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Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions: Travels with an NPR Correspondent

by John F. Burnett

Published by Rodale

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"Radio is cool. There's something that happens when writing, natural sound, and voice come together to transport listeners to a place. It only happens with radio. At National Public Radio, where I've been a journalist for 20 years, there's only so much you can squeeze into a 7-minute story. Over the years, I've filled my reporter's notebooks with so much that I couldn't report. Often it is the sixth 'W,' the one they never teach in J school. After deadlines, reporters don't talk about the who, what, where, why, and when. We talk about the whoa -- bizarre encounters, miserable journeys, horrible hotels, great fixers, dangerous highways, gruesome dead people, gruesome live people, and unsung heroes. This book is my attempt to make sense of it all, to sort through the beasts and the hellions."

In this candid, intimate account, John Burnett exposes the whoa he's known through his adventures as an NPR reporter. The result is a revealing and personal account that will fascinate not only NPR listeners, but anyone interested in the state of our world today and how the media covers it.

As a radio journalist whose work appears regularly on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, John F. Burnett has reported from the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco and the Kosovo conflict; covered the guerilla wars in Central America; ridden with US marines during the invasion of Iraq; and reported from the flooded streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and from New York City, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in the weeks and months following 9/11. 

In Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions, John Burnett takes readers behind the scenes of the major events of our time, letting us see what it's really like gathering the news on the front lines.


pub date: 2006-09-05 | hardcover | 9781594863042