NPR Interns Present 'Off Mic' Episode 2

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NPR journalists tell important stories every day. But how do they do it? In our first episode, we talked to some of NPR's most seasoned voices to learn about their craft. But in our second episode, we explored questions about other parts of the newsroom to include people whose roles expand beyond the mic.

In this episode, audio engineers talk about the technical side of making radio magic and how they've had to adapt with the modernization of radio; political correspondent Tamara Keith reveals the secrets of reporting on a presidential campaign; and All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks about how limitations might be an artist's best friend.

— Grégoire Molle and Jackson Sinnenberg

Tamara Keith On Going Deep On The Campaign Trail

For NPR's White House correspondent Tamara Keith, politics is about people getting their voices heard. Keith talked with Zhai Yun Tan and Gregoire Molle about the joys and challenges of covering the 2016 primary campaign. Turns out, it involves being subjected to dumb jokes.

— Grégoire Molle and Zhai Yun Tan

Leo Del Aguila and Patrick Murray On Engineering Radio Magic

In the radio business, it used to be that true that people who wanted to go on the air were completely dependent on audio engineers. Now, the digitalization of the medium has made it much less specialized. Audio engineers have had to find new ways of staying relevant. NPR West interns Jonaki Mehta and Lakeidra Chavis met with two of them, Patrick Murray and Leo Del Aguila. They talk about the good old times of reel tape, and how they manage to adapt with the digitalization of audio.

—Lakeidra Chavis and Jonaki Mehta

Bob Boilen On How Constraints Inspire Creativity

Every February, musicians around the world participate in the RPM Challenge, a creative endeavor similar to National Novel Writing Month. Artists are challenged to write and record an album of original material within a month. This is Bob Boilen's 10th consecutive year participating in the challenge and he says that the time constraint is the only reason the music gets made. In fact, the All Songs Considered host thinks that musicians do their best work when faced with limitations. Boilen talks about the power of limits and how the joy of surprise informs his work as a journalist.

— Jackson Sinnenberg

Credits:

Senior Producers: Grégoire Molle, Jackson Sinnenberg; Host: Jordan Gass-Poore'; Producers: Byrd Pinkerton, Jonaki Mehta; Editors: Zhai Yun Tan, Lakeidra Chavis; Logo design: Katherine Du; Social Media: Mabinty Quarshie

Theme Music Courtesy of The Shanghai Restoration Project

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