We first created Michigan Radio’s Stateside with Cynthia Canty during the summer of 2012. And, what a thrilling adventure it’s been! Almost seven years had passed since Michigan Radio aired an original daily, hour-long program.
By October of last year, Stateside had evolved into a four-day a week program. Michigan Radio was in the midst of reporting on several key issues affecting Michigan, such as: the state’s controversial Emergency Manager Law, a half dozen questions that were appearing on the statewide November ballot, the presidential and congressional elections. Throughout fall, we spoke with lawmakers, political analysts and economists who helped put the 2012 election into context.
But, it’s not only politics and the economy that we keep a close eye on these days. We spend a great deal of time on Stateside speaking with authors, musicians, artists, new business owners, entrepreneurs, and the people that are shaping the state into what it is today and what it will be in the future. An hour-long program isn’t complete; however, without a little levity: conversations, for example, like the one we had last Spring about a mobile beer-canning operation making its way across the state.
Our main goal at Stateside is to bring listeners conversations about the things that matter in Michigan. This is our focus when we meet with the station’s reporters at 9:30 every morning and, again, when the Stateside team sits down together at 10:30. At these meetings everyone tosses out ideas – stories we’ve read in a local community paper, maybe a story we stumbled upon over a weekend trip, or one that a political-source in Lansing told us about. We spend the rest of the morning figuring out which stories make the most sense to tell that day and then we go to the phones and our computers – getting in touch with possible guests for the day’s show. Our work includes doing research and conducting pre-interviews with people in-the-know about whatever subject we’re trying to learn more about. Some days the interviews come quickly and a show begins to form easily. Other days, it’s a little more difficult; maybe a story we thought was going to be easily told ends up needing hours and hours of research. Then, usually in what feels like a blink of an eye, it’s 3 o’clock and we’re ready to go live to air. There really is nothing like that feeling of the clock turning 3:00:00 and seeing the “On Air” sign light up.
Some days come easier than others but no matter what, our team – host Cynthia
Canty, producers and interns – puts together a series of stories… stories that make up what matters most in Michigan in 2013.