Virginia Prescott

Host, Word of Mouth

Prior to joining NHPR, Virginia Prescott was editor and producer for the nationally syndicated programs On Point and Here & Now, produced at WBUR in Boston. Virginia grew up in New Hampshire, but began her radio career at WWOZ Radio in New Orleans. She moved to New York City and worked for the team behind NPR’s Peabody Award-winning Jazz from Lincoln Center series with Ed Bradley. Virginia then joined WNYC to launch the station’s website and oversee all its interactive media sites. Throughout her radio career, Virginia helped set up independent radio stations in developing regions in southern and West Africa. She has also trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the former Yugoslavia. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University where she studied how broadcast media could spark dialogue and build community across terrestrial borders.

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Word of Mouth Program Page

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Word of Mouth
10:00 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Word of Mouth 10.06.2012

623 via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Data's Dirty Little Secret

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Word of Mouth
1:27 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

The Debate Gets Graded

DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

Last night, millions watched, listened, or otherwise followed last night’s the first debate between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Romney appears the clear winner on Twitter, in snap polls, and even in President Obama’s campaign. Yesterday we spoke to Laura Rochette, co-advisor of the debate team at St. Paul’s School, the prep school where Massachusetts Senator John Kerry got his debating chops.

Word of Mouth
12:06 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

What Color was Christ?

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If you grew up in a religious home with a portrait of Jesus on the wall, he was probably portrayed as brown-haired, brown eyed, and Caucasian.  But have you ever wondered why a Judaic man born in the Middle East would look like an aquiline-nosed Northern European?  Edward J. Blum is a professor of history at San Diego State University, and along with Paul Harvey, is author of “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America".  

Word of Mouth
10:34 am
Wed October 3, 2012

The Art of Debate...In High School

SanFranAnnie via Flickr Creative Commons

Tonight the country will get a chance to witness a quadrennial spectacle, the first of three presidential debates. There are many examples of debates that have shifted, even defined Presidential campaigns, sometimes, just because of a memorable turn of phrase.

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Word of Mouth
10:25 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Downton Abbey's New England Connection

neilalderney123 via Flickr Creative Commons

American audiences will have to wait until January before the popular drama, Downton Abbey returns to PBS.

Word of Mouth
10:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Flight of the Living Dead

me'nthedogs via Flickr Creative Commons

Since 2006, Colony Collapse Disorder has drastically reduced honey bee populations across North America. In California, there’s another emerging threat to the hive that’s straight out of a B-horror film (see what we did there?), a parasite that’s turning honey bees into mindless automatons, or as they’re being called by some, “zom-bees." 

Word of Mouth
3:31 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

The Secret Servers

Sebastian Hillig via Flickr Creative Commons

Every Google search, every saved photograph, streamed song, text message and each stroke of the e-mail send button is served and stored on a digital infrastructure that is – to the end user – invisible.  The New York Times has spent a year investigating the tens of thousands of data centers that support the information industry, and discovered a secretive, power-sucking infrastructure sharply at odds with its sleek, e

Word of Mouth
5:25 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

The Placebo Effect's Evil Twin: The Nocebo Effect

Virginia Guard Public Affairs via Flickr Creative Commons

If you break a 30-second drug  commercial into parts, you’d hear about 7 seconds of why you should be taking a product, followed by a breathless lists of potential side effects and “ask your doctor today!” That list of potential side effects satisfy legal obligations, but doesn’t stop millions of people from making pharmaceuticals a multi-billion dollar business.  Still, the mind is a powerful thing – and new research shows that informing patients about possible side-effects makes them more likely to experience them.  It’s a phenomenon called “the nocebo effect”.  Chris Berdik is a

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Word of Mouth
5:06 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Emergence of the Modern Infographic

Historical Geography
John F. Smith

From apps for avoiding heavy traffic to the latest polling data in the presidential race  -- infographics are visual shorthand for data in the post-newspaper slash social media slash sound byte age.  Several sources credit the digital age for giving birth to infographics and others cite the publication of USA Today’s “Snapshots” beginning in 1982.  Susan Schulten begs to differ.

Word of Mouth
4:39 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Something To Look At: Raw Data Transformed

CartoDb's 'Stop and Frisk' map
CARTODB

Last week, WNYC's John Keefe visited NHPR. He heads that station’s new Datanews group, and demonstrated some truly illuminating interactive data maps for us. One map of New York reveals that the blocks where the highest number of stop and frisk gun searches are conducted by the NYPD, are not the places where stopping and frisking actually results in seizing a gun. So, using graphics to illustrate raw data can add value to news stories, or become the story itself.

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Word of Mouth
4:45 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Word of Mouth 09.29.2012

Credit sameold2010 via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: The Bad Science of the Left/Tweeting Political Poems

Think the right has cornered the market on denying science? No way, says Alex Berezow. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is co-author of the book Science Left Behind: Feel Good Falacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left. 

and

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Word of Mouth
1:40 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Fatoumata Diawara

retorta_net via Flickr Creative Commons

West African singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has a back story not unlike many of today’s cosmopolitan Africans. She was born in Ivory Coast to parents from Mali and now lives in Paris. She’s a stage and film actress, singer, and songwriter. There's a world of experience that shines through on her album ‘Fatou’ which plays to her roots, but retains an infectious western pop sensibility.  Fatoumata and her band are playing tonight at the Dana Center, St.

Word of Mouth
12:25 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Should Politicians Take Heed of Refs' Return?

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Football fans are rejoicing today at news that the National Football League finally reached a deal with referees… their lockout put replacement refs at the center of a pop culture firestorm.

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Word of Mouth
11:31 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Is Being More Vulnerable a Better Way to Live?

francistoms

Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher and a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and author of several books. Her most recent book, Daring Greatly  expands on themes she discussed in two TED talks that have been viewed more than seven million of time.  In a nutshell, it is by fully owning our vulnerability and we forge strong connections to others.

Check out Dr. Brené Brown's TED talk:

Word of Mouth
1:31 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Fast Food Jobs Should Count for Something

djwhelan via Flickr Creative Commons

Mitt Romney and President Obama frequently remind us, jobs and the economy are the issues of the 2012 presidential race. The loss of an estimated 3 million manufacturing since 2000 has carved a deep hole in the American economy. Many manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, taking a toll on the middle class wages that once anchored the American economy.

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