A new appreciation for public radio

By Joseph Ryder   

Thinking back on the last few months at WSHU, I’m struck by the breadth of reporting I’ve been able to participate in. I’ve covered presidential candidates multiple times, covered Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fight for paid family leave, covered the Long Island casino controversy extensively and produced a feature-length report on Long Island’s oyster farms.

This internship has helped give me the confidence to go out and be assertive in my reporting and interviewing. Getting to hear my stories and voice on NPR is a nice feeling, too.

Before last semester’s radio class at Stony Brook, I never really appreciated the radio format. After working at WSHU, I can honestly say I get most of my news in the car listening to WSHU and WNYC. I don’t have too much free time day to day, so the ability to get my fill of news, politics and features driving each day is awesome.

This newfound appreciation for radio has helped direct my course as a reporter and photographer. I’m happy to say that I will remain at WSHU as a freelance photographer and reporter moving forward.

I still have a lot to learn about radio, but through mentoring by Dan Katz, Terry Sheridan and Charles Lane, I feel that I’ve come a very long way in a very short time.

When I tracked my first story, about the VLT casino at Belmont Park, it took numerous times re-tracking to get something usable. This past week, when I tracked my oyster feature, it went extremely smoothly, and I nailed the tracking on my second go after fixing a small delivery issue.

I’m also comfortable with my voice after my work this semester. Last semester in the radio class, I cringed at hearing my voice, but I’ve grown comfortable with it and embrace it.

Radio is a fantastic medium, which, after this internship, I’ve grown to love. I’m excited for my future as a freelancer with WSHU, and I’m already working on an in-depth feature on the election process. I’ll be following the First Congressional District race closely and reporting from inside the campaigns of Democratic candidate Dave Calone and Republican incumbent Lee Zeldin.

I’m also preparing more feature pitches to submit to WSHU.

This internship has been a great experience, and I’m very happy to continue contributing to WSHU.