Inside NHPR

Minnesota Historical Society

On a Monday morning the weather more closely resembled Martin Luther King Jr’s hometown of Atlanta, than it did downtown Concord. But the heat and humidity didn’t discourage those who had gathered at the statehouse for the historic bill signing.

Meet NHPR's Newsroom

Jun 4, 2014

Want to know more about the voices behind NHPR's news coverage? Meet our reporters, and check out the links to their stories below.

Sarah Ashworth, News Director

An archive is only as good as the data it captures. This is a thorny issue that archivists grapple with perennially. There wasn’t a lot of information about this week’s story in our records.

The Exchange on the Road
with Laura Knoy

July 10, 2014

5:30 pm Reception; 6:30 pm Event

Colonial Theatre, Bethlehem, NH

The event is free to attend, but tickets are required. Register for tickets here.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

Barbara & Dick Couch and Tillman & Sylvia Gerngross have offered NHPR $10,000 when we secure 20 new or increased gifts to the Leadership Circle by June 30th – that’s $500 for each gift!

Leadership Circle gifts make such a difference to NHPR! Want to learn more & check out the benefits you'll receive at different levels? You can do that here.

Watch videos of Leadership Circle members talking about why they love NHPR, where they listen, and what it means to give:

Photo by Marsmet523, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Memorial Day is probably the most archives-centric holiday in the year. While many holidays are a flush of personal memories and family traditions, Memorial Day is more about our collective memory as fellow countrymen. And archives are a conduit to our collective memory. 

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

I was listening back this week to New Hampshire Daily, a half hour NH news program we aired from October, 1989 to February, 1992. I was listening to the programs from the week of 14 May, 1990. Among the news of the day (including the death of Jim Hensen, and Lithuania’s independence negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev) was a four part series we produced about the Canterbury Shaker Village.

For our week-long series A Matter of Degrees, NHPR reporters and programs produced stories about the issues facing colleges and universities throughout New Hampshire.

This first map links to most of the content. Play arrow icons represent radio and video stories, stars are web-only and print features.

via Q1045

This week NHPR is taking a close look at higher education in the state with our special series A Matter of Degrees. But funding higher ed is a perennial issue that we've been tracking for almost as long as we've been broadcasting.  

This week, I'm packing up another batch of old tape reels from the NHPR archive, which I'll send to Crawford Media in Atlanta for digitization (or "migration", as they call it). I'll be documenting the process on the blog, so check back next week to see how it's moving. We worked with them last spring to digitize about 300 of our tape reels, courtesy of the American Archive Content Inventory Project (more below).

On the 450th anniversary of the birth of the language's greatest writer, it seems appropriate to reflect on the work of William Shakespeare. 

In 2005, the Blackfriars Stage Company brought their tour to New Hampshire. We welcomed two actos from the company to our studios to speak with the Front Porch. Alyssa Wilmoth and Tyler Moss were playing Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and they gave us a little taste of their craft; from Act 1, Scene 1.

Here is a scene from Act 4 where the two characters explore different feelings.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

The 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow awards winners have been announced, with NHPR capturing four in our region.

For Feature Reporting, Word of Mouth Producer Zach Nugent won for his story The Search For The Next Big Dog Star, which followed regular dogs as they auditioned for the role of Sandy in Prescott Park's production of Annie. 

wallyg / Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, we remember the many stories of heartbreak and of courage that abound at the time and have transpired since.

On a September evening 25 years ago a sold out crowd of logophiles gathered at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth to hear the state's preeminent poets speak in their native tongue. The program for the evening featured just four names, but a weighty four: Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Maxine Kumin and Charles Simic.

Courtesy Adam Adam Hammer via WikiMedia

Alice’s Restaurant was published nearly 30 years ago, the iconic song that gave the album its name is about the goings on at a restaurant owned by Alice and Ray Brock. Around the corner from the restaurant was the Old Trinity Church, which they made into their home. Ten years ago, Kate McNally, host of NHPR’s Folk Show on Sunday nights, spoke with Arlo Guthrie at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington, Ma, now site of the Guthrie Center. This week we’ll listen back to her interview with the folk music icon.

