I’m a Naysayer, and I’m an Intern for the Lars Larson Radio Show
As a second year broadcasting student at Mount Hood community college I get credits for doing an internship. Originally I pictured myself in the cozy environment of public radio, surrounded by on-air voices that sound the same. After a chain of events still mysterious to me, I ended up at the Lars Larson show. I was nervous to meet Lars, not because he wears a gun on his hip everyday, but because I grew up watching him on the local news and know how hard he’s worked to get where he is today. To be honest, I was nervous because you could say I’m a leftie, environmentalist at heart, with anarchist tendencies. Uh-huh.
Executive producer Tony King immediately threw me into the deep end and put me to work doing everything it takes to pull a show like this off. The work required of me has pushed me to the edge of my learning curve and often feels quite uncomfortable. What I spend most of my time doing as an intern: trolling the web for topics that are compelling enough for the local and national shows. This is harder than it sounds and sometimes keeps me up at night. One of my biggest anxieties is not being able to come up with anything. There are many things to keep in mind when looking for interesting content. First of all can the topic be easily understood by most? Can it be reasonably answered at least two ways? More people will care if it will impact their wallet, kids, family, education, or health, these are the call drivers. Topics need to be relevant and common speak is best when framing questions, keep it simple.
One day Tony took off my training wheels and asked me to provide two topics that Lars would use on the national show, complete with guests. Gulp. The deadline was 5 days, which in this business is a lengthy luxury, you’re usually booking day of. I was glued to twitter and news feeds for days. I really wanted to impress Lars professionally! The two topics I chose were: the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and a case involving eminent domain in Colorado. After Tony approved them, I got busy finding and securing the best guests possible. The pressure was on and I loved every exciting minute of making cold calls to civilians, lawyers, and state representatives in hopes of getting them on the air. Hard work and luck resulted successful booking. I was able to get Andy Barrie, owner of a home and land in rural Colorado and Florida Representative Dennis Baxley, author of the Stand Your Ground Law. Phew! Lars called me himself the next day to say how much he enjoyed what I had produced and that he was glad to have me on the team. Listen to these segments here: Colorado, and Stand Your Ground
It’s impressive to watch Lars do his thing. His voice is on the air for 6 hours a day. In terms of the airwaves, and the media, that’s a lot of power. He does not abuse that power. From what I’ve seen, Lars has a wealth of integrity and believes what he says. He is a serious journalist and demands accountability, responsibility and ethics from those working with him.
Working at Alpha Broadcasting has expanded my view of where I see myself working when I graduate in June. My time here has opened my eyes to the world of syndicated commercial radio programming, and has shown me that as a producer it doesn’t matter if you lean a different direction politically than the host. Lars, Tony and the KXL news staff have been encouraging mentors and a wealth of support. With gratitude, I move forward from this internship well trained and eager to find my place as a multimedia producer in the broadcasting world.