How A NPR Reporter Handled News Of Her Layoff By Incorporating It Into The News!

Ketzel Levine was a senior correspondent for National Public Radio until she got laid off. The irony in her situation is that she created a series for NPR that looked at how Americans were dealing with the economic decline. It was called “American Moxie: How We Get By” & it had just started in December! So when she received word that she would be laid off, Ketzel Levine included her own story in the final episode. Here’s more from NY Times:

“But there was an unexpected ending. Midway through her reporting, Ms. Levine found out that she had been laid off as part of a 64-employee cut at NPR.

Ms. Levine, who has worked at NPR since 1977, said she decided the final episode, and her final piece for NPR, should be about her own situation.

Ellen McDonnell, the director of morning programming, was not immediately sold on the idea. “I had some natural hesitation,” she said. “As a reporter, you never want the story to be about you.” At the same time, she said: “I also recognized a very unique opportunity for Ketzel to tell a story that lots of people can relate to. She found out in a very personal way what it’s like to have to start over again and to have that moxie she spoke about.”

The end result “was kind of eerie,” Ms. McDonnell said. “The whole concept that one person in the story would lead to another, and then it would all end with her, was not something any of us anticipated.”

In the short piece, which first ran last week just after a “Moxie” story about a Chicago landscaper, Ms. Levine took a personal approach. “It’s only today that I’m sane enough to tell you” about her having been laid off, she told listeners.

Ms. Levine, who lives in Portland, Ore., said she had no idea what she would do next. “Every story that we all do, we’re always looking for the perfect ending,” she said. “And suddenly it was handed to me. It was not one of my choosing, but as a storyteller, what could make a better story?”(End of Excerpt) Read the entire article here:(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/business/media/29levine.html?_r=2

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