Things I learned listening to NPR this month

I’m borderline obsessed with NPR.

I’ve listened to Morning Edition (almost) every weekday since I graduated from college. I learn what’s happening in the world while I put on my makeup or eat breakfast. It’s easy to access, easy to understand, easy to consume — three things that I believe are key for creating loyal news consumers.

I feel like Benedict Arnold typing this.

Career-wise, I’m a newspaper girl. I’ve worked or interned for seven newspapers in my career. I firmly believe that local newspapers do some of the best reporting in the country.

But I don’t think they do a good job of getting the word out about that reporting.

And they know that. As an editor at the News & Observer puts it: At newspapers, we grow great squash. But now, we have to learn how to get it to the market ourselves, rather than relying on people to walk by our front porch and pick it up.

NPR also has great squash (as opposed to the Krispy Kreme fluff you see some outlets put out). They just do a better job of getting it to market. As a newspaper girl, I’ll continue to listen … and try to steal their methods.


Here’s what I learned from NPR this month:

John Grisham keeps a running list of names he can use in his novels. He says there are about 200 names in every novel (seems like an exaggeration, John), and he doesn’t like to use the same name twice. He’s always looking for names that are unusual, easy to pronounce and not made up. Can I suggest Pressley?

People who think and talk about tech companies use FAMGA to refer to Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Not that catchy. I also discovered that FANG (Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google) is a popular acronym.

Chance the Rapper is only 24. What?!

Illinois has not passed a state budget in two years … and because of that, the lottery is leaving the state.

Renowned designer Frank Lloyd Wright’s beautiful houses kinda sucked, in terms of functionality.

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick once berated one of his Uber drivers who he felt wasn’t doing a good job. Come on, Travis; PR 101.