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America has seen a renaissance in storytelling of various forms, especially on the radio. This hour, we talk with two producers who are telling very different kinds of stories. Joe Richman has been putting tape recorders in the hands of people for nearly two decades as part of his Radio Diaries series heard on NPR. He's speaking at Quinnipiac University this week.

It's official - 2015's song of the summer is "Cheerleader" by OMI. So now that horse race is over, what about an anthem for Autumn? And how do you even make that choice?

If a summer song needs to be fun, upbeat, and sound good blasting from car windows at Hampton Beach, what qualities define a memorable fall tune?  Pumpkin-related lyrics?  Wistful melodies, and acoustic guitars?  We asked three music industry insiders to tell us what they think 2015's (Unofficial) Song of the Fall should be and why -  and here's what they had to say.

A Bold Experiment: How Pop Music Might Sound In 2065

Sep 16, 2015


“Society 50 years from now needs its own drug.”


Garrison Keillor, creator and longtime host of "A Prairie Home Companion," says the next season of the popular radio show will be his last as host.

Patrick Breltenbach / Creative Commons

Podcasts weren't born last year with the arrival of Serial, the wildly successful story of an unsolved 1999 murder that you could hear solely on podcast.

Serial likely provided the first encounter with podcasts for a lot of listeners, but podcasts first entered the consciousness and our iPods ten years ago last weekend, when early adopters saw in them the next great media revolution. The New Oxford American Dictionary even named "podcast" the word of the year in 2005. What wasn't to love?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Some conversations about public media, and the role of public radio stations in particular, have been making their way across social media this week. 

Steve Sobczuk / Flickr Creative Commons

You're probably no stranger to the Morning Zoo if you were in your teens or twenties in the 1980's. Developed after the death of disco left  Top 40 stations with a big hole to fill, the Morning Zoo revitalized early morning radio with a fast-paced improvisational style that for the first time broke down barriers between news and entertainment.

NPR has named Michael Oreskes, a top Associated Press executive and former New York Times editor who has led newsrooms in such global centers as New York, Washington and Paris, to run its news division.

Officially, Oreskes will be the network's senior vice president for news and editorial director, a slightly refashioned title. Oreskes is currently vice president and senior managing editor at the AP, where he oversees the giant international news wire's daily report.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted a request Friday to review the case of Adnan Syed. He was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and was the subject of the podcast Serial. Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation, brought Syed's case to the producers of Serial,and has been a leading advocate for his appeal.

Chaudry believes the popular podcast may be in part responsible for a speedy decision that could lead to a new trial. 

On WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, Chaudry said that the latest development in the case is unusual. The opportunity to file a post-conviction appeal doesn't happen often, she said, and when it does, it doesn't tend to move through the system this fast. This is the third attempt in 12 years to appeal Adnan Syed's conviction. 

Challenging The Whiteness Of Public Radio

Jan 29, 2015

Editor's Note: This essay originally appeared on, with a shorter version published on BuzzFeed. Author Chenjerai Kumanyika will join Code Switch — along with African-American public radio journalists — in a Twitter chat Thursday moderated by lead blogger Gene Demby. Join Code

Florence Allen Jones used to teach in Washington, D.C., before coming back home to Liberia.

Now she's part of the education ministry's teaching-by-radio team. Working with UNICEF and another nonprofit, Talking Drum, in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, the government aims to provide lessons to children across the country, hit by the Ebola outbreak. Most schools closed this past summer and will likely remain closed for months.

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We're nearing the end of another news-filled year. Take an entertaining and informative look back at 2014 as we benefit from the wisdom of the WNPR audience: below are ten most-viewed stories you shouldn't miss from our newsroom. 

Sarah Koenig didn't expect her new podcast, Serial, to get so much press, but she says the attention helped keep her on her toes: "It was just a constant reminder of how careful we needed to be," Koenig tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Phil Whitehouse / Creative Commons

It seems that all too often, bosses get a bum rap from their employees. But why?

This hour, we talk to management expert Bruce Tulgan about his new book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems. We learn about some of the challenges managers come up against in the workplace, and find out some of the best ways to handle them.

