First Person: Glynn Washington

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 (Courtesy Snap Judgment)

Oakland's Glynn Washington beat out more than 1,000 competitors five years ago in an "American Idol"-type national talent search for a new public radio host. Washington created and hosts the NPR/PRX program "Snap Judgment" out of Oakland. He joins us as part of our First Person series on the leaders, innovators and other compelling characters that make the Bay Area unique.

Interview Highlights

On Wanting to Change Public Media

“I often time didn’t see my communities reflected in public media. I didn’t see my intonations respected. I didn’t see my people represented. And I say that very, very, very broadly. Public radio does a great job of hitting a certain segment of the population. If you are an educated white man over the age of 47 in this country, you listen to public media. But there’s lots of other groups that are part of the public, and are just as smart, just as engaged, just as willing to tell their own stories, and just as interesting to listen to.”

On Bringing Oakland to Public Radio

“In the same way that Boston is the milieu for Car Talk, that Minnesota is the home of Prairie Home, we find our home base in Oakland. And it's in these lines, between ethnicities and cultures [where we create our show]. Whenever you have different ethnicities and different cultures mixing it up, you always get great food and great stories. And we can throw a microphone outside the window, and see what happens as far as storytelling.” 

On What 'Snap Judgment' Tries to Achieve

“We want you to feel the perspective of someone else who maybe very, very different from you, and not see it as foreign.”