Marketplace Scratch Pad

Interviews, 50 cents

Scott Jagow Jul 10, 2009

This has nothing to do with a rapper or the decline of Western journalism. It’s the name of the latest project from NPR’s Alex Chadwick. The tagline is: “Interviews come along all the time. All you have to do is wait.”

Alex has been traveling the country, setting up a little booth with a sign that says “Interviews, 50 cents.” It’s kind of like Lucy’s 5 cent psychiatric service for Charlie Brown, but Alex isn’t charging, he’s paying people two quarters to tell a story. I stumbled across the website the other day and started watching one or two. Soon, I couldn’t stop. I love to hear people’s stories.

You can find all the stories on Slate (there are 46 so far) but here are a couple of the most recent ones…

An Algerian man sits down at Alex’s table in Venice Beach, California and tells Alex he just walked to Venice Beach… from New York. He started the trip with $217 and a backpack:

In Telluride, Colorado, Alex talks to a real Pinball Wizard. He told me something I didn’t know. There’s only pinball company left, Stern Pinball in Illinois:

This episode is a “guy walks into a bar” story. It’s a pretty good one:

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