myself down the Internet rabbit hole, wondering how I got here in the first place. I try to consume critically and thoughtfully, but sometimes you can't avoid the white noise. I try to not get caught up in trends or fads. Usually, if there is something working and adding value to people's lives then it will withstand the test of time. I've never wanted to be the first or follow the herd. I'm always constantly asking WHY - why am I reading this, watching this or downloading this app?

What's your daily workflow? 
I wake up, tune into NPR on my radio, check my email, my Instagram feed, my Facebook wall. When I get into the office I check out NPR.org,NYT and my FB/Twitter feed one more time.

Do you have a favorite NPR show or personality? 
The first host I worked with closely was David Greene on the series Family Matters, where we followed the struggles and joys of three multi-generational families. I really respect his approach to storytelling and his presence on the radio - it's inviting, compassionate and informative. He is a great guy and a fantastic journalist.

Can you give us a list of photographers whose work you admire? 
Ok here goes - Nan GoldinAlex WebbCarolyn DrakeEugene RichardsLarry TowellDiane ArbusWeegeeBrenda Ann KenneallyJRRezaPaolo Pellegrin … seriously I could go on and on.