Meet Our Reporters

Britny Cordera

Britny Cordera is a poet and journalist based in St. Louis Missouri. She teaches creative writing with the St. Louis Poetry Center and helps build capacity for storytelling nonprofits in the area. Her goal is to empower communities to act on climate solutions by reporting on environmental justice and culture. Her work can be found in Grist Fix, The New Territory, Atmos, and Next City. When she is not doing journalism, or writing poetry, Britny connects with her inner child watching anime and roller skating.

Climate change is human

Patch of green pawpaw  down by the spring for a child’s forest park   Will live on this land forever for the story bearers  to listen to   if we still know  the custard-fruit’s name when we taste it again.   Human change is climate    The farmer...

Jaz’min Franks

Jaz’min Franks is a freelance visual storyteller based in St. Louis, Missouri. She is heavily inspired by sharing community perspectives and exploring the intersection of history and art. Franks was born and raised in St. Louis and is a graduate of St. Louis Community College. She is also the proud mother of a 9-month-old daughter, Sina Rai, and an orchestra aficionado after playing string instruments for nearly a decade.

Diminishing Comfort Zones

As I sit back and reflect on the week we’ve had here together I’m filled with gratitude. I came into this program wanting to learn the ins and outs of photojournalism but also to create meaningful relationships. Not once have I felt alone in this process and If I ever...

Kathleen Lees

Kathleen Lees is an ESL teacher and freelance writer. She writes for the Webster-Kirkwood Times, St. Louis Sprout & About, and other local publications in the St. Louis area. She has previously done work for Scientific American and Columbia Medicine. She loves to tell stories and wants to be back in journalism full time. Kathleen loves playing the piano, spending time with her husband and cat Mimi, and misses traveling internationally.

Looking to My Past to Hear My Future

I listen to NPR every day, and I saw that Next Generation Radio was coming to St. Louis. I majored in journalism, and I do a little freelance today, but I really wanted to get back into the field full time. I currently work as an ESL instructor for Parkway Schools at...

Meena Viswanathan

Meena Viswanathan is a creative freelance writer with extensive content development experience in print and online media. She earned her business degree from the University of Madras, India and began her career at Bull’s Eye, a biweekly magazine published in Chennai. She has also written for Memphis Parent and other local publications. She is a voracious reader. Her library card reads, “Eat Sleep Read Repeat.” It is a motto she lives by.

A window to the world of learning

Namaste, I simply bow to you all for this wonderful opportunity to learn and grow from this training program with NPR’s NextGenRadio in St. Louis. St. Louis Public Radio’s slogan is “Understanding Starts Here.” I felt this reflected my experience throughout this...

Phillip A. Clark

Phillip Clark is a graphic designer working with the digital team of NPR’s Next Gen Radio. Using design as a tool for visual storytelling is his primary goal, along with exploring and finding new tools to create with. Phillip is currently a graphic design intern with the non-profit TurnUp Activism. He recently graduated with a degree in design from San Francisco State University and is currently in Saint Louis, MO, where he was born and raised. He currently is interested in working on funky old cars, accidentally deleting System32, playing chicken in traffic with his bike and film photography.

Time Flew By!

I applied for the Next Gen Radio digital mentee program uncertain of what to expect. One thing I knew was that 5 days is a short amount of time for such a project and that there would be a high volume of work needed done in that time frame. I came into the project...

Walter Thomas-Patterson

Walter Thomas-Patterson is a student at Oberlin College & Conservatory in Ohio pursuing majors in Latin American studies and piano performance. On-campus, he serves as the founder and editor of the Conservatory section for his college paper, the Oberlin Review.

Walter is passionate about highlighting underrepresented, midwestern stories that complicate the narratives around political issues. He is currently working as a writer for The Nation magazine, reporting how protesters outside of the sole Planned Parenthood clinic in Fairview Heights, Illinois have made it difficult for patients to access care.

The power of slowing down

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of triumphs and challenges as I make my foray into audio journalism through the NextGenRadio project.  This journey put my journalism skills to the test. After I submitted my initial application, I was tasked with going...

Zach Stafford

Zachary Stafford is an educator, documentary filmmaker, and lifelong lover of all things radio. Born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, he studied geology and ornithology at Westminster College, and has a background in conservation work. He’s currently working on Shady, an educational documentary on a paleontology crew digging up a 66-million-year-old triceratops in the Badlands of South Dakota. In his free time, Stafford enjoys bird watching and adding to his rock and mineral collection. Stafford is a two-birds, one-stone kind of person.

Reporters Super Powers

Over the past week, the program at NextGenRadio has pushed me to new leaps and bounds. Coming into this, I had little background in reporting and being in the media. I was weary of my performance in the program and I felt like an imposter sneaking in. Thankfully, when...