Reporting

What journalists need to know when covering climate change

These facts, compiled by NPR’s climate editors, can provide big-picture context for weather events and other topics linked to climate change.

Must-have math skills for the number-crunching newsperson

Refresh your high school math-class memory with this review of basic, yet confusing, concepts. And there’s a quiz!

Protecting, cleaning and sanitizing your gear the right way

Keeping your gear safe and sanitary is not a one-step process. More like four to six steps. Get ’em here.

A field guide to reporting on COVID-19 (bring plastic wrap)

Put on your mask and stock up on alcohol wipes — you’re going into the coronavirus-infested wilds.

It’s not a ‘Chinese’ virus: Let’s avoid pernicious shorthands

“Chinese virus.” “Hindu mobs.” Using geography, ethnicity and religion as modifiers is questionable at best and dangerous at worst.

Reporting from home: how NPR correspondents do it

Legions of journalists are now working from home. But NPR international correspondents have been doing it for years, even decades. Heed their advice.

Find diverse experts using Source of the Week

NPR’s Source of the Week, a curated database of experts from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the media, was created to help the public media system diversify its source base. 

despairing editorial calendar on top of a box of tree ornaments

If you do holiday service journalism, do this (not that)

It’s the time of year when few local and regional news outlets (including public radio) are spared. Here’s how to do it as best as it can be done.

Tips from the Twitterverse on surviving two-ways

Smile, remember to breathe and be prepared to improvise when you’re a reporter on a two-way.

Pronounce like a polyglot: saying foreign names on air

What if the pronunciation of a name has you stumped — and you have to say it on air? Here’s how to do it accurately and understandably.

The journey from print to radio storytelling: A guide for navigating a new landscape

Print and audio journalism exist in the same world — but the terrain is different. Let this serve as your map.

How NPR’s David Greene learned a new ‘art form’ in radio

The “Morning Edition” host came to NPR from newspapers. His advice on audio: Forget everything you know. But don’t!

The steps to finding, developing and vetting 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

You asked: How can I get better at standups?

Doing great “stand-ups” requires thinking beyond the clichéd “I’m standing here…” approach.

What makes a good pitch? NPR editors weigh in

Pitching is hard. We compiled the best tips for getting to “yes” — and some common pet peeves — from NPR editors.

What’s in your bag, Leigh Paterson?

What this reporter takes to report in Wyoming and Colorado, “besides a big ugly coat.”

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

Print this poster, which has the six questions you should ask before starting a story.

3 simple ways to find story ideas

Next time you’re struggling to come up with a new story or just need a push in a more creative direction, read this.

A good lead is everything — here’s how to write one

The lead is the introduction — the first sentences — that should pique your readers’ interest and curiosity.

How audio stories begin

At this hyper-competitive moment in audio, it’s essential to grab listeners at the very beginning of a story. But how do you do it?

Front-end editing: The ‘secret ingredient’ of great audio storytelling

The best editing begins even before a story is assigned. What should the process look like? Check out this step-by-step guide.

Reporter two-ways: Improvisation within a structure

For many radio reporters — even some of the most experienced ones — the prospect of talking on-air with a host can be daunting.

Understanding story structure in 4 drawings

You can learn a lot from a few simple line drawings! NPR’s Robert Smith explains the structure of audio news stories — from basic to complex.

Don’t ‘radiosplain’ and other ways to report on communities that aren’t your own

We can all get better at talking to communities that are not our own. It requires listening, humility and the willingness to investigate our own biases.

A checklist to organize your story process

With so many different ways to tell stories, you need this.

How NPR covered the Paris attacks

A look at NPR’s reporting on the November 2015 terror attacks on Paris.

How to inject ‘documentary flair’ into your story

Infuse documentary-style radio into everyday reporting (even when you think you don’t have the time or material). 

The fundamentals of field reporting with NPR’s Howard Berkes

Wind. Hotel rooms. Riding a luge sled. Prepare yourself for recording in the field under all kinds of conditions.

How to ‘interview’ a big pile of data

When confronted with a big pile of data, these tips will help you find sense in the numbers, find story ideas, and ask further questions.

Before the first question: How to prepare for an audio interview

Follow this checklist and increase your likelihood of interview success!

Active sound: How to find it, record it and use it

Active sound makes an audio story sparkle. It is sound that isn’t stuck in the background. It’s up-front. It shows character and action. Here’s how to capture it.

Pitching to NPR? Our bureau chiefs share their process

From pitch to production: Here’s a look at how NPR bureau chiefs take stories through the process.

On deadline? Follow these tips to get on the air fast

Among these tips: Have “booty call” sources: They are always available and they know what you need.

Radio 101: The life of a story from concept to air

If you are new to radio, this post should help demystify the process. The first step may be the hardest: finding the story.

3 Google search tips from NPR’s Research Strategy & Archives Team

Everyone knows Google is a powerful portal to digital information, but a more daunting task is sorting through results to find the exact piece of information that will make your piece fuller and more informative.  The NPR Research Strategists are here to share three tips we use to get more precise and relevant results. Searching across

‘Would you say it that way?’ Tips on writing for your voice

Why is it so hard to write how we talk? Here are some essentials tips to capture the human voice in your radio writing.

‘Once upon a time’ and other devices for starting your story

Every story has its own style of adventure. Here are different ways to take listeners on a journey.