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Kelly McEvers: People Want To Hear These Stories In Longform


Kelly McEvers is best known as the West Coast host of NPR's All Things Considered. But she's also just launched a podcast, called Embedded, to take listeners even deeper into the stories they hear each day on NPR. Our reporter Julia Ritchey talked with McEvers on her latest endeavor. Below are some excerpts of their conversation.

On the story she wanted more time to tell: “One of the first stories we thought about [for Embedded], something happened in the news, where police here in Los Angeles on Skid Row shot and killed and unarmed, black homeless man. We knew we weren’t going to solve the riddle of that case, because the police were going to take months to release their reports. But we also knew it was a moment when a lot of people were talking about policing. …We thought: Wouldn’t it be interesting to spend a bunch of time with the police and ask them how they do their job?”

On why the first few episodes have tackled heavier subjects: “It’s just the kind of stuff I’m drawn to, I don’t know what my problem is. …People still want to be entertained, fair enough… but you gotta take your broccoli, I mean hopefully it isn’t broccoli like in the old-fashioned way, hopefully I’ve dressed it up with a little parmesan and garlic.”

On smaller stations getting into podcasts: “If  you’re in your car, you might listen to 10 minutes of news, but if really want to dig in and hear some stuff about your own community in a deeper way, I think people are responding to it. People want to hear these stories in longform.”  

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.