Student blog of the Stanford University Urban Studies Department

Stefan Norgaard – Day Two at NPR Forum

This is the second part of a series of posts from Stefan Norgaard, Stanford University Urban Studies major completing his Internship Capstone sequence interning for NPR’s Forum program at KQED, the San Francisco station.


 Week Two Internship at National Public Radio (NPR-KQED)

Stefan Norgaard


            This week at KQED Forum, I helped with shows on the Supreme Court weighing in on owning of genes and gene patenting and on Bay Area wineries.  After the shows concluded, I began research and preparation work for the Monday and Tuesday shows on Forum.  On Monday, April 15, Forum ran a show featuring the winners of the 2013 Goldman Prize for Excellence in Protecting the Environment, and on Tuesday, April 16, Forum is hoping to run a show featuring Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson discussing the potential movement of the Sacramento Kings basketball team to Seattle. 

            Working to prepare the Goldman show was especially gratifying because I was able to do extensive audio editing with help from one of the KQED Producers.  Pulling from videos and interviews with each of the finalists, we created short radio segments describing each Goldman award winner, to give a summary to listeners.  For example, we pulled clips about Kimberly Wasserman Nieto, the North American prize winner, who helped start a grassroots nonprofit in Chicago’s Little Village to combat coal power pollution.  We also pulled clips about Jonathan Deal, the African Goldman Award winner, who single-handedly started South Africa’s anti-fracking campaign against oil companies like Shell.  As I listened to stories and interviews with these passionate social change-makers, I realized that social change can truly take many forms.  Some Goldman winners used grassroots campaigning, and others used advocacy and legal action.  Here at NPR, I am able to make social change through dissemination of good, objective information and stories to the public.  The audio editing skills (using Dalet) I am acquiring in the process will prove to be useful tools when it comes to editing sound clips in the future. 

            A second show that I helped prepare will hopefully feature Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.  Though Johnson has not yet been able to confirm for the show and it is unclear whether my work and preparation will result in a show or not, I was nevertheless able to interact with the Mayor and his Team, discussing the important news in Sacramento today:  whether the Sacramento Kings basketball team can stay in Sacramento, or whether it will move to Seattle, and replace the Seattle Supersonics.  Mayor Johnson, a former NBA-professional himself, is a staunch supporter of keeping the Kings in Sacramento.  For Mayor Johnson, however, the move is about much more than a basketball franchise.  The Kings are a symbol of Sacramento’s status as a growing metropolis and California city.  The sports team brings together Sacramento (and suburban Sacramento) residents around a common cause, fostering civic identity and pride.  Losing the team would be a blow to Sacramento’s civic image, according to Mayor Johnson.  In trying to schedule Mayor Johnson on the show, I learned firsthand that scheduling big name guests is not an easy task.  Mayor Johnson has been giving press conferences with numerous other media stations, and confirming a one-hour at the San Francisco studio for a Tuesday morning was a very challenging goal for me.  Though the Mayor has still yet to finally confirm his participation in the show tomorrow, I am glad for the experience of interacting with a Mayoral team in the midst of an important news story.  I ended the day excited; I had learned about wineries, environmentalism, and local government.  I am ready for next week! 



Fans hope The Sacramento Kings will stay in Sacramento.  The team may be moving to Seattle, something that Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson would not like to see. 



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