Fake screenshot by Keith Allen Chick

Public radio has a long history of pranking listeners on April 1st. Like the time listeners complained in droves to NPR about a story on farming whales in huge pools in Bellesville Illinois. And that time Weekend ATC reported the exciting discovery of Beethoven's lost 10th Symphony. 

It's Robert Frost's birthday!

Born in 1874, Frost was the first U.S. Poet Laureate with connections to the Granite State though he was followed by Maxine Kumin, Donald Hall and Charles Simic,who all reinforced the Granite State's literary reputation.

In 2004, the Center for Women in Government released a report about women in top appointed positions in all 50 state governments. NH ranked last in percentage of such appointments. After a back and forth with Gov. Craig Benson’s office, NHPR's Raquel Maria Dillon reports, an updated survey then placed NH seventh. / Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s town meeting time! A storied tradition in northern New England, and in New Hampshire especially. This week I found an old interview with Dartmouth College professor of history, Jere Daniell. He spoke with an unidentified NHPR reporter in July, 1994. Daniell has made close study of our town meeting and the history of the institution.

The roots of town meeting go back three centuries and have evolved over time. Once viewed as an extension of the old boys network which governed many towns, it enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the early 20th century. 

NHPR's Health Reporter Todd Bookman was awarded second place in the 2013 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism by the Association of Health Care Journalists. The organization recognized Todd's series Planning For The End: A Look At Advance Directives in the small market Consumer/Feature category.

Sherwin Sleeves for NHPR

You know our very own Sean Hurley. He's the voice behind some of NHPR's most memorable stories, like the one about that soccer game in Sandwich, and that one about the guy building his very own castle

Ten years ago this week, Rev. Gene Robinson officially became the first openly gay bishop in history. He was elected in June, 2003 and on 7 March, 2004  he was "invested" at a ceremony where the previous bishop (Rev. Douglas Theuner) formally handed the shepherd's crook to him.

  Just days before the investiture, Robinson spoke with John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch about his election, and the controversy that followed in and around the Episcopal Church. They discuss the transition and what his plans are taking the church forward.

Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.


Have you hugged a President this week? Steve Wood has. As a card-carrying member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, Wood assumes the garb, voice and character of the country’s 16th President to educate people about Lincoln’s life and legacy.

Carl Van Vechten

Nashua resident Rawn Spearman (1920-2009) was a long-standing student of Harlem renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The actor and baritone singer, spent time at MacDowell Colony working on a documentary about Hughes. And in 2001 was awarded the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award by Gov. Shaheen. 

In 1997, he organized a performance of  Ask Your Mama, 12 Moods for Jazz,  Hughes epic poem, designed to be performed with music. Spearman's performance at the Capital Center for the Arts sold out.

Justice & Journalism: NPR's Mara Liasson

Feb 10, 2014

A Joint Project of NHPR and the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy

NHPR and the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy are pleased to bring you the next event in our ongoing series, Justice & Journalism.  This ongoing series presents a range of speakers throughout the year to discuss the intersection of justice and journalism and share experiences related to the media’s coverage of public policy and law.

Bob McQuillen composed and performed contra dances for over 60 sixty years throughout New England. The Peterborough resident passed away on Tuesday after suffering a stroke over the weekend.

McQuillen spoke with NHPR's John Walters on the Front Porch shortly after being awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Movimiento base/CC

Later this week, Bode Miller will become just the sixth American to participate in five Winter Olympics.

Back in 2002, NHPR's Doug MacPherson profiled the young athlete as he was preparing for his second (in Utah).

We'll be keeping an eye on NH's medal hopefuls in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye here.

And the winners are....


Once again, the team walked away with the trophy of knowledge, defending their title from last year.  But it was a close competition.  

Thank you to everyone who helped make the event a successful and fun evening.   Start practicing now for next year and sign up for our enewsletter so you'll know when to expect NHPR's Trivia Smackdown 2015!

In February, 1995, violinist Roman Totenberg performed with the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra. He joined NHPR ahead of the concerts on our Perspectives program and spoke with host Laura Kiernan.