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A photo of Diana Opong smiling

Diana Opong

Audio Producer / New Voice '20
Member since 2020

Where are you based and what do you do?

I’m an independent audio producer based in the greater Seattle-area, who enjoys telling stories with audio (and video). When I’m not behind my computer editing or brainstorming show ideas, I’m busy homeschooling my 3 kids. I also work as a fill-in-radio announcer for a local NPR affiliate, and I’m a 2020 New Voices Scholar!

A piece of yours (in any medium!) that you would like to share?

One of my favorite independent audio stories that I created is called Choosing Joy Over Boxes. I love it because I went into the interview thinking it would turn out one way, only to have it be more grounded and connected than I could have imagined. The process of talking to someone and helping them feel comfortable sharing about their life motivates and challenges me. 

Video editing is something I enjoy as well, and I recently created a short video using still photographs and audio that I captured in 2009 from a trip I took back home to Ghana. The story is called The Proposal. It was a fun way to dabble in video again after some time away from creating. 

Lastly, in 2021 I created a piece for NPR’s Life Kit called: 5 Steps To Shake The Feeling That You're An Impostor that I am really proud of. 

What draws you to storytelling?

The idea that one story can help create connection, understanding, and possibly change an aspect of another person’s life is powerful. A good story can help people see a part of themselves in somebody else, and it may inspire them to be more vulnerable and open to pursuing a dream they thought was long unattainable. One laugh in an audio story can bring humanity to a group of people someone thought they could not relate to. We never know when or why another person’s life may be positively impacted by an authentic moment, and that powerful element of surprise is something the world needs more of. All these reasons and more, are why I love storytelling.

What is your favorite thing about being a New Voices Scholar?

Being a New Voices Scholar literally changed my professional career. I felt seen, heard and immensely supported. As a person of color who has worked in public radio for about 10 years New Voices opened doors and provided resources that I have never before had access to. So I guess my favorite part was the community I created with my fellow scholars, the mentor I was connected with, and our New Voices captain. Elena Rivera was incredibly giving and available and willing to help, AND access to the New Voices alumni network is priceless!

What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?

Rough Translation, Life Kit, Fireline from Montana Public Radio, Back Issue, and Spectacle.

Hard-at-work-on-a-project snack of choice?

Tea, and gummy candy or crackers. I wish I could say it was blueberries and hummus, but it’s not (ha ha).

What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not) that you use in your creative process?

A good note book and a smooth pen. I love being able to jot down my ideas make notes and keep track of thoughts and a smooth pen helps me to do that quickly. 

What is something you want to see more of in the industry?

Women & People of Color being given the opportunity to train and learn how to grow their skills so that there is more representation in higher levels of management and creation, especially in public radio. 

Who is your radio/audio idol and why?

This is tough because there are so many, but right now: Catherine Saint Louis, Michel Martin, Ayesha Rascoe, Ramtin Arablouei, Sam Sanders, the entire RadioLab crew, and Meghan Keane. Each of these people/shows has inspired me in some way to create, either by directly providing me with support or by creating compelling and really interesting stories that make me feel so glad I listened.

Anything you’d like to add?

 I am really grateful for AIR, it has literally changed my professional career for the better.