Our People ... Our Spirit of Service
As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic and return to operations that resemble the “good old days” – before we converted our spare bedrooms into recording studios and figured out how to run a radio network from our couches – we’re moving ahead on several initiatives that advance our mission and service to the region.
By far, the most critical element of our ability to achieve our long-term goals and improve our service are the people who create the content you hear each day on JPR and find worthy of your time and support. We’ve had some changes recently, as a few long tenured JPR staff members have retired or pursued other professional opportunities. We welcome the change that fresh energy and new perspectives create as we also welcome several new staff members to our team and recognize current staff taking on expanded responsibilities.
Following the retirement of News Director Liam Moriarty, JPR Reporter Erik Neumann took over leadership of JPR’s regional news coverage as Interim News Director. Erik came to us in 2019 from NPR member station KUER in Salt Lake City. He earned a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has extensive experience reporting from around the West. He’s won several awards at JPR for his reporting and has also taught radio production to young people at YR Media in Oakland.
Joining Erik in our newsroom are two new regional reporters:
Roman Battaglia first came to JPR in 2019 as an intern in the University of Oregon’s Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. The program places top journalism students from Oregon universities in newsrooms around the state as a way to mentor the next generation of journalists and provide meaningful experiential learning opportunities for participants. Roman earned a degree in Digital Communication Arts at Oregon State University and was the station manager at KBVR-FM, the OSU campus station, where he helped launch an award-winning podcast about Asian-American culture at OSU. After his JPR internship concluded, Roman landed at Delaware Public Media as a corps member of the Report for America program, reporting on politics, elections and government.
We welcome the change that fresh energy and new perspectives create as we also welcome several new staff members to our team and recognize current staff taking on expanded responsibilities.
Jane Vaughan is the newest voice in the JPR newsroom. She’s currently filing stories remotely from Chicago, where she’s completing her master’s degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Before attending Medill, Jane was a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio where she worked on NHPR’s daily civic affairs program, ironically enough called The Exchange. Jane began her journalism career as a reporter for The Lakes Region Weekly, a community newspaper in Portland, Maine, where her beat encompassed nine towns and five school districts, most of which were not covered by any other news outlet. As part of her undergraduate work, she was an intern for WNYC’s On The Media. Jane officially becomes an Oregonian in September when she joins JPR full-time.
While definitely not a new JPR voice, Open Air host Dave Jackson has stepped up to become our new Rhythm and News Music Director following the departure of long-time FM Program Director Eric Teel. Dave started at JPR as a volunteer in 2011, hosting The Folk Show and filling in on Open Air. He became a permanent host in 2015, balancing his love for music with his long career in the mental health/human services field. Dave is passionate about discovering new music and credits JPR with introducing him to many of his new favorite artists over the years. Dave is excited about adding new elements into JPR’s Rhythm and News music programming and getting the community more involved in what we do. He’s introduced a new weekly online feature called Open Air Currents that provides a review of some of the new music we’ve recently added to the Open Air playlist.
In other people news, we’re pleased to welcome back Danielle Kelly to the Open Air host seat after some time away – and thank Noah Linsday for the great work he did filling in during Danielle’s hiatus. Also, Vanessa Finney has expanded her role hosting Morning Edition and is now our regular weekend classical music host.
During our Spring Fund Drive, JPR staff each produced recorded announcements that described their work at JPR and provided a personal connection to JPR’s mission. In her script, Vanessa Finney described what she called “the spirit of service” that exists here at JPR. It’s something that has stuck with me as I carry out my daily work. I see it every day within our walls. I also see it in the amazing community support our listeners offer in so many meaningful ways, year after year, to advance our collective aspirations to build a diverse, tolerant, and culturally-rich community of informed and civically-engaged citizens here in our region.