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Intern Charlie Smith reflects on experiences at BPR

Over six weeks last summer, BPR had the opportunity to work with Charlie Smith, a recent graduate of UNC-Asheville. Charlie earned a BA in Creative Writing specializing in creative non-fiction.

At BPR, Charlie contributed to dozens of local newscasts and learned reporting, covering a number of on-air and digital stories on inclusion and accessibility.

“It's made me understand how to listen to someone and tell their story in a respectful way, even if it's like a happy event. You have to treat it with respect because it matters. People matter and the way they tell their story, it matters. And so, I think that's one takeaway from this new writing niche I’ve carved  for myself, it’s  a love of telling people's stories in a different way.”

Charlie also learned how to do weekend announcing, serving as the local voice of programs like Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! And The Moth, and worked with the membership team on content for our weekly newsletter.

“There's too many skills to list that I learned while I was here. Audio mixing, writing for the ear. But I also feel like I gained a lot of confidence through this job. I feel like I have confidence so when I try a new skill, I can excel at it when I try hard.”

At the end of the internship, Helen Chickering sat down with Charlie to talk about their experiences here. Take a listen to the conversation in the audio player, which features highlights from Charlie’s reporting and announcing.

The BPR internship was part of UNCA's SECU Public Fellows program, which connects talented undergraduate students with local non-profits and agencies to provide them with on-the-job experience and a way give back to the community.

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.