Oregonian Emily Harris to host dynamic online and daily radio program
Oregon Public Broadcasting announced today that it will launch Think Out Loud, a new and engaging local online and daily radio broadcast in mid-January. Emily Harris, who most recently served as the NPR foreign correspondent in Berlin, and David Miller, a veteran radio producer, will host the daily program at 9am weekdays starting in January.
“Think Out Loud is designed to be the spark that starts discussions and the flame that keeps them burning. It builds on recent initiatives including our opbnews.org, an online news site that is gaining in popularity, our newly established Central Oregon news bureau and the OPB Public Insight Network, which is harnessing the experience and expertise of average citizens in the news gathering process,” said OPB President Steve Bass.
Think Out Loud will strive to engage individuals in a participatory program that explores the issues, ideas and culture that make our region a unique and vibrant place.
Think Out Loud will celebrate the fact that in the Pacific Northwest we are independent thinkers, who have a unique outlook, with a strong sense of place and of community. We are a place that values civil discourse, where people with different and strongly independent views talk - and listen - to each other.
“These discussions and the search for solutions will be the centerpiece of Think Out Loud,” said Morgan Holm, OPB’s vice president of news & information.
Emily Harris, who grew up in Oregon, will return home to host the on-air program, after a distinguished reporting career that has taken her to Iraq, Russia, and most recently to Berlin as a European correspondent for NPR. For her work in Iraq, she shared in NPR’s 2004 George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of the war. Harris grew up in Portland, attended Chapman Elementary School, Harriet Tubman Middle School and Lincoln High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, in Russian and East European studies, and speaks Russian and German. Her grasp of global issues and her strong ties to the Pacific Northwest make her the ideal on-air host of Think Out Loud.
“I have seen, all over the globe, how people react to the world through the lens of their local experience, and how much humans want to learn and talk about how events, happening anywhere, affect them,” Harris said. “After all my travels, my favorite places remain in Oregon, and my inner belief remains that what happens here matters.”
A unique feature of Think Out Loud will be the key role of the online host, who will lead discussions online and on air. David Miller, who has worked on everything from long-form radio documentaries to the recent daily radio show “Open Source,” is a leader at the intersection of radio and online conversation. As Think Out Loud’s online host, he will travel regularly to different communities in the region, seeking new voices and fresh perspectives. Miller graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English.
“I’m so excited to be a part of this new show because of both my own mandate to foster a more perfect union of Internet and radio, as well as the larger mission of creating a raucous and civil, vibrant and engaging regional conversation,” Miller said.
Eve Epstein, who will serve as executive producer of Think Out Loud, was the senior editor for the public radio business show “Marketplace” before coming to OPB as the senior producer for the 13-part radio series Unfinished Journey: The Lewis and Clark Expedition. She is a graduate of Princeton University, and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Rounding out the Think Out Loud team is senior producer Sarah Rothenfluch, former producer of the daily call-in show “These Days” on KPBS/San Diego. Originally from Canada, Sarah worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) as a radio producer for numerous shows including the daily radio program “This Morning.” Sarah is a graduate of Victoria College, University of Toronto, with a degree in English, and received a bachelor of applied arts in journalism from Ryerson Polytechnic University, in Toronto, Canada.
Jim Russell, who assisted OPB in the talent search for Think Out Loud, is a creative advisor to the program.
Scott Silver, OPB’s Public Insight Network (PIN) analyst, will be working closely with Think Out Loud to expand the list of sources from around the state who can contribute their experiences and firsthand knowledge to deepen conversations. Since its launch on September 5, more than 1,000 people have signed up to join OPB’s Public Insight Network.
Support for Think Out Loud comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which awarded OPB a $325,000 grant to create a prototype program that marries the potential of online media to expand reach and engagement with the power and intimacy of radio conversation. As part of the CPB grant, OPB will work with four West Coast stations (KUOW in Seattle, KQED in San Francisco, KPBS in San Diego and Northwest Public Radio in Pullman, Wash.) to explore how public radio can better serve its audience using new technologies to expand discussions and engage communities. The grant from CPB underwrites the cost of program development and on-air operations for the first few months of the program. Additional funds will be sought from individuals, corporations and foundations to provide long-term support for Think Out Loud.
Think Out Loud is the latest addition to OPB’s local news department, under the direction of Morgan Holm. Holm oversees OPB’s local news operation and produces local radio and television news/public affairs programming, as well as local news content for opbnews.org.
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to the community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, more than 1.5 million people tune in to or log onto OPB’s television, radio and internet services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. OPB is one of the largest producers and presenters of national television programming through PBS, and is also a member station of NPR, Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM). The OPB web site is opb.org.