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.

Contact

Word of Mouth Program Page

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Word of Mouth
9:03 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Terminate the ARC?

Photo Credit Mr.T in DC, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Have you ever picked a paperback from a used bookstore or library shelf, and seen the words “uncorrected proof: not for sale” on the cover?  If so, chances are you were looking at an advanced readers copy, or “arc” – an early draft of a book that publishers sent out to reviewers, bloggers, and yes, radio stations in hopes of attracting media coverage.  The thing is, arcs don’t disappear after review, and not every author appreciates unedited version of works floating about in literary circles…we wanted to pull back the curtain on this one small part of the publishing industry – so we called

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Word of Mouth
8:33 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Manipulating Climate Change

Photo Credit FlyingSinger, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Two Harvard professors are developing a proposal for a first-of-its-kind field experiment in geo-engineering… a trial balloon that would release chemical particles into the atmosphere.  Their hope?  To better understand the effectiveness and dangers of technology designed to manually reverse climate change.  Henry Fountain covere

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Word of Mouth
1:40 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Hacking the Plough

CIMMYT via Flickr Creative Commons

Produced with Zach Nugent

The community-based organization Farm Hack brings together innovative farmers, technology designers, and hackers to approach agricultural challenges without the top-down energy-intensive tools used in mainstream mega-farming. Farm Hack uses both online and face-to-face meetings to encourage and share  creative methods among small farms all over the country. Ben Shute joins us, he is a New York state farmer and co-founder of Farm Hack.

Word of Mouth
11:19 am
Tue July 24, 2012

When Young Girls Grow Up Too Fast, Keep Them in Ballet Class

Oude School via Flickr Creative Commons

Parents of girls dread the moment when freckles and flats first make way for lipstick and heels - when soon-to-be-teen girls start flirting with adult styles and sensibilities.  A new study reveals there’s one activity that might help shelter young girls from the cultural rite of sexualization for a few more years… ballet. 

Word of Mouth
10:47 am
Tue July 24, 2012

The Prose of a Practitioner

rosefirerising via Flickr Creative Commons

Literary journals offer aspiring writers a window into the process of professional publishing and immersion in the community of writers. They are a mainstay of MFA programs, and as well as a number of graduate and post-grad programs in the sciences. We wanted to know more about the creative lives of America’s future practitioners after leafing through Lifelines. That’s Dartmouth Medical School’s arts journal.

Word of Mouth
2:11 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Four Keys to Kickstarter

AslanMedia

Produced with Zach Nugent

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Word of Mouth
10:41 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Kickstarting Public Radio

Photo Credit 401 (K) 2012, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Before and after every successful NHPR fund drive, we ask ourselves this question: is this the best model for raising awareness, interest, and excitement in the service we provide?  How do we continue reaching out and relating to new audiences with today’s listening technology?  Regardless of the answers, those questions are one reason we’ve been keeping such a close eye on Roman Mars, creator and host of 99 Percent Invisible: an independent radio podcast about design and architecture tha

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Word of Mouth
10:20 am
Mon July 23, 2012

A Very Public Choice

Photo Credit sxyblkmn, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Maggie Koerth-Baker is a science journalist, author, and blogger for Boing-Boing, where she usually writes about the convergence of science and technology with culture. But it was a blog she posted recently, which diverged from her typical subject matter, which prompted us to ask her to return as a guest to the program.

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Word of Mouth
10:00 am
Mon July 23, 2012

The Return of People

Photo Credit Guillermo Esteves, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Old media’s long and steady decline has most recently been blamed on the developer-laden world of aggregate sites like BuzzFeed, where an increasingly attention-deficit audience turns for the latest clever soundbite or viral story. But hope may not be lost for the human element online, says our next guest. Dorian Benkoil is senior vice president at Teeming Media.

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Word of Mouth
11:00 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Word of Mouth 7.21.2012

Photo Credit Atelier Teee, via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Part 1: A Horse of Exactly the Same Color and Jumping for Gold...Someday

Produced with Zach Nugent

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Word of Mouth
10:35 am
Thu July 19, 2012

"Miss Fuller"

Photo Credit sdixclifford, via Flickr Creative Commons

Produced with Emma Ruddock

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Word of Mouth
10:14 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Memorable Atrocious Artists

Photo Credit Michel.h, via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s the hope of most artists that someday their work will be recognized by the masses, admired by historians, and remembered by all. For a select few, two out of three will have to do. Our regular guest Clay Wirestone compiled a list of the most well-known but worst-received artists of all time for Mental Floss Magazine.  Clay is also arts editor at the Concord Monitor, and he joined us in our studio to rundown a few of history’s most memorable creative fails.

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Word of Mouth
10:13 am
Wed July 18, 2012

ZOOsk

Photo Credit Sad Diego Shooter, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Remember how people used to joke about online dating? What once was an easy target for digs about desperate singles and social pariahs is now a success story for oodles of couples and dozens of highly profitable dating services.  Among the unabashed masses of online daters these days is an unlikely demographic – the animal kingdom. Reyhan Harmancy is a staffer at Buzzfeed, where she wrote about how zoos use online dating methods to profile and pair species together. 

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Word of Mouth
9:57 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Terrorists in Love

Few people have gotten further under the skin and into the minds of Islamic Jihadis than  Ken Ballen. The formal federal prosecutor and congressional investigator spent five years interviewing more than one hundred terrorists throughout the Muslim world. Some were locked up, many being held in a rehab center of sorts in Saudi Arabia…others were still operating. He chose six of their stories for his book, Terrorists in Love, which is now out in paperback.

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Word of Mouth
8:40 am
Wed July 18, 2012

The laws of attraction based on bad data?

Photo Credit USDAgov, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Angus Batemen’s mid-twentieth century study into the breeding habits of fruit flies concluded that females are a limiting factor in reproduction – in other words, they are choosy about mates – while males are sexually indiscriminate. Sound familiar?  Batmen’s paper on sexual selection has been cited nearly two-thousand times since its original publication. His ideas have trickled into popular portrayals and jokes about   prudish, commitment-centric women and indiscriminate, sex-hungry men.

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