By Christopher Sacchi
NPR’s Next Generation Radio has been some of the most impactful work I have done so far during my college career. When I think about what I was like when I first joined our dinner at Otro Cinco on Sunday and where I stand on this last day, I am amazed at how much I grew in five days.
Working with the NPR Project Blueprint on Monday was an entire experience in and of itself. I had never before put so time into the structure, organization and intent of a project before this. It was shocking, especially as we were given exact times – down to the second – to get each part done. This exercise established a level of organization that is something I needed coming into a project of this size. Getting started on things is usually something I struggle with; instead of trying to start without a plan or much organization, I’ve learned from that Monday morning how beneficial it is to start with structure.
Coming into this project, I was confident in my audio abilities both in making a story and editing on Audition. It is safe to say that this week humbled me. Never before had I been tasked with so much interview tape, which in turn made the story organization and editing feel overwhelming at times. I am so thankful to our managing editor Stephanie Kuo and audio engineer Patrice Mondragon, who were incredibly helpful in working through those two aspects. I wouldn’t have had a story on time without them. Their expertise in their respective areas is something I strive for as I move on.
The lessons learned this week with organization, audio storytelling and editing will help me immensely as I continue to work toward my goals. While I am still not entirely sure what route within broadcast journalism I want to pursue, those three things can be carried into many different areas: TV and radio reporting, anchoring/hosting and even sports media.
My goal coming in was to improve my abilities as a storyteller, and this experience was a “boot camp”’ in doing just that. Conducting two interviews at the same time was also a huge step for me; as much interview experience I can get, the better! Whether I am talking to someone to get sound bites, doing live on-air conversations or post-game with players in sports, the ability to freely talk with people and enable them to share their story is an incredibly vital skill in my desired field.