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Hearing the future

Posted at 10:17 AM on April 16, 2007 by Bill Wareham

I've been out of the newsroom for a couple of days, visiting Columbia University's journalism school, specifically the radio workshop class taught by John Dinges and Rick Karr.

Both fellows have distinguished bios - John is a former managing editor at NPR (the full bio is here) and Rick has done stints with NPR, PBS and more (full bio). But these guys may be doing their most important work ever at Columbia, where they're educating the next generation of radio journalists.

The heart of the radio workshop is the weekly webcast, which comes together every Friday during spring semester at 4 o'clock ET. This mix of daily news and features is a pretty good replication of what goes on daily at public radio stations across the country.

What impresses me every year is how good these students are, even if they're still a little rough around the edges. We've had several graduates of the program come through MPR (the latest, Jess Mador, started a couple of months ago), and all have been strong journalists.

You will be hearing many of these voices on public radio in coming years, but if you want to hear them now, the workshop archives its programs here.