A dream of mine came true today: I co-reported the latest Radiolab episode! It’s on COVID vaccine trials — specifically, about a controversial technique called a human challenge trial, in which human subjects are intentionally infected with the virus. This could speed up the process for next generation vaccine candidates. Senior correspondent Molly Webster gets the lowdown from me, and then tracks down some of the tens of thousands of people who have volunteered to participate in a challenge trial.
There are many people I need to thank for getting me here. First, Jonathan Miller, who I met at WRFI Community Radio when I was just beginning to pivot into radio. He took me under his wing and has continued to be a trusted mentor. Without his belief in me and edits of my pitch to Radiolab, I would have never reported this episode. So, a huge thank you to Jon!I am also grateful to work at Public News Service, which gives me the creative freedom to report pieces like my original coverage on human challenge trials. Thank you to the whole PNS team, including Senior Editor Chris Thomas, who edited my first piece on this, and PNS Founder Lark Corbeil, who’s believed in me.
Also big shoutouts to UnionDocs Podcast School, where I first met Molly Webster, and 1Day Sooner‘s Abie Rohrig and Josh Morrison, who graciously partnered with me for the PNS and Radiolab pieces.
And, last but not least, thank you to the unsung heroes who make my family life work with my 1-year-old son: Zahava Cherques and my parents Tom Rosbrow and Patricia Rosbrow. And of course, my husband Ofri Telem, who’s been there through many ups, downs, and hundreds of rejections till this moment. I love you.
It has been a weird, challenging year, but am extremely thankful this is finally getting out into the world. Happy holidays everyone!
It has been a while since I updated this site — like, I had a kid almost a year ago, and oops, haven’t updated this since a bit before then. In the meantime, I won a New York state broadcasting award with a lot of great colleagues for Outstanding Public Affairs Series for WRFI’s The Loneliness Radio Project. For those who heard me talk about my podcast idea for The New Normal a few years ago (which never panned out), this actually started as an episode idea — goes to show you never know when some creative ideas will finally bear fruit.
I’m 7 months pregnant here, nicely hidden by WRFI General Manager Felix Teitelbaum’s arm.
Two months after the picture above, I gave birth to Tomer, my first child. And soon after that, we all moved from Ithaca, NY, to Berkeley, CA, where my husband is a postdoctoral scholar in UC Berkeley’s theoretical high energy particle physics group.
I still report for Public News Service and produce national pieces for them constantly, likethese. I’ll admit that since Tomer was born, I’ve had little sleep/time to update this site and social media as much as I would like — or hardly at all.
It’s probably better to stay in touch on Twitter or LinkedIn for the time being. For folks who subscribe to my email updates, you’ve known me for a long time and I really appreciate your ongoing support. Hope everyone’s able to stay relatively healthy/safe/sane amidst COVID-19.
I’m happy to announce that I’m currently working as the interim news director at WRFI, Ithaca’s community radio station. This is exciting, particularly since I got my start in radio by volunteering for the news team, where I have contributed to WRFI News at 6 and am currently a Friday host for Your Morning (from 7-8 a.m.). The station has been a home for me since I moved to Ithaca in the fall of 2016, and I hope I’ll be able to expand it so that more people from all walks of life can be part of WRFI.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces I’ve done at WRFI (in reverse chronological order):
Black Students United silently protested at the University Assembly meeting on Tuesday. CREDIT: LAURA ROSBROW-TELEM
It’s been quite a learning process doing more radio. A few things I’ve learned:
The importance of capturing “scenes,” not just interviews. This is very different from print. So, taping live events, such as public court sessions, protests, a night out with an Uber driver, etc, are key. It also makes you understand why broadcasting sound bytes, for better or for worse, are so crucial to the medium.
This is technical, but I figure important for anyone here interested in radio reporting: Even if someone is speaking into a mic, it’s always better to put your mic close to them, rather than hooked up to an audio system or close to a speaker. A space’s sound system can often be bad and I’ve sadly had to not use really good tape because I made the rookie mistake of mic’ing a speaker rather than up close to a person.
