Posts Tagged ‘Ira Glass’s background’

What’s next and a few Ira links from the past month…

January 16, 2010

How did your semester go?

Great question… and I’ve fielded it every year since 2004. The answer always varies but I can say I never thought my response would include, “Well, I got to meet Ira Glass.”

I still struggle with describing this to folks. It’s like a good high school basketball player getting 15 minutes with Michael Jordan- you’re at the point where you are strongly immersed in the craft and can really appreciate how incredibly brilliant the person sitting across from you is.  It strengthens your desire to achieve your professional goals and helps you refocus on what you need to do next to grow. Plus, you can’t stop mentioning it to everyone who cares even an ounce about that particular entity.

So if meeting Ira Glass was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, then Questions for Ira Glass will be too (sort-of). This blog helped focus my thoughts (that, thankfully, later became true interview questions), force me into a new writing copy-cycle, strengthen my pursuit of articles to read and also likely helped my credibility to gain the interview assignment.

All of that is too good to simply stop. You can’t talk to Ira Glass every month, so Questions for Ira Glass may be done. There are plenty of other personal heroes that occasionally sneak through CNY however so Questions for (Someone) is something that’s definitely on the horizon. I even have the first post-Ira candidate in mind.

Until then, enough about me and this site. Here’s some of what’s been going on with Ira since November:

Links: PRI’s Twitter feed | WBEZ’s Twitter feed | | The Daily Collegian | Etsy

E-mail us if you have any suggestions on who should be the focus of a Questions blog next… or if you have any more Ira info.

Question No. 30: “How the heck did you do that?”

November 10, 2009

Ira Question Written by Nathan Mattise

Today I got rejected from the Carnegie-Knight foundation’s News21 journalism initiative.

The application-to-interview-to-result timeframe was so fast I haven’t really had time to process it. I know I was up against some heavy competition – folks who have been doing videography/design/ flash  for years, people with professional experience at high profile outlets, students with awards in all the high profile student competitions.

I like to think my materials are strong, I interview well and I display a willingness to  learn the skills and techniques I haven’t mastered. There are plenty of other young journalists like me that for one reason or another just haven’t had opportunities like News21 to devote ourselves to a meaningful project with the opportunity to really expand our skillsets. It’s a Catch-22 however. Without the skills/experience to begin with, you can’t participate in opportunities to gain skills/experience.

That’s where Ira Glass becomes a bit of a role model. Somehow, some way he took his non-journalism degree, interned at NPR in Washington and eventually worked his way through, “nearly every NPR network news program” and “held virtually every production job.”

So, Ira, it’s too cliche to ask for advice, but…

Is it possible to have a professional rise like yours in today’s professional media culture? Can you grab an opportunity to showcase your abilities without previous indicators and then somehow work your way to the top echelon of an outlet?


E-mail us if you have a question for Ira Glass to discuss or if you have insight on this one.

Question No. 17: “When you were a little kid…”

October 19, 2009

Ira Question Written by Nathan Mattise

I’m not going to lie – if I meet Ira Glass, I’ll be briefly shellshocked.

Meeting anyone noteworthy is a moment. If that person is considerably hip, it adds even more weight to the instant. If that person is someone who you admire strongly for their work and aspire to emulate, it’s potentially once-in-a-lifetime.

I could go on about how Ira Glass inspires me to better storytelling or how I’d do anything just to intern at TAL for a few months, but there’s no need to (largely because I even namedropped him in my profile on

The focus, as always, is on Ira. Well, in this case…

Who were some of the individuals that inspired you to become the storyteller you are today? What in particular about these individuals did you admire and potentially try to emulate?

Links: The NewsHouse

E-mail us if you have a question for Ira Glass to discuss or if you have insight on this one.

Question No. 12: “Breakfast of Champions…”

October 8, 2009

Ira Question | Written by Nathan Mattise

This afternoon I lost a create-a-sandwich contest. We needed to submit our best culinary creation to honor the new dean of the communications school. I had a Top Five entry but ultimately came up short.
What does any of this have to do with Ira? Well, someone at the event chatted with me about his upcoming SU appearance…

Have you ever been immortalized in a menu item? If not, what food would be the most “Ira Glass?”

Links: The NewsHouse

E-mail us if you have a question for Ira Glass to discuss or if you have insight on this one.

Question No. 3: “Oh, The Places You’ll Go…”

September 23, 2009

Ira Question | Written by Nathan Mattise

I refuse to believe I’m the only twentysomething who wants to go see “Where The Wild Things Are” in mid-October.  It’s got David Eggers writing in furry books about it and a soundtrack composed by indie royalty, Karen O of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.

Secretly, I think the real reason I want to see it is because I vividly remember reading the book with my grandparents as a kid. I’m not sure what exactly I found so fascinating about it or if anything from the text in particular inspired who I am today.  Children’s lit seems to get a surprisingly high amount of credit for molding successful lives down the road (ask this year’s collegiate first-year class, how many graduation speeches quoted Dr. Seuss).

If Ira can recall the days of sitting on Grandma or Grandpa Glass’s lap…

What stories do you remember from when you were a child and do you think you incorporate any elements of children’s lit into your work today?

Links: YouTube| Amazon| MySpace

E-mail us if you have a question for Ira Glass to discuss or if you have insight on this one