NPR One is a game-changer for me

NPR One is exactly what I needed.

Earlier this month, Poynter’s Kelly McBride stopped “short of calling it a game-changer.” But I’ll go there: it’s a game-changer (for people like me, anyway).

I’m a news addict. That’s especially true when it comes to public radio. I previously lived in St. Louis, home to the incredible St. Louis Public Radio. From Morning Edition in the early morning to On Point, Fresh Air and other shows at night, I had access to news programs around-the-clock.

That changed when I moved to the much smaller market of Elkhart, Ind. Our local station, WVPE, fills its evening hours with music programming like 12th Street Jump, Beale Street Caravan, Back Porch and more. Music shows begin at 7 p.m., which is when I’m usually driving home from work.

I don’t like music shows. NPR One fills the vacuum.

For those unfamiliar with the app, it’s like the Pandora of NPR. The app sends a mix of top-of-the-hour news briefs and stories to you. You can mark something as interesting if you like it or skip it if you don’t. That presumably feeds the algorithm to deliver the next clip.

I know I could have streamed the regular NPR app or played podcasts during my commutes home, but NPR One offers a more elegant solution to my problem. I’m hooked.

If you’re interested in the inner workings of the app, check out McBride’s post on Poynter. And if you’d like to become a public radio member, you can learn more on this NPR page.

Ryan Martin is The Indianapolis Star's editor of breaking news and public safety. He previously worked as managing editor of The Elkhart Truth in northern Indiana and associate regional editor of Patch.com in St. Louis.

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