CommLeader Spotlight|Ross Reynolds, Cohort 8

Ross Reynolds, Cohort 8

Area of interest: News and Public Radio

What exactly do you do professionally?
I’ve been hosting The Conversation, a daily news/talk show on Seattle’s NPR station, KUOW, for the past 10 years. We’re on at noon but you can download the podcast at, follow us on Facebook at ‘KUOW’s The Conversation’ and check us out on Twitter, @KUOWconvo.

How are you directly applying knowledge from the MCDM program in your daily life?
See above. Also in every paper I wrote in the program I applied what I was learning to public radio stations. It’s clarified my thinking on where we should be going.

Which classes have had the most impact on you personally and professionally?
Kathy Gill’s on economics was terrific at getting back into the rigors of academic discipline (i.e. struggling with the dreadfully difficult but highly rewarding ‘Wealth of Networks’ by Benkler). Hanson Hosein’s digital storytelling class, Drew Keller’s video class, Carolina Mello-e-Souza on Interaction Design class, Ken Rufo’s gaming class and Kelly McIvor’s mobile class instilled new ideas on how to convey information in ways that take advantage of digital media, visually and interactively. I am constantly referring back to information gleaned from Kraig Baker’s law class in segments we produce.

What digital trends are you most intrigued by right now?
The future of news – how do we find a business model to keep providing in-depth public service journalism in an environment that favors hits over substance. Audience engagement – how do legacy journalists (like public radio) move from a one way conversation to interacting with the audience to improve journalism and deepen discussions. Oh, and I’m in the tank with Foursquare, much to the annoyance of my wife.

Career-wise, what is your ultimate digital media goal?
I would like to lead a public radio station in adopting digital media to advance the program mission of creating a more informed public. And invent a killer public radio news game.

And for the sake of a silly question: what’s your favorite dessert and why?
Hot fudge sundae: Cool vanilla ice cream, hot thick chocolate, crunchy nuts! Bliss.

Ilona IdlisCommLeader Spotlight|Ross Reynolds, Cohort 8
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