Radio Reporting Affords A 'Window Into The Worlds Of Others,' NPR's Melissa Block Says

Journalism has changed dramatically since NPR's Melissa Block started her career, but she says one thing remains the same: people still care about in-depth and long-form reporting. 

As an award-winning producer, special coorespondent and All Things Considered host, Block has reported on the 9/11 terror attacks, the 2008 earthquakes in China, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and much more. Hear her explore the biggest stories and most inspirng sounds ahead of her first visit to Pittsburgh next week for Point Park University's Media Innovators Speaker Series

A view of the proposed development in the Lower Hill District from Downtown.
Credit Gensler

Later in the program:

Newly released data show that coal ash pollution from power plants is leaking into groundwater at sites across the country, including nine in Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Front’s Kara Holsopple spoke with Reid Frazier, who reports that although there are laws in place regarding the disposal of coal ash, many sites across the country predate those laws and thus are not up to current code. 

Bria Thomas, a Pittsburgh native, is perhaps better known by her stage name, DJ Femi. She's made waves in the Pittsburgh nightlife scene, but she didn't have an easy start. “All the 'nos' that I got, all the doors that were closed just because I'm a girl ... definitely made me mentally want to keep going.” 90.5 WESA’s Katie Blackley talked to DJ Femi ahead of her trip to the South by Southwest music festival where she hopes to perform for a bigger audience.

And it's been 12 years since officials from the city gave the Pittsburgh Penguins redevelopment rights to the old Civic Arena site. While developers hope that they might break ground this fall, a history of renegotiating has left the residents of the Hill District skeptical. Trib Total Media reporter Bob Bauder joins WESA's Margaret J. Krauss to discuss their latest redevelopment plan. 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.