NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices


What’s in your bag, Tim Nelson?

For this installment of “What’s in your bag?,” Tim Nelson of Minnesota Public Radio shares a glimpse inside his incredibly large and extensive kit. While it is certainly more in-depth than most, this kit allows Tim to be ready for most any situation the news can throw at him. You’ll be hard-pressed to walk away without Continue Reading >

How to hook your podcast audience

As more and more people create podcasts, there’s a lot of competition for listeners’ ears. But there’s a reason so many public radio producers are finding success in the podcasting space — we know how to tell a good story! Platforms like NPR One also help provide clues and recommendations for how you can hook your Continue Reading >

Webinar: Ear training for audio producers

We will all encounter audio problems in our work. But if you can learn to hear them, you can learn to prevent them! This webinar, hosted by NPR Training’s Production Specialist Rob Byers, covered some of the most common audio problems. While you’re at it, check out some related content: This webinar is based on The Continue Reading >

Projects shaped at the Story Lab Workshop

This week ten teams traveled from across the country to NPR headquarters to attend the Story Lab Workshop. They were chosen from among 180 applicants to spend three days incubating audio projects for broadcast, podcast … and beyond. With the support of NPR mentors, the teams took part in brainstorming, project design, training and networking. Continue Reading >

A new leader for NPR Training

We’re very excited to announce that we have a new leader for the NPR Training team. Keith Woods, currently NPR’s Vice President of Diversity, will take on a new, expanded role as Vice President of Newsroom Training and Diversity. He joins our existing team of four and will bolster our mission to elevate the quality Continue Reading >

What’s in your bag, Amanda Aronczyk?

Amanda Aronczyk of WNYC’s Only Human recently covered the presidential inauguration and women’s march in Washington, D.C. She had to prepare for a unique set of challenges: rain and cold temperatures, restricted mobility and potentially long stretches with no access to power. Below, we peek inside her kit.  This gear bag is a fraud. Sort of. Continue Reading >

What’s in your bag, Leigh Paterson?

The tools we carry around on a daily basis can say a lot about what we do, how and where we work — even our personalities. What’s in your bag? is a new regular series about the tools used by people in public media. We all use the basics, but the way we personalize our kits is where Continue Reading >

Unleash the trainer within! (We couldn’t resist … )

Journalism coaches, professors and trainers — this one’s for you! As the new year begins, we thought we would share a few of our favorite guides aimed at helping you teach and inspire others: Plan your editorial project (with many sticky notes): Have you resolved to be more deliberate in your project or coverage planning Continue Reading >

10 teams chosen for second NPR Story Lab workshop

  NPR has selected 10 teams to attend the second NPR Story Lab workshop March 1-3, 2017. Public media producers will travel to D.C. for three days of training, planning, and brainstorming. In partnership with AIR, NPR invited Member station staff and independent producers to pitch ideas for audio storytelling projects that will break traditional Continue Reading >

Beyond the 5 W’s: What should you ask before starting a story?

We all know the classic “5 w” questions journalists ask: Who, what, where, when, why (and bonus, “how”). But you should also consider the six additional questions listed below, which complement those fundamentals. They are informed by journalism but focused on storytelling. Your answers to these questions may change in the process of reporting. That Continue Reading >

We’re looking for a leader. Could it be you?

Editor’s note: This job is no longer open. Read more about NPR Training’s new leader.  Do you love talking about storytelling? Do you spend your free time scheming about the future of journalism? Are you a natural leader who’s passionate about public media? Do you live for project planning and burn through sticky notes like Continue Reading >

Your next great idea might be hiding in this list

Ideas come from unexpected places. That’s why when I was recently asked to put together a “reading list” to share with station representatives for a conference, I was excited to curate a broad collection. I’ve found it can be useful to look just beyond the boundaries of your everyday tasks for resources that both inspire Continue Reading >

Going to Third Coast? Sign up for an NPR Training-AIR help session

Wow! We received an incredible response, and the sessions are now full. You can still keep in touch with us at #ThirdCoast16! Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter. While you’re at it, learn more about AIR, check them out on Twitter, and be sure to visit their booth at the conference. And if Continue Reading >

