How NextGen Radio felt like a warm and welcoming radio family

by Megan Menata

From the moment of application to now, the final day of the week, it’s wild how fast everything happened. On day one, the sense of camaraderie among the mentees and mentors was immediate and warm. We met at the local gastropub on campus, shared a meal and shared stories.  It felt so welcoming to be joining this new family of future public radio reporters.

In my reporting, I got a crash start two days before the actual work week by meeting with my advisor, Kyle Stokes, to plan for our interview of Hyun-Gyum Shin. It was helpful to have a professional radio reporter help me troubleshoot situations such as finding quiet places to record sound and how to roll with the punches.

Once the program officially started Monday morning, it was a pleasure to meet all of the mentors and get their expert advice. Every one of them was so friendly.

The work was rigorous, and the editing by Traci Tong was thorough, but it was such helpful to work with an editor who so easily and quickly understood the point of my story.  It was such a pleasure to work with such a collaborative team, including audio engineers.

My interviewee, Hyun-Gyum, showed me how important it is being a journalist and how necessary audio reporting is to get the story. His vulnerability and willingness to share raw emotions about how life, rekindled the fire within me. When Mr. Shin spoke about how stories need to be shared, it made me want to do justice to his story.

Through this program, I learned more about non-narrative stories, and the power they have behind them. I loved how it gave people space to speak their truth. I want to get better at figuring out how to properly interview people moving forward so I can continue to produce more of these pieces.

NextGen Radio was a great experience, and maybe sometime in the future, I can be in the position to help future reporters.