NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices


We’re hiring a paid editorial illustration intern

We are looking for a current student or recent graduate to join us as an editorial illustration intern on the NPR Training team this winter/spring. We make sure our interns have fun and get to work on meaningful projects that will serve their portfolios long after they’ve left us.

We’re hiring a paid graphic design intern

We are looking for a current student or recent graduate to join us as a graphic design intern on the NPR Training team this summer.

Year in review: NPR Training’s top 5 posts of 2018

It’s been a busy, yet fulfilling, year for the NPR Training team. And after a year full of webinars, conferences, training sessions, and more, we’re thrilled that you find our content helpful in your daily work. Now, we want to share the 5 most popular posts that we published in 2018.

Audience & Digital Content Specialist, NPR Training

The NPR Training team is seeking an experienced journalist who is passionate about exploring the many places where audiences and content intersect. We are looking for someone who is a strong editor and content strategist, loves creating things and delights in leading other journalists to breakthrough moments. You will direct the digital presence of NPR

Audio Storytelling Specialist, NPR Training

We’re looking for an experienced audio journalist who gets excited about story structure, narrative, the craft of editing and the endless search for “good tape.”

Want to make journalism better? The NPR Training team is hiring

We’re looking for three new colleagues to help elevate the quality of public media journalism, wherever it reaches people.

Audio Production Specialist, NPR Training

We are looking for an experienced audio producer with a journalist’s mind, an engineer’s ear, and a teacher’s heart; someone who knows great sound when they hear it and can help others understand how it got that way.

Reporting & Writing Specialist, NPR Training

We are looking for an accomplished journalist who loves talking about what makes great reporting and writing, particularly on digital platforms.

Public radio people — let’s meet up at ONA

We are partnering with member station KUT to host an exclusive session for digital public radio staffers during this year’s Online News Association conference.

10 teams selected for 2018 Story Lab Workshop

Teams will work on their projects with NPR mentors while attending sessions designed to foster innovation and excellence in journalism and storytelling.

We’re hiring a paid illustration intern

We are looking for a current student or recent graduate to join us as illustration intern on the NPR Training team this summer.

Webinar: The journey from print to radio storytelling

We talked with Morning Edition co-host David Greene about making the transition from print to radio. Watch the recording.

Apply for the 2018 NPR Story Lab Workshop

We want to give you the time, space and training to get your audio storytelling idea off the ground.

Story Lab Workshop: FAQ

Everything you need to know about the workshop and application process.

What’s in your bag, Josh Rogosin?

Josh engineers the Tiny Desk Concerts. His kit for recording stripped down, remote music sessions provides lessons in being prepared while staying nimble.

What do you want to know about fact-checking and ethics in journalism?

We’ll put your questions to NPR Standards and Practices editor Mark Memmott.

8 lessons from public radio’s ‘Digital Day’

They include: “Don’t wing your newsletter” and “You are not a robot — quit tweeting like one.”

We’re hiring a (paid) photography intern

We are looking for a current student or recent graduate to join us as photography intern on the NPR Training team in the spring of 2018. We make sure our interns have fun and get to work on meaningful projects that will serve their portfolios long after they’ve left us.

The art and skill of working with news sources

Sourcing the news is getting harder all the time. For three seasoned NPR reporters, it involves careful vetting, delicate negotiations and, every now and then, cigars.

What’s in your bag, Gregory Warner?

For this month’s What’s In Your Bag we reached out to Gregory Warner, host of the new NPR podcast Rough Translation. His work has taken him across Pakistan and Afghanistan, and now he is based in New York City after a long stint as NPR’s East Africa correspondent. He carries all of the essential gear

What’s in your bag, Corey Schreppel?

Corey Schreppel has been an audio engineer for the last 15 years — these are his go-to tools.

6 things I learned planning a video shoot

Most people are visual learners and the digital landscape is becoming more visual every day. So it’s important to create content that includes great imagery. If you’re reading this, then you may want to add video to the mix of elements you use in your work. My biggest project while interning with the NPR Training

What’s in your bag, Elissa Nadworny?

For this installment of “What’s In Your Bag?” NPR producer Elissa Nadworny shares the audio and photography kit she used on a recent trip to Alaska. I’ve been producing the Our Land series for the last four months. Melissa Block and I just returned from southeast Alaska where we recorded eight stories for NPR’s newsmagazines. For

Webinar: Understanding common audio production problems

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 Senior Production Strategist Rob Byers, covered some of the most common audio problems. You can watch a previously recorded version below. While you’re at it, check out some

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

How to hook your podcast audience

How can you break through the competition for ears? Data from NPR One offers lessons for keeping listeners engaged.

Projects shaped at the Story Lab Workshop

Ten teams traveled from across the country to NPR headquarters to attend the 2017 Story Lab Workshop — these are their projects.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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