Always record more “ambient” sound than you need. What I mean by “ambient” is background sound of whatever events or interviews you’re doing. It saves a lot of time in the editing process if you have extra ambient sound. I had no idea how much radio reporting needs ambient, even if you’re narrating something that’s unrelated to you being at a certain place. My editorial supervisor for The New Normal, Jonathan Miller, wisely suggested always getting one minute of “room sound” before or after an interview. This is super good advice.
Also, for folks subscribed to my website, I’m a lot more active in posting updates to my Twitter and Facebook profiles. So, if you feel like following me there, go for it! Thanks as always for your support and thoughts.
I know I haven’t written here in quite a while. Over the past year, I have gradually decreased my responsibilities at Geektime and been digging deep into learning how to/now doing more radio work. And I’m very excited.
Here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to: my first clip with NPR’s Binghamton/Ithaca station. It’s just a minute and a half, so won’t take too much of your time, if you would like to listen. It’s about how Ithaca’s mayor, who is advocating to open a supervised injection site for drug users, thinks that proposing such a radical measure has made it possible to fund other drug-related programs. Also, for those hard of hearing, there is a transcript in the link as well.
Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. CREDIT CLIFF OWEN / AP PHOTO
As most of you know by now, I am moving to Ithaca, NY in September. My husband has been offered the opportunity to do a PhD in physics at Cornell – I’m very proud of him and excited to start this new chapter of our life together.
As you can imagine, my emotions are all over the place, particularly now that we’re beginning to pack and say goodbye to people. I think this image best sums up some of what I’m currently going through. (The following image and text first appeared on Instagram.)
“I have moved a lot in the last 13 years, and have had the privilege to live abroad for a bit more than half of them. My first time living out of the U.S. was in Senegal 11 years ago, when I studied there for my junior year abroad. I still have a few photos (this was before smartphones and at the very beginning of Facebook) and this: this little, Senegalese wicker basket. It’s never served much purpose beyond decoration. Now, as I’m packing up my husband’s and my place as we embark on moving to the U.S., I thought I could pack this little souvenir amidst some sheets. I guess I hadn’t touched it in years – upon contact, the threading started dusting off like flaky wax. Alas – getting to the age where some moments will only be able to live on in my memories. Without that year in Senegal, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to move to Israel.”
I appreciate all your love and support as we embark on this journey and I look forward to being in more touch with many of you.
I finally got to post the first piece from my new Tech that Matters column on Friday, which profiles a company called Skin Analytics that has created a great, pretty affordable device that screens for skin cancer. Since 97% of people diagnosed with skin cancer at stage 1 survive, this could be huge.
I know that it’s been quite a while since I posted. This year I’ve been working hard at developing Geektime, where I am now managing editor. To get a sense of my writing over the last year, you can simply visit my author page.
In an effort to report on technology that has a real impact beyond selfie apps, I am launching a bi-monthly column called Tech that Matters. Here, “We want to interview companies, teams, and individuals that are doing just that: creating technology that impacts large amounts of people in profound ways. Whether it’s medical technology, social entrepreneurship in low-income communities, or mass transit systems like the Hyperloop, we want to increase the amount of coverage that impactful, meaningful solutions get in tech media.”
Man who just went through brain surgery. Photo Credit: Kevin Stanchfield / Flickr
The response so far has been amazing: Lots of great individuals and companies have gotten in contact with us. If you know of anyone or any company doing important work that needs to be written about, please have them email me at email@example.com.
I’ve actually been pretty busy publishing on Geektime, Israel’s leading technology news blog. It’s been fun writing about tech again. You can check out my full list of pieces on Geektime, but I’m just going to share a few pieces here.
If you’re wondering what it’s like to live in Israel during Operation Protective Edge, this piece should hopefully give you a pretty good picture. Here’s my Mic debut, titled “These Images Sum Up the Mood in Israel Right Now,” about the Israeli-Hamas conflict.