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.

Published by Christopher Sacchi

Christopher Sacchi is a Broadcast and Digital Journalism junior at Syracuse University where he’s active on the air and behind the scenes at campus outlets Z89, Citrus TV and WAER, SU’s NPR affiliate. Chris also helped start CNY Stream, a streaming service that broadcasts area high school football, basketball and baseball games. Originally from Ridgefield, Conn., Chris is working toward a professional career in TV and radio broadcasting.