What improv lessons taught us about live video

We’ve been doing a lot of live video on Facebook lately (upwards of 80 a month). Folks in the newsroom have embraced it and we’ve had fun playing with different formats and approaches. Still, with this new form comes a completely new set of challenges for even our most seasoned radio reporters. They’re suddenly facing strange Continue Reading >

Webinar: How to make great headlines

This webinar has already happened. Watch a recording here: Headlines are hard. And incredibly important. In this webinar, you’ll learn practical tips from two of NPR’s best headline writers — digital editors Stephanie Federico and Colin Dwyer. While you’re at it, check out our existing guides to headline writing: How to make great headlines This Continue Reading >

Apply for the next NPR Story Lab workshop

Note: Applications for the next NPR Story Lab workshop have closed.  Have an idea for an audio storytelling project that will break traditional formats and reach new audiences? A podcast? A radio series? An investigation? We are now accepting applications for the NPR Story Lab workshop. If chosen, you’ll be invited to NPR HQ in Continue Reading >

Adrian Florido’s media habits

We asked Adrian Florido, a reporter for Code Switch, about his media habits: “what — and who— are you paying attention to? What’s been good on the internet recently The New York Times had an incredible photo essay about eleven of the dozens of women who were raped and tortured by police during the crackdown on Continue Reading >

Korva Coleman’s media habits

We asked Korva Coleman, NPR newscaster, about her media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to? What’s been good on the internet recently? I’ve been trying to scoop up as much political news as I can, so I’ve been looking around to find different angles of presidential campaign coverage. That may Continue Reading >

Best of: NPR Training webinars

We take webinar production seriously. In the studio for a session on reporter two-ways in March 2016. (Serri Graslie/NPR) Liza Yeager was the first-ever intern with the NPR Story Lab and is the co-founder of Now Here This. It’s the dog days of August. That means it’s hot outside and slow in the newsroom and you’re itching Continue Reading >

Ari Shapiro’s media habits

We asked Ari Shapiro, one of the hosts of All Things Considered, about his media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to? What’s been good on the internet recently? The photographer Ben Moon made a beautiful and moving short film last year called Denali, about saying goodbye to his dog. I Continue Reading >

Andi McDaniel’s media habits

We asked Andi McDaniel, senior director of content and news at WAMU, about her media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to?” What’s been good on the internet recently? My favorite internetty things lately are not “on” the internet at all— they’re integrated into my life in clever and seamless little ways. Continue Reading >

Rob Byers’s media habits

We asked Rob Byers, Production Specialist, about his media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to?” We’re so happy that Rob has joined the team. In his new role, Rob gets to focus on something at the core of public radio craft – high quality sound. Rob joins us after eight years at Continue Reading >

Hanna Rosin’s media habits

We asked Hanna Rosin, the new co-host of Invisibilia, about her media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to?” What’s been good on the internet recently? I just keep reading the back and forth about Gay Talese’s New Yorker story, “The Voyeur’s Motel.” In truth I just want to read the story over Continue Reading >

Sam Sanders’s media habits

We asked Sam Sanders, NPR Reporter, Washington Desk and cohost of the @nprpolitics podcast about his media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to?”  What’s been good on the Internet recently? The new and improved MTV News. I’ll never forget the top of the hour news updates on MTV in my younger Continue Reading >

Elise Hu’s media habits

We asked Elise Hu, NPR International Correspondent, Seoul, South Korea, about her media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to?” What’s been good on the Internet recently? In two words? Old people. Flossie Dickey’s 110th birthday party, and the 106-year-old who visited the White House for the first time. What are you listening to/watching these Continue Reading >

Jarl Mohn’s media habits

We asked Jarl Mohn, CEO of NPR, about his media habits: “what – and who – are you paying attention to?” What’s been good on the Internet recently? As it is election time I obsess over state by state polling so I spend way too much time on Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight. I’m crazy for films Continue Reading >

How NPR covered the Paris attacks

An NPR crew prepares a broadcast from Paris on November 18, 2015. Photo by Russell Lewis/NPR In the days after the attacks in Paris, NPR deployed on multiple fronts, with special coverage by shows, Newscast reports, continuous updates online, and on-the-ground stories by reporters, producers and hosts in Paris. Different types of stories emerged. Here is a sampling (and Continue Reading >