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China 2006

How many people does it take to make radio?

Kai Ryssdal Jan 14, 2006

So it occurs to me…as we’re wait to check in for our flight to Chongqing…that you might not be aware of who’s here actually helping the show get on the air. It’s our fault, I suppose. We’ve all been blogging, but I don’t think we’ve really introduced ourselves. Allow me…

Deborah Clark is our project producer. She’s been working with Marketplace for ten years, five full time and five as an occasional free-lancer. Deb started on the China project back in June (!). Anything that happens with the project she’s involved with somehow, from budgets to logistics to editorial content. We see her with her cell phone stuck to her ear a lot, talking to the Marketplace staff back home – our show producers and the executive producer, JJ Yore.

Nate DiMeo is a staff producer at Marketplace, and he’s been doing a good part of the heavy lifting for us. He made our initial scouting trip back in August, spent most of November in Shanghai reporting and producing various segments and elements that you’ve heard – or will hear next week. And he’s gone ahead to Chongqing to get us a bit of a leg up as we head into a week of the afternoon show.

Brett Neely is our production assistant. If we need something done, chances are good we’ll turn to Brett, whether it’s gathering sound or cutting tape or pre-interviewing someone. Jack of all trades might be a good description.

Eric Johnson and Michael DeMark are our audio engineers, and it’s not a stretch to say if it weren’t for them, all you’d hear coming out of your radio would be static. They set up our gear, connect us to L.A. via super-fancy digital phone lines so we sound like we’re right next door, and they make sure all the sound that goes out of here is as good as can be.

Julie Small is our Asia Editor, and she’s back home holding everything together. Julie has been involved in the project from the very beginning, and most of what you’re hearing has passed through her hands at least once.

Our Beijing bureau chief, Jocelyn Ford, and her assistant Yu Xiumei, have been our institutional memory for the China project. Whether we need statistics or insight, they’re always ready with the answers.

Sam Eaton and Scott Tong aren’t here with us now, but they’ve both done reporting for the project and have added key elements to our coverage.

There are a couple of other people I ought to mention. Luo Tong is our Chinese producer. She’s been working with Deb trans-Pacifically for about three months, helping us make our way over all the hurdles we’ve encountered.

Its not all work and no play,. Deb’s husband Dan is along with us, as is their ten-month old daughter, Lucy. It’s great to run into them at the end of a long day and make a goofy face or two and Lucy to try to make her laugh. And she’s always a hit with the hotel staff. Western babies are still pretty rare here.

Not mentioned, but just as critical, is the whole Marketplace staff back in Los Angeles. We’re getting the best part of the deal, being in China and doing all the reporting and the stories. But none of that matters if our editors, producers, audio engineers and everyone else back home don’t do their parts as well.

So, how many people does it take to do radio? Every last one of us.

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