- Washington, DC
Thomas is available forI'm open to producing, editing, and reporting on all sorts of stories -- longform and shortform interviews, reported pieces, or narrative documentaries. I have a particular interest on stories that explore the messiness of being human -- our behaviors, our thoughts, our relationships. As a narrative journalist and storyteller, I often think about the intersection of race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
Thomas Lu is a gay, Vietnamese-American journalist, audio producer, and editor based in Washington, DC. He was most recently producing and editing for NPR, where he co-founded NPR's first disability and accessibility employee resource group.
He’s worked on stories ranging from author interviews with disability rights activists to the physics of rainbows to why some people enjoy spicy foods.
As a producer for Hidden Brain, Thomas explored the contradictions of human behavior—producing and sound-designing episodes such as the importance of the human voice and our hidden influence on others. He contributed to the episode “The Ventilator,” which earned a 2020 Edward R. Murrow award.
He has also contributed to KUOW, HBO, Life Kit, Short Wave, Code Switch, It’s Been A Minute, How I Built This, Pop Culture Happy Hour, All Things Considered, TED Radio Hour, and StoryCorps.
Thomas is a 2023 graduate of Neon Hum Media’s Editors’ Bootcamp and a 2020 AIR New Voices Scholar. With the goal of escaping the Atlanta heat, he attended Middlebury College in Vermont and United World College-USA in the mountains of New Mexico. Aside from audio, he enjoys watching The Golden Girls, running (slowly), and teaching himself film photography.
Thomas’s area of expertise (in no particular order):
- LGBTQ+ Stories
- Being Asian American in the US
- Science and social science (human relationships/behavior)
- Cancer survivorship + disability/disability rights
- Immigrant stories + family estrangement
Thomas’s interests (in no particular order):
- The messiness of being human, our relationships, and our contradicting behavior
- The intersection of disability, race, and gender
- Sound design + experimental storytelling
- Pop culture (TV/Movies/Music/the Arts) + science-fiction/speculation
- Society and cultural analysis
Produced, sound-designed, and scripted this episode of Hidden Brain -- exploring the relationship between our voices and our identities. This episode highlights and considers the ethical quandaries that arise when we can create personalized, customized voices. Sound design elements of this episode include archival audio, found audio, synthesized audio, and scoring.
Booked and producer conversation between Short Wave host, Emily Kwong, and Everything Everywhere All At Once directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert -- collectively, Daniels.
Reported and produced an explanatory episode about how and why we see rainbows. Convened a team of mostly LGBTQ+ editors, producers, hosts, engineers, and guest for this episode of Short Wave with former host Maddie Sofia.
Interviewed disability rights activist Alice Wong about her memoir Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life. The conversation focused on disability, Asian identity, and her reflections on the 2023 Lunar New Year.
- Story Editing
- Sound Design
- Social Media
- Show Development
- Scrubbing and Audio Editing
- Logistics and Coordination
- Field Recording
- Field Producing
- Pro Tools
- TASCAM DR-100mkIII
- Producer at NPR - Short Wave (April 2023)
- Assistant Producer at Hidden Brain (September 2020)
- Production Intern at StoryCorps (December 2016)