My Week Attending NPR NextGenRadio – Texas Newsroom 2020
By Daisy Espinoza

Wow! Where do I begin? Preparing for this week was just as eventful as the week itself, so I might as well start there.

I’m so thankful that Raymond Ruiz is my mentor at the University of Houston. We met back in October this year, and look at us working at NextGenRadio now! He was not my mentor for this project, but he’s the reason I applied to NextGenRadio’s awesome project. 

After making the final cut, I had photos AND video prepared the Monday before the project during an introduction meeting with my subject. We met and I could tell he was going to need more time to feel comfortable sharing personal information. With that said, we stayed in communication throughout the week. 

Before the week, I also met with my mentor Alejandra Martinez, a Report For America corps member at KERA. She is just amazing. The last night of the project, we unwinded and FaceTimed over dinner. This week, we were jumping from one assignment to the other that we didn’t have time to chat about her career or personal matters. I honestly believe we were paired up together based on our character, because we worked so well together. 

Throughout the week, Ale and I were marking assignments off of our checklists, which felt so relieving each time. On the first day, the entire team was in the field with my subject’s official interview. My illustrator, visuals team, sound engineer and my mentor were all hooked into my phone stand on a FaceTime call where they could see and hear the conversation. Here I am, with my camera bag, backpack, two tripods and my purse going into the office for an interview with an attorney who’s probably saying “that’s a lot to carry.” We had a great conversation and called it a day. 

The next day and the following were the biggest days of all. I had 30 minutes to memorize a script, check out equipment on campus and drive to the courthouse to complete my standup! It took me 30 minutes to arrive on campus, so I didn’t make the deadline, but I did memorize my script in half an hour, which made me really proud of myself. I used Adobe Audition for the first time with Selena Seay-Reynolds, which was not complicated at all. 

Overall, I was paired with amazing people who care about helping others grow, and I fully admire this team for that. This project was my first experience with radio production, and I loved everything about it.