By now, public radio listeners know Kelly McEvers.
She was one of the few reporters who got access to Syria – by sneaking in – when the conflict there was heating up. She won some of journalism's highest awards for that coverage. Since coming back to the United States, she's been a correspondent based at NPR West.
But a month ago, she took on a new job: hosting NPR's flagship news program, All Things Considered, full-time.
Recently, WFDD's Sean Bueter had a chance to chat with McEvers about a wide range of issues: what it's like to host a national news show, her recent trip to El Salvador for NPR's #15Girls project, and her thoughts on Syria.
On making the decision to host after being in the field for years:
Everybody around me was like 'are you sure you want to do this...?' because they know how I am. But it's like a totally different set of muscles, right? It's like learning to use a new set of muscles, and it's really fun. I still get to talk to people constantly. Like, I'm talking to people all day long...it's just different kinds of people than I'd talk to normally.
On reporting from El Salvador -- one of the most violent countries on Earth -- for NPR's #15Girls project, McEvers says girls face horrible violence, but her team found hope and determination, too:
We obviously heard some harrowing, horrible, sad, awful stories. But you know, then we also met girls who were facing up to this stuff and making decisions about their lives and taking it on. One girl was like 'I live in a gang-infested neighborhood, and so I've got to do something about it. I'm not just going to sit at home. I'm going to volunteer with the local paramedics.'
On what goes through her mind when she hears news on the Syrian conflict, which she covered in-depth for NPR and still follows closely via social media:
It's really hard to not be there to tell their stories...you know there would be these people I kept coming back to, because every time, their life had changed. They'd go from protester, to rebel fighter, to aid worker and now they're refugees. So that next chapter, I'd love to be there to tell in some of these people's lives. Because I always thought that if people listening could understand how these folks...how much they're going through – through one personal story – they might have a deeper understanding of what's going on in Syria.