5 questions with new Here & Now co-host Scott Tong


Republished from Inside WBUR with permission:

Meet Scott Tong, the new co-host of Here Now, NPR & WBUR’s live noon news program that broadcasts from noon to 2 p.m. on WITF weekdays.

Carline Watson, executive producer of Here Now is delighted that Scott is joining their host team: “His depth of journalism, extensive reporting experience and willingness to be a guide for the listener will complement our already exceptional team of Tonya Mosley and Robin Young. “

A seasoned public radio journalist Scott joins WBUR after 16 years at Marlet. Former office manager, foreign correspondent and major reporter, he is also a much appreciated speaker and author.

1. What if you were part of Here Now as a co-host attracted you?

What I have always cherished Here Now is its ability to deliver meaningful everyday moments and a unique insight into what’s going on. These moments are different depending on who you are: maybe a long interview with a reporter or author, or an underreported story of rural America or urban India. These little victories, as I have heard them called, help me situate my own life in an unpredictable world, especially now. So I’m excited to join this team, to work in the audio kitchen (so to speak), and to bring this information to listeners across the country.

2. Your reporting, synonymous with your career, is extensive – what kind of stories or interviews do you look forward to doing? Here Now?

I like to deliver stories that try to see current affairs developments from a new axis. Maybe it’s a historical perspective, or an outside look at America, or a thought experiment to get a feel for what changes may bring to our lives in the future.

3. How do you approach diversity and equity in your reporting?

If we bring the same people, or the same types of people, to the air over and over again, not only does it deprive underrepresented communities of a voice, but it can undermine our own personal interests as journalists. The Black Swan book years ago warned Wall Street and the world against “narrative error”, falling in love with certain narratives and assumptions. Here & Now cannot fall into this trap. Incorporating underrepresented stories and voices into our editorial process will only broaden our worldview and bring in unique stories – it’s good for the world and good for us.

4. What does it mean to you to be part of a mission-driven public media organization?

Let me answer this with an example. Last night I had dinner in Boston with an old friend who is a volunteer firefighter (and professor of finance!) In his town. He told me that many, many American cities can only afford volunteer or on-call firefighters, but those volunteers are dwindling. These contributions matter, whether it’s helping to strengthen our social contract or delivering nonprofit journalism committed to providing insight and meaning to the public.

5. What is your media regime? What are you reading, watching, listening to right now?

Documentaries: “The Perfect Police State”, “Frankly, we won this election”.
Fiction: “Where the crayfish sing”, “Under a scarlet sky”.
Watch: “Fargo” (yes, we’re late for this series).
Listening: 70 out of 70. Men in blazers. Choiceology. The New Yorker Fiction podcast never gets old. Love the improvement association. Day X. Revisionist history.

To listen Here Now weekdays between noon and 2 p.m. on WITF, co-hosted by award-winning journalists Robin Young, Tonya Mosley and Scott Tong.

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