The job has changed a lot for me since last fall when NCPR rolled out its new design, and will change more as we develop a wider net from which to draw new stories and features into the website. One of my hats has become curator-in-chief, and part of every day I spend crawling through the tubes of the internet looking for interesting stories, great new music, photo essays, and things that haven’t got a name yet.
Most but not all come from public media–radio programs, a few podcasts, blogs, aggregators, email newsletters, news feeds, etc. It’s all grist for the mill. I grind it as fast as I can.
But my inbox is like a firehose. From that I try to sip a few items that are timely, useful, or otherwise of interest to the NCPR audience and bring them onto the front page, send them out in email, share them via Facebook, or all three.
The problem is that I am one guy with just two eyes, and I’m interested in what I’m interested in, and I like what I like. So from this week’s NPR breaking news emails, I did share the death of B.B. King, but didn’t share the death sentence verdict of the Boston Marathon bomber. I featured a video of two French daredevils swooping in jetpacks over Dubai, but not the tragic loss of U.S. Marines in the Nepal earthquake relief effort. I prefer science news to political campaign news. And since most NCPR stories come with a news focus, I err on the side of arts and culture in my selections from outside the shop.
So, first I miss a lot, being just one guy. Second, I exclude a lot, having my own individual inclinations and my own ideas about what you all would like to see.
One way to amend this would be for you to lend me a hand. Collectively, NCPR friends cover a huge amount of ground. I reckon you are curious and wide-ranging in your online time. You use sources I’ve never heard about. You can see into my blind spots.
As an exercise in crowd-sourcing, take just the last few days. What did you run across that made you go “Huh.” What did you expect to find covered at NCPR that wasn’t there? Something you heard, or read or saw that made you exclaim like Inspector Gadget, “Wowsers!” What is your go-to source for great stuff online (besides NCPR, of course)?
Give me a link or links to stories I missed, or a great news source, or a favorite site or newsletter in a comment below.
I could use a whole news patrol out on the beat for NCPR. There’s just too much to take in. But I’ll take your submissions and assemble a page — sort of an alt.NCPR. It could become an ongoing thing. We could issue special badges, maybe have a secret handshake. No paycheck, though — sorry.