Rising stars at NCPR

"Star shells." Photo: U.S. Army, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

“Star shells.” Photo: U.S. Army, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Last week Brian Mann circulated an email among his station colleagues taking note of the great reporting work being done by the newest members of the NCPR reporting family.

That family has grown substantially over the last few years to include Sarah Harris, who first reported for us as a part-timer based in the Champlain Valley, but whose reporting on education this past year has dug deep into such controversial terrain as school merger, the implementation of Common Core standards, education funding, and student homelessness. And Zach Hirsch has moved up from part-time work to become our eyes and ears in a new Plattsburgh bureau, adding depth to our coverage of the eastern end of the listening area, including a series of great–and disturbing–stories on the heroin epidemic in the region. Natasha Haverty has segued from her partnership in the more than year-long Prison Time Media Project, to launch an amazing series on campus sexual assault, the latest installment of which ran this week. And Julia Botero, a shared reporter with WRVO and based in Watertown, has stepped up our coverage in the southwestern part of our area, just this week producing a two-part look at military and veteran suicide and mental health issues, using the story of one former Fort Drum soldier as her stepping-off point.

Looking at our top five stories this week, as determined by readership and listenership, all these new voices are represented. The number one story is by Zach, the latest in our campus sexual assault series (for which Natasha is series lead) looking at the issue through a point of view rarely reported on–that of the accused.

Also in our top five is Julia’s story about a former 10th Mountain soldier who in 2009 nearly became one of the average 22 veterans who take their own lives each day.  And Sarah–who in addition to her strong chops on serious topics, has a great ear for stories on the hootier end of the news spectrum–makes the list with her story on “Mad Mike,” who plans to jump the St. Lawrence this spring riding on a homemade steam-powered rocket.

If any of you have been worried that many of us at NCPR have achieved “a certain age,” put your mind at ease. Great young journalists and future station leaders are already in the house. And the “old warhorses” still got game, too.


6 Comments on “Rising stars at NCPR”

  1. kathy curro says:

    NPR’s new team members show the value of THE ROOKIE! The US Navy SEALS believe that rookies benefit any organization by inspiring everyone around them to be in top form! Who are we to argue with military wisdom?

  2. Paul Haggett says:

    Seems light years ago that a loose affiliation of otherwise-employed news stringers helped NCPR with community news coverage, with NCPR helping all of us out with more regional stories. There wasn’t always a lot of depth, but it was fun and added a lot to this guy’s coverage back in the day. Its a way different radio world now, and wonderful to hear so much in-depth reporting from so many voices…all able make a living while adding to our collective quality of life! Kudos, NCPR!

  3. Doug Butler says:

    Congratulations to NCPR for your commitment to news coverage in the North Country and thank you!
    Doug Butler
    Glens Falls

  4. Claudia MacDonald says:

    I appreciate the in-depth reporting. Thank you. That said, I would like to see ‘sacred ground’ covered. For example, the issues on education. Studies have shown that children perform better academically if they begin school at age 7…not earlier. Yet, our education system keeps pushing enrollment age earlier and earlier (think kindergarten, then pre-k then pre-school). You may wish to check out the education system in Finland. Many U.S. charter schools are doing an excellent job as do Montessori and Waldorf schools. Indeed, there are often lotteries for students to get into charter schools, notably in New York City where the ‘losers’ are devastated. Alas, these ‘hot topics’ do not seem to be part of the discussion. I heard on NCPR recently (news) that Wyoming decided to drop a bunch of money on education making them #1 in the US on $ amount spent per student…with no apparent increase in student’s test scores. Public radio as well as other media have an excellent opportunity (responsibility) to investigate and report findings on this and other important topics. I would love to see NCPR, the Plaindealer and other media ‘take off the gloves’, dig deep getting to the root of issues…not glossing over with information that is already generally publicized. Thank you for reading and hopefully considering this writing.

  5. Elaine says:

    And a pause here to acknowledge those responsible for recognizing, mentoring, supporting, and enabling all these new journalists. It is not every organization that creates and nourishes such new talent. Well done, NCPR.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m not worried. Are you concerned that I may have reached a certain age – don’t worry, apparently I have.

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