Helder Mira / Flickr Creative Commons

When radio folks talk about "the clock," we don't mean the thing on the wall (although we care how accurate those are, too). Our clocks are simply the schedules by which we run our mix of news headlines and features, underwriting credits and weather forecasts, and even Birdnote.

Richard Howard

Car Talk is the most important program in the history of public radio.

There, I said it.

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

Update at 11:25 a.m. ET

Kinsey Wilson, who has been a driving force behind NPR's digital strategy for the past six years, will leave the network, NPR CEO Jarl Mohn announced today.

Wilson, an executive vice president and chief content officer, "is widely credited with positioning NPR as a leader in the digital space, building editorial excellence and growing audience across platforms," Mohn said in a memo to staff.

Tucker Ives / WNPR

Our newsroom moved. The old one was fine but we outgrew it. Those digs were like a teenage bedroom. We had bumper stickers, magazine covers, flags and other odds and ends covering our walls. The only thing missing was that poster of Johnny Cash giving the middle finger to the camera.

Science Friday

Ira Flatow, public radio host of the popular Science Friday program, and his for-profit corporation, will pay $145,531 to resolve allegations his company misused grant money from the National Science Foundation.

The settlement stems from a 2009 National Science Foundation award of nearly $1 million to Flatow's privately-owned company, ScienceFriday, Inc., for the purposes of "extending the impact of its weekly radio program to a new and younger audience through the use of cyber-space platforms and interactive tools such as Facebook and Twitter."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Radio has a very long and storied history, and is influenced by -- some might say ruled by -- some long-held, traditional practices.

Can't get enough bird talk? Here's five other things you may have missed this week, from WNPR. 

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Margot Adler's NPR career was just beginning in 1979 when she published her book, Drawing Down the Moon, an exploration of the Pagan community of which she was a member. When she died Monday, she left a long legacy as a reporter, and as an outspoken Wiccan.

A Listener's Guide to Podcasts

Jul 24, 2014
arinahabich/iStock / Thinkstock

If you're interested in podcasts, but aren't sure what to listen to, have no fear. We're here to help.  

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Radio has a very long and storied history, and is influenced by -- some might say ruled by -- some long-held, traditional practices.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Amy Goodman’s radio, TV, and Web program Democracy Now! has a wide following among people who think the mainstream media doesn’t let us hear enough voices from those who protest against powerful interests. This week, she visits the Mark Twain House and Museum to discuss her new book The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance and Hope.

This hour, we preview that event, with a conversation about the state of the news media today. We also listen back to a conversation with a Hartford-based guitarist who celebrates the music of her home country, Puerto Rico, while also exploring the classical repertoire.

Margaret Low Smith, a longtime NPR executive who has served as senior vice president for news for three years, is leaving the company to become the president of The Atlantic's live events business.

"Her departure will be felt as profoundly as any in recent memory," NPR Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson wrote in a memo to staff Tuesday.

He added that Smith's final day at NPR will be at the end of July. She joined the company in 1982 as an overnight production assistant on Morning Edition.

Wilson added that:

1. A $60 Million Baseball Deal, and a Long-Awaited Supermarket 

Hartford Mayor Segarra and the city's Director of Development Thomas Deller joined Where We Live to talk ballpark. The city is looking to develop not just a ballpark, but a larger area that would be known as Downtown North, including a supermarket. Dankosky got a little fired up during the discussion about numbers presented by the city (like 600 full-time jobs created, and 700 people staying in hotels after a minor-league baseball game). Listen to the audio below -- and check out our Storify of the conversation.

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So, it basically rained all week long. And the World Cup started. And a whole bunch of bad stuff happened in Iraq, and frankly, too many other places around the country. Basically, it's been a whirlwind, so I just wanted to make sure you got to spend time with some of the stories we told on WNPR this week. Get listening as you wait for those puddles to dry.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

This month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League. That’s the largest association of ham radio hobbyists in the United States that is headquartered in Newington, Conn. WNPR paid a visit to “the mecca of ham radio” where each year hundreds of people converge to broadcast signals across the globe.