I had the privilege of interviewing David Suro-Piñera, a Mexican immigrant whose life mission is to teach America the true culture surrounding agave spirits. Aside from his life goal, Suro-Piñera had more interesting elements to his story that I wanted to include. 

Our non-narrated radio piece was only three to four minutes. Mónica Ortiz Uribe, my mentor for the week, helped me remember to stay within our story angle. She agreed Suro-Piñera had a colorful story but every detail could not be included.

I believe this experience helped me sharpen my news judgment. There were many times we had to ask, ‘will this suit the story’ or ‘does this fit within the story angle.’ These questions led to a concise story about Suro-Piñera’s experience as an immigrant and the legacy he wants to leave behind.

I’ve always had trouble in the past narrowing down story details. It is ideal to want to include every piece of information, but deadlines are important as well. I’ve learned to produce the best story possible in the time allotted.

A second learning experience was the collaborative environment during this training. The non-narrated piece was a challenge. My mentor and I had to figure out how to tell a story without using narration. We also had to figure out how to order the story in a way that made sense. 

I will remember this experience because collaborative journalism can be tricky. I wanted to learn from my mentor, but I made sure to voice my ideas and suggestions in the reporting and production process. 

NPR Next Generation Radio training taught me how to work under pressure, meet deadlines, receive constructive criticism and have my voice heard. I leave with many memories that will help advance my career path. 

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