|Alum - Ben Bergman|
An NPR producer whose first broadcast was at JDS
I graduated from JDS in 1996, went on to attend Seattle Academy for high school, and then graduated cum laude with a degree in politics from Occidental College in Los Angeles. During my senior year, I interned at The New York Times and after graduation, was hired as a production assistant at NPR’s most popular program, Morning Edition in Washington, D.C. then became a producer for Morning Edition based at NPR West in Culver City, CA. I've produced interviews with everyone from the Dalai Lama to Ben Stiller to Ben Affleck (pictured right). My voice can also frequently be heard on Morning Edition, reporting from Los Angeles. (Update: Ben's latest career move is to Orange County Reporter for SoCal Public Radio)
Long before broadcasting to NPR’s millions of listeners, I got my start in morning radio at JDS. The school had a loudspeaker system that meant whoever wanted to could broadcast to every classroom on campus. The system was usually used for all-school announcements but during my eighth grade year the principal, Dr. Raben, said he wanted something more substantial. He wanted students to broadcast the news every morning. At that point I was already very interested in broadcasting so I leapt at the opportunity, becoming a sort of executive producer and anchor of what I treated as our version of Morning Edition. I wrote my copy every morning on the long ride to school on the 984 bus, using The Seattle P-I and what seemed like a huge technological advancement at the time – The KIRO Newsfax.
Dr. Rabin began the show with school announcements after the first bell and then tossed to our show. I played a theme song off a tape recorder and then read the top headlines before handing off to Jenny Bockow for the weather and Zev Raben for the latest news from Israel. I have no idea whether anyone else enjoyed the newscasts as much as I did. But I do know everyone was listening. They had to. No turning off the radio or flipping to a different channel. I still remember the embarrassment of making a flub – stumbling on a difficult pronunciation in front of the whole school. But that was my first experience at broadcasting live, even if it was to only a couple hundred captive students and teachers.
-Ben Bergman, Class of '96