A Peek Inside Juana Summers' Digital Life

Sep 30, 2014

Credit Mary Gardella

People involved in public media share how they wade through the digital news deluge. Find past Digital Life features here.

This month we spoke to Juana Summers. Juana recently joined NPR’s Washington Desk, moving from NPR’s education desk. This isn’t her first taste of public media -- back in 2008 you could hear her on KBIA in Central Missouri. Read on to hear what her words of wisdom for stations are, her favorite notes transcribing app, and tips for great desk jams. And don’t forget to follow her on Twitter @JMSummers.

Three daily must-reads

  • Ask A Manager, for everything you need to know about working these days. I usually read the morning post before I’ve even had coffee, which tells you how much I like it.
  • Apartment Therapy, which makes me feel like my apartment could always use just *one* more accent.
  • Capitol Hill Style. A good guide for navigating fashion in DC, with a bit of a Hill bent (as the name suggests.)

Three podcasts you listen to regularly/just discovered?
I’m new to the world of podcasts, but here’s what I’ve been listening to lately.

Three people you follow (online) regularly

  • @Erie, founder of the Tech Lady Mafia and one of the most giving, gracious and smartest women I’ve met.
  • @bethshanna, social communications boss at AARP, constantly teaching me new things about social, tech and all things Texan.
  • @emmacarew is a delightful mix of data journalism, cooking and diversity real talk. She also happens to edit for Foreign Policy magazine.

Three accounts you'd pay to follow on Twitter

  • @mollyesque, of The Atlantic who is witty, informative, thoughtful and kind.
  • @darth, who is responsible for the faux NPR tattoo that used to grace my Twitter profile pic.
  • @dcbeer: I’m a huge craft beer nerd. These guys make sure my weekends are full of awesome beer events.

Favorite news consumption time saver

RIP Google Reader, which used to be the tool around which I organized my entire day. I’m now using Feedly to manage all the blogs and news sites I try to read daily I have more than 100 subscriptions, and that’s after a robust cleaning when I switched jobs. Feedly and I aren’t a perfect match, but we’re getting to know each other.


Your most used mobile reporting tool or app
Interviewy, which makes transcribing or noting moments in my interviews much easier. Here’s a great write-up from Lifehacker, which is also on my essential reading list.



Words of wisdom for shows/stations as they go forward with their digital efforts

Experiment freely, and don’t worry about failing or not getting the results you’d hoped. We’re all still learning.