Thanks for stopping by! I’m a journalist who’s worked in radio, podcasts, television, print and online. If you’re here to listen to some of my recent radio or podcast work, look no further: you can hear some of my stories here, and a selection of interviews I’ve produced here.
My experience includes six years as a producer and occasional reporter at the public radio program The World, a daily international current affairs program produced by the BBC, PRI and WGBH. I’ve reported many stories at The World, on topics ranging from genetic genealogy to global fiction, and have produced hundreds and hundreds of interviews, on just about everything. You can check some of those out by clicking around on this site.
I’ve also worked with The World’s spin-off podcast, The World in Words, a show about languages and the people who speak them. You can find my World in Words episodes, including the story of how the Myaamia people are reviving their language, here. For other recent stories, including my piece for NPR’s Here & Now on how mathematicians are fighting gerrymandering, see here.
Prior to working at “The World,” I lived in Scotland, where I worked for the BBC, making television and radio programs in their Gaelic Department. (I was a Celtic scholar in a previous incarnation, which is how I learned to speak Scottish Gaelic). At BBC Scotland, I spent three years working for Eòrpa, a long-running and much-loved weekly television program on European current affairs. I also enjoyed working on a series of radio documentaries about extraordinary Gaelic-speakers of the twentieth century. That project took me all over Scotland’s Highlands and Islands, to conduct over 75 interviews for the series.
Before I ever worked in radio or television, I worked in print journalism. I published my first for-pay article while I was still an undergraduate at Princeton University, and after college I moved to Dublin, Ireland, where I wrote for several magazines. Later I wrote for U.S. publications, including The Washington Post and D.C.’s City Paper. After living in Ireland, I moved to Scotland to pursue a Ph.D. in Celtic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Once there, I wrote many articles in Gaelic, primarily for Scotland’s national daily paper, The Scotsman. I was honored to be named “Gaelic Writer of the Year” at the Scottish Press Awards in 2003 for my articles and columns – the first time that award was given to a non-native speaker of the language. I’ve also written short stories, poetry, essays and humor.
Between writing and studying, I also taught in the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Celtic and Department of Continuing Education. More recently, I have taught in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
I’m currently an independent radio and podcast producer and reporter, and enjoy the opportunity to work on new projects and collaborations. My interests include personal stories, languages, the recent past, the intersection of public history and private lives, health, medicine, politics, music – and lots more.
So anyway, thanks for visiting. There’s lots to listen to here, so click around and enjoy. You can also see my resume, which has more detailed information about my experience as a journalist, as well as my teaching experience.
(And if you’re into 140 characters or less, you can also follow me on twitter Follow @zallster1 )