ACP conference offers tours of notable media outlets in D.C.


Cora Butcher-Spellman

Missouri Southern students had the opportunity to tour the offices of National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters in Washington D.C. while attending a conference in the city.

Cora Butcher-Spellman

Last weekend, several students who contribute to The Chart visited Washington D.C. for the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention. While there, we had the opportunity to listen to speakers like Donna Brazile, the interim chairperson of the Democratic National Committee; Bob Woodward, one of the investigative journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal; and Edward Snowden, the former intelligence officer who revealed that the National Security Agency was seizing innocent citizen’s private records.

Several of us toured The White House. While there, Phaze Roeder and I took pictures and made jokes with the Secret Service agents.

A variety of media tours to places like CBS, CNN, Newseum, Motion Picture Association of America, and NPR were offered. I wanted to visit NPR because my family and I are pretty big fans. I didn’t get one of the limited spots because they filled up so quickly, but I showed up and snuck in any way.

Our tour guide began by explaining that NPR is not a radio station but a network of many stations. We learned about the production of various popular shows like All Things Considered and Morning Edition as well as favorite NPR podcasts like Invisibilia and TED Radio Hour. We visited multiple sound booths, each outfitted with different features and technical equipment. The guide explained which radio shows were produced in which areas and how they were presented. He also led us to employee workstations that were arranged in open clusters of cubicles and offices.

A major highlight of the tour for me was when we ran into Scott Simon on the elevator. Simon is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and most of us on tour recognized him by voice only.

The building itself is impressive with its 32,500 sq. ft rooftop garden that houses two colonies of around 20,000 bees. The garden helps lower the heating and air costs while also collecting and filtering rainwater. Overall, the building has earned a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Other radio shows and podcasts you may have heard aren’t produced but are distributed by NPR. They include Fresh Air, Serial, and This American Life.

The annual ACP national convention will be in Dallas next fall. If you’re interested in joining The Chart staff for opportunities like this, consider enrolling in COMM 220 Chart Practicum in the spring semester.