Co-host, NPR Politics Podcast
General Assignment Reporter
News Desk Weekend Duty Reporter
Harvard University, M.P.P.
University of the Incarnate Word, B.A.
Sam Sanders has to be one of the hardest working reporters on the campaign trail. Seriously, he has three jobs. His NPR bio reads in part, “As a key member of NPR’s election unit, Sam Sanders is covering the intersection of culture, pop culture, and politics in the 2016 election. A mix of breaking news and feature reporting, his work is heard on NPR’s flagship news programs and read on NPR.org. Sanders travels the country looking for the stories behind the horserace, catching trends before they’re trends, and making politics relatable to people who might not actually like politics. He also cohosts NPR’s Politics Podcast, which launched in 2015.”
But politics isn’t the only touchy issue Sanders is willing to broach. Last year, regarding a social media conversation about race and the public radio voice, Sanders wrote, “It took me years to start writing how I actually spoke in real life.” He was hinting at the notion that on-air journalist of color feel pressure to sound, well, white. But Sanders was approaching it from a constructive perspective when he explained to the Nieman Journalism Lab, “I think the goal is for all of us doing radio to make it sound effortless. To keep our essence in our reads and make the listener think we’re ‘just talking,’ while knowing that the journey to that ‘just talking’ place takes a lot. A lot of thought. A lot of practice. And a lot of time.”
Sanders first significant introduction to broadcasting came in 2009 when he was an intern for “On Point with Tom Ashbrook.” After graduating from the Harvard Kennedy School that same year, Sanders joined NPR as a Kroc Fellow. In the years since, he has worked as a field producer and breaking news reporter in Washington, D.C. at NPR’s headquarters, as well as at member stations: WUNC in North Carolina, Oregon Public Broadcasting and WBUR in Boston.
On a scale of 0 to ABSOLUTELY CRAZY TOWN, Election 2016 is:
— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) August 2, 2016