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By Eric Sean Weld   Date: 6/1/09 Bookmark and Share

Radio Intern Learns, It's All About the Story

Growing up in Brunswick, Maine, Matthea Daughtry ’09 recalls a constant stream of National Public Radio (NPR) programs lacing the air. Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk and All Things Considered were a regular part of her life.

Matthea Daughtry, WFCR intern, on the air.

So last winter, when she saw an internship at WFCR, the Amherst NPR affiliate, advertised in the Career Development Office, she went for it.

“It was one of the best experiences I ever had,” said Daughtry recently, after completing the spring-semester internship and collecting her Smith diploma. “The highlight was seeing inside NPR. My family members are huge NPR fans, and it was wonderful to meet these amazing people working at an NPR station.”

Daughtry wrapped up the WFCR internship with a duo of radio interviews with Smith seniors (now graduates) Lucy Gent and Allison Chuang, who discussed their aspirations after leaving Smith.

“I put a lot into those pieces,” she said. The interviews aired on WFCR in the heavily trafficked morning slots on May 14 and 15, just before commencement weekend.

Conducting radio interviews was nothing new for Daughtry. She joined Smith’s student radio station, WOZQ 91.9, her first year here and founded the station’s news department, which she expanded through her senior year. As part of her job there, she sought out interviews with high-profile visitors to the area, such as Gloria Steinem ’56 and comedian Paula Poundstone.

Daughtry’s interest in media encompasses the visual as well as audio. A studio art major focusing on photography, she worked as a photojournalist for her hometown newspaper, the Times-Record, for several years. But she had been interested in radio long before coming to Smith.

“I eat, sleep and breathe radio,” she said. “I’ve always known I wanted to do radio.”

At WFCR, Daughtry gained a host of skills necessary for that career goal. “They taught me the ropes,” she said, such as editing and writing for radio under deadline, and how to best use a microphone during interviews.

Most importantly, Daughtry learned how to effectively convey a story, whether the subject is serious or light. She produced an enterprise segment early during her internship on the affordability of birth control for Five-College students. And as one of her final projects, WFCR sent her out for random interviews to teach her how to engage people and craft sound for a simple assignment.

Daughtry hopes to return to the Pioneer Valley in the fall, ideally to continue working in radio.

“At WFCR, they gave me the ability to appreciate the whole story, how to tell a story instead of just reporting the news, no matter what it’s about,” she said. “It’s all about the story.”


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