I went into NPR’S Next Generation 2021 bootcamp in Reno knowing basic skills of producing a radio story from classes and freelance work, but never experiencing what it’s like to work in a newsroom with various teams.
It amazed me to see so many different people working on various stories and it all coming together. It also amazed me how supportive and kind my mentor and all the teams were. Not only did they support my story, but I was given career advice, life lessons, and genuine feedback on my work unlike any that I have received before. It really showed me a positive, yet productive and professional work environment, in a public newsroom setting. I learned a lot about my own work style and how I can improve it by working efficiently and effectively.
I was so grateful for this experience, not only to NPR’s Next Generation Radio, but to Nandar Yukyi for sharing her story. She has such a strong voice and one that needs to be heard right now. Being an Asian-American, she has faced a lot of discrimination in the past several years in the United States, but is also facing challenges due to the recent coup in Myanmar. Her perspective on American identity is one that should be given a platform and I am grateful that her story was accepted for this program.
I think my main takeaway from this experience that I would like to incorporate into my regular reporting is to be prepared and never hesitate to ask for help. In this process we did many things to prepare for the story. We prepared questions, revised questions, bounced ideas off one another, had backups for everything, and had a team for every aspect of the story. None of it would have been possible without everyone involved.