Illustration by Yunyi Dai
What does it mean to be an American?
We are finding, coaching and training public media’s next generation. This #nprnextgenradio project is created in Utah, where four talented reporters are participating in a week-long state-of-the-art training program.
In this project we are speaking to people from various walks of life—whether they are Indigenous, native born, a naturalized citizen, a refugee or an immigrant without legal status—to ask what it means to be an American.
Mrinal Shinde emigrated from India to pursue the American Dream. He works in cybersecurity for a financial institution and has built a life here with a wife and son. Now he’s working toward gaining citizenship in the states to build a stable life for him and his family.
A restaurant owner in Provo shares her Native American food and creates a space for people to express who they are. But as an Indigenous women, she is conflicted about being called an American.
Louis Arevalo was lucky enough to channel his love of nature into a career as an outdoor photographer. He knew, as all adventurers do, that these activities carry an inherent risk. “I thought broken bones, death [or] dismemberment,” he says. “But I never thought about paralysis.”
The first thing Heather Tanana’s children will tell you is that they are Navajo. They know their heritage and are proud of it, she said. That pride is also reflected in their names.
The Next Generation Radio Project is a week-long digital journalism training project designed to give competitively selected participants, who are interested in radio and journalism, the skills and opportunity to report and produce their own multimedia story. Those chosen for the project are paired with a professional journalist who serves as their mentor.
This edition of the #NPRNextGenRadio project was produced in collaboration with:
- Managing Editor – Traci Tong, Editor, Public Media Journalists Association, Boston
- Digital Editors – Amara Aguilar, University of Southern California, Marnette Federis, Stanford University, Palak Jayswal, Digital Producer, KUER
- Audio Tech – Selena Seay-Reynolds, Freelancer Audio Engineer, Los Angeles
- Editorial Illustrators – Yunyi Dai, Graduate student, School of Visual Arts, New York City, Lauren Ibanez, Houston
- Visuals – Erica Lee, Freelance Visual Journalist, Jersey City, Katherine Ellis, Audience Development and Communications Manager, KUER, Salt Lake City
- Web Developer – Robert Boos, Metropolitan State, Minneapolis
Our journalist/mentors for this project were:
- Gabriela Saldivia, Independent Journalist, Seville, Spain
- Rocio Hernandez, Senior Field Correspondent, KJZZ, Phoenix, AZ
- Lexi Peery, Southern Utah Bureau Reporter, KUER, St. George, Utah
- Nina Earnest, Podcast Producer, KSL, Salt Lake City
NPR’s Next Generation Radio program is directed by its founder, Doug Mitchell.