Every week, more than 20 million Americans listen to programming on National Public Radio (NPR). Perhaps that isn’t surprising considering the non-profit media organization has been supplying information to listeners for over four decades, and now broadcasts over a syndicated network of 900 public radio stations. Reid Swartz ’15, an English major, is working as a production intern at the Oswego-based affiliate, WRVO, funded through the support of Daniel Fielding ’07.
Swartz helps produce “Take Care,” the station’s local health and wellness show, developing web content, writing copy, and creating audio features. He also produces 30-second promos for the program, allowing him to “perfect [his] knowledge of audio editing software and perform basic audio edits.” Swartz said taking a class in audio production with Professor of Music Sam Pellman last semester was what sparked his interest in the field.
“My internship combines writing and audio production in a way that is challenging, but fun,” he explained, “I have to be able to determine the important information and emphasize it in my writing and audio editing for the online content.” When Swartz isn’t writing, he helps record and edit the segments for pre-recorded programs, like “Take Care.” He also produces the “Friday Feature,” paring a 15- minute segment down to three, by “choosing the questions and answers that are the most conducive to a catchy and informative preview of the full show that airs on Sunday.”
Swartz has enjoyed meeting the station hosts, describing them as “local celebrities,” and said that “knowing their faces and personalities, in addition to their voices, has been nice.” He was impressed with the efficiency of the station, explaining that it is completely automated once the programs are put into their appropriate slot in the online system.
Swartz has also learned “a great deal about journalistic writing and audio production,” including “editing and producing evergreen segments for use on the station's emergency CD, recording audio, and more.” Although he is bound by some of the “bland” journalistic language for clarity purposes, he enjoys the creativity he is given with creating titles and introductions of news pieces.
Swartz plans to attend graduate school after graduation, “although probably not for English,” and hopes to continue combining his love for writing and audio production.
Reid Swartz is a graduate of Skaneateles High School, N.Y.