Audie’s path to becoming the co-host of NPR’s signature program, All Things Considered, began with a daily radio newscast on WMUA at UMass Amherst.
I did not know I wanted to be a journalist when I first stepped on campus at all. What steered me in a certain direction didn't come until maybe sophomore year. Nicholas McBride in the Journalism Department said it's OK for you to like a lot of things. And there is actually a job out there for someone like you who is smart about a bunch of things, but maybe doesn't want to specialize in any one thing. When I went to the first meeting for the radio news department at WMUA way, I thought, oh, these are my people. We decided to create a news department that would put on a daily half-hour show plus two newscasts, which now that I am in this business, I'm like, that is crazy. I don't know what we were thinking. After I graduated, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I actually got a call from a place I had interned at, WBUR in Boston. And I said to him, OK, I think I want to come back. But do you think I'll ever get to do any reporting? But I thought if I could just get in the door, they won't be able to stop me. After being at WBUR. I was actually hired by NPR to be their Southern reporter. The most exciting part of that time culminated in the night Barack Obama accepted the nomination. And I thought about my very first stories at UMass. How one of the things that drew me to journalism and being a reporter was being able to not just walk into the center of a room or a story, but walk all the way to the front. And so after covering the election, one of their hosts was leaving at All Things Considered. And someone told me, if you ever think that you're ready for a job, it's probably too late. There was a lot of fear, but it was the kind of fear that you have when you are about to skydive maybe. Like you'll probably make it. My UMass education is actually quite important to me. It opened every single door. And when I meet other alums, I feel like they have that little bit of an edge that's like, I'm going to push a little bit further. That's what I associate UMass with. I'm Audie Cornish, host of NPR's All Things Considered. I stand for storytelling, and I stand for UMass