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“In the Time of COVID-19”

is a set of audio and digital stories highlighting the experiences of people whose lives have changed dramatically during the pandemic.
This project was produced in July 2020 in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland and conducted virtually. Our reporters are students and recent graduates in Oregon.

Kanani Cortez

Kanani Cortez is a student at Portland Community College, whose goal is to engage her community through media and to continue the tradition of storytelling through journalism. She is currently a production assistant/intern at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously she was managing editor and reporter for PCC’s student newspaper, The Bridge. Cortez is from South San Francisco, Calif., and feels most at home under the San Francisco fog.

Meaghan FitzPatrick

Meaghan FitzPatrick is a senior at the University of Oregon studying journalism, food studies and political science. She is passionate about telling stories, food and crime podcasts. Some of the stories Meaghan’s produced include profiles of an all female jiu-jitsu class, a radical anarchist turned chef and a cancer survivor who cooks dinners for dozens of cancer patients.  She aspires to some day host a podcast with Michelle Obama and teach people the importance of local journalism. When she’s not working, she enjoys painting, listening to Elton John and cooking.

Nick Gibson

Nick Gibson is a student at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. He’s a proud cat father, nature enthusiast, and avid mindfulness practitioner. He’s covered a wide range of topics including the first ever faculty strike at Clark, American Pika research, and the protests in Portland following the police killing of George Floyd. He plans on pursuing a career in broadcast journalism where he hopes to comfort the afflicted with his work.

Hanna Merzbach

Hanna Merzbach is a recent graduate of Lewis & Clark College, where she studied International Affairs and led the student-run newspaper, The Pioneer Log. When she’s not reporting for Street Roots, Portland’s weekly alternative newspaper that covers social justice issues, you can find her scaling rock walls or backpacking in the mountains. She plans to continue freelancing and pursue a career in international reporting. She hopes to master the Japanese language to connect with her Japanese heritage.

Angel Rosas

Angel Rosas is a recent graduate of Linfield College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and journalism. Angel worked as the managing editor for Linfield’s newspaper and as the news director for the college’s radio station. His hobbies include watching and discussing movies, listening to music, reading and writing poetry. Now, he is an aspiring journalist based in Portland, Oregon and hopes to cover local politics, homelessness, the environment and the arts.

About NextGenRadio

The Next Generation Radio Project is a week-long digital journalism training project designed to give competitively selected participants, who are interested in radio and journalism, the skills and opportunity to report and produce their own multimedia story. Those chosen for the project are paired with a professional journalist who serves as their mentor.

This edition of the #NPRNextGenRadio project was produced in collaboration with Oregon Public Broadcasting in July 2020.


Our audio engineer is Patrice Mondragon.
Our illustrators are Yunyi Dai and Ard Su.
Our visuals editor is Erica Lee.
Our web producer is Robert Boos.
Our managing editor is Traci Tong.
Our digital editor is Joanne Griffith.

Special thanks to our journalist-mentors this week:

  • Tiffany Camhi, Host/Reporter, OPB, Portland, OR;
  • Gabriela Saldivia, Producer, NPR One, Washington, DC;
  • Jane Greenhalgh, Senior Producer/Editor, Science Desk, NPR, Portland, OR;
  • Liz Miller, Reporter, OPB, Portland, OR;
  • Donald Orr, General Assignment, OPB, Portland, OR.

NPR’s Next Generation Radio program is directed by its founder, Doug Mitchell.

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