Katie Colaneri is NHPR’s Podcast Editor, leading the Newsroom’s Narrative Podcast Unit, the Document Team. NHPR Document is a narrative podcast that has gained critical recognition not just in NH, but nationally. The series bear creek has been downloaded over 13 million times and named one of the best podcasts of the year by the new yorker magazine. The series followed a cold case that has been credited with changing the way murders are investigated. And strangulation, a podcast examining why the tiny state of New Hampshire is still battling for its position as the nation’s first presidential primary.
Katie joined NHPR in February after nearly nine years at WHYY in Philadelphia, where she helped run the newsroom as deputy news director. During that time, she developed the station’s portfolio of podcasts, most recently the Peabody-nominated 2021 series. half vaxxed. Before discovering her true passion as an editor, Katie was a journalist covering a variety of topics including energy, climate change, income inequality and politics.
Here we ask Katie to tell us a bit about herself and her approach to leading the team.
What brought you to NHPR?
Simply put, they offered my dream job: leading a team of smart, creative journalists to do ambitious, long-running audio storytelling with impact. Who could refuse that?
I was drawn to NHPR’s commitment to in-depth, fearless local journalism, especially its heavy investment in podcasts. The fact that a public radio station the size of NHPR has its own narrative podcast unit in the newsroom – not to mention the stellar creative teams behind out in and Civics 101 – is extraordinary within the system.
Since arriving at the station in late February and peeking under the hood, so to speak, I have only been more impressed with the incredible talent here, backed by leaders who n don’t hesitate to say “yes” and to try new things. Listeners can be proud of the way the station uses its resources to serve listeners across the region and the country.
What is your future vision for the Document team?
I look forward to expanding the topics Document tackles. So far, the first three seasons of the podcast have focused on serious issues in the criminal justice system. And while we’re not done with the criminal justice system yet (and that’s all I’ll say about it!), we’re already thinking deeply about other topics to explore in future seasons – hopefully some that will allow us to have a bit of fun, maybe even laugh sometimes! Part of that is inviting more members of the NHPR newsroom into the Document team process and opening the way for them to present their ideas to us.
We have the ability to tell deep stories, how does that affect how you choose your subjects?
The heart of the Document The team beats when we tell a story with details that totally stop us in our tracks. A story that totally surprises us, one that gives listeners a more nuanced picture of something they thought they understood – or perhaps never thought. The stories we choose are also rooted in important issues facing New Hampshire and the region that we know people across the country are also curious about.
What was the content you are most excited or proud of?
Without a doubt, Document by journalist Lauren Ccholjian investigating allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the founder of New Hampshire’s largest addiction treatment network. The team received so many responses to the story, which brought to light a serious issue that hasn’t been addressed in the same way elsewhere.