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Weekend 'All Things Considered' staff revisit favorite stories of 2022

ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:

And finally today, 2022 was filled with big headlines. And Michel Martin and the team here at ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, they've covered it all. Before we say goodbye, we wanted to introduce you to the people who make it happen. Here they are with the stories they'll remember from 2022.

JEANETTE WOODS, BYLINE: Hi. I'm Jeanette Woods. I'm an editor on the Consider This podcast. I want to shout out my colleague Kira Wakeam. And one piece she did made me smile so much. It was an interview and profile of Jazzy Guerra, an 11-year-old reporter who'd already interviewed some very big names.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MICHEL MARTIN: Do you have another dream interview, somebody you really want to talk to that you haven't spoken with yet?

JAZZY GUERRA: I actually have a big list, but I'm just going to state three. So No. 1 would have to be Bruno Mars.

MARTIN: Solid, can understand that. No. 2?

GUERRA: Oprah.

MARTIN: Yes, I can see that.

GUERRA: And then No. 3 has to be Beyonce.

MARTIN: That's a tough one. Not doing a lot of interviews.

GUERRA: I already know that. But, just you know, a kid can dream.

MARTIN: But you got Jay-Z, so maybe he could put in a good for you.

GUERRA: Maybe.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UPGRADE U")

BEYONCE: (Singing) Partner, let me upgrade you, Audemars-Piguet you, switch your necktie to purple labels.

KIRA WAKEAM, BYLINE: I'm Kira Wakeam. I'm the line producer here at ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on the weekends. And I wanted to shout out our amazing intern, Lennon Sherburne. Lennon produced one of my favorite pieces in the last little while, which was an interview with the director, Luca Guadagnino, about his new documentary, "Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams." It's about the shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MARTIN: He describes in the film, he had no fear. And I was just so intrigued by that. What do you make of that?

LUCA GUADAGNINO: Certainly, he was one of a kind. I think even in those period of times in which the south of Italy was almost like a far west, even to those standards, he was really one of a kind and definitely must have been someone with a fierceness in him that was unstoppable.

LENNON SHERBURNE, BYLINE: Hey. My name is Lennon Sherburn. And I want to give a shoutout to my colleague Tyler Bartlam. She produced a super cool piece back in August on Bashar Murad, an openly gay Palestinian pop singer making music with a the message.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BASHAR MURAD: Each of my songs handles a certain topic that I've experienced growing up. And so in "Ana Zalameh," I chose to critique the idea of toxic masculinity and how, you know, growing up, I always heard that a boy should act this way and a girl should act this way.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANA ZALAMEH")

MURAD: (Singing in non-English language).

TYLER BARTLAM, BYLINE: I'm Tyler Bartlam. I'm a producer and director here at WATC. And I'm passing the mic to one of our editors, Tinbete Ermyas and one of my favorite things he worked on this year was an interview with two drag queens, Katya and Trixie, about their book, "Working Girls: A Guide To Professional Womanhood."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

TRIXIE MATTEL: Thank you. Hi, NPR. Hi old people commuting. Hi.

KATYA ZAMOLODCHIKOVA: Thank you so much for having me. This is a truly an honor. Listen. I love NPR, a lifelong listener. And I've got a poster of Terry Gross in my bedroom since I was 16, so...

BARTLAM: And it's just laugh-out-loud funny.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MATTEL: Plus, you know, backstage at a drag show, we might look like we love it, but, you know, it's really like it's like a game of Clue. Like, I have a rope. She has a revolver. Somebody has a candle. We're all thinking of killing ourselves or each other.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "9 TO 5")

DOLLY PARTON: (Singing) Working 9 to 5. What a way to make a living. Barely getting by. It's all taking and no giving.

TINBETE ERMYAS, BYLINE: Hey, everybody. My name is Tinbete Ermyas. I'm an editor here at ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. And I'm passing the mic to Ana Perez. She's a producer on the show. And while she's a fairly new addition to our team, she's produced a lot of really stellar interviews, and one that we did recently with Al Gore just after the U.N. climate conference.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MARTIN: Welcome, Mr. Vice President. Thank you for coming.

AL GORE: Thank you so much for having me.

MARTIN: The fact that we're still debating about whether elections in the United States are done correctly, the fact that we have people refusing to concede if they don't like the outcome, does this bring anything up for you? What are your thoughts about it?

GORE: Well, you know, in 2000, after the Supreme Court decision, I made the public statement that I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision. But but and I called then-Governor Bush and offered my concession. I just think that's the right thing to do.

ANA PEREZ, BYLINE: Hi. My name is Ana Perez, and I'm an associate producer here on the show. I actually want to give a shoutout to my colleague Gabriel J. Sánchez, who produced something I really enjoyed. He did a piece about the Postal Service featuring mariachi musicians on stamps. Gabe always seems to find those stories that you just don't quite hear anywhere else.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

GABRIEL J SÁNCHEZ: Mexican-born artist Rafael Lopez was also there and feeling proud. He's the creator of the new set of five mariachi-themed commemorative stamps. He said he wanted the images to reflect a vibrant mariachi sound by depicting the musicians in mid-performance.

RAFAEL LOPEZ: I wanted to pay focus on the actual expression of the singers.

SÁNCHEZ: Hello. My name is Gabriel J. Sánchez. I'm a producer for ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. And I'm the director of the live show you're listening to right now. And I'd like to highlight the work of my colleague, Mia Estrada. It's never easy meeting the demands of a national broadcast, and she does it from home in Texas, elevating local stories like this really fun one about a teacher who incorporated hip-hop into the math curriculum.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

THOMAS MAYFIELD: (Rapping) Now let's break this thing down. Let's start with the tenths. Like a dime to a dollar, there's 1 out of 10. Then we move to the hundredths, one part out of many. One out of 100, we call that a penny.

MIA ESTRADA: That's Mayfield and some of his previous students. They rap and make music videos about multiplication, decimal point places and motivational songs like passing the big end-of-year exam called the STARR test.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) We're going to pass the STARR test in the spring.

ESTRADA: Hi. I'm Mia Estrada, a temp production assistant at WATC. And I work remote from South Texas. And I want to shoutout Gurjit Kaur. She's an amazing producer and fellow pop culture nerd. One of my favorite stories graduated this year was on "Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

GUILLERMO DEL TORO: It's a movie that is deeply personal. And it's a movie that tries to sum up - I'm 58. I've been a kid. I've been a parent. I have failed or been failed on both to some degree. I think that the movie talks very, very deeply with great eloquence about life and how precious and brief it is and how we can love each other exactly as we are.

GURJIT KAUR, BYLINE: My name is Gurjit Kaur, and I'm a production assistant on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I want to shout out one of the most talented people I know, Jeanette Woods. She's the editor on our podcast, Consider This. Jeanette always puts in the time and effort to find the right voice, like Brenda Hawkins, a guest from an episode of our podcast back in February about America's childcare crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BRENDA HAWKINS: The hardest phone call that I ever had to make to these parents to let them know that their child was - that they had come in contact with a child that had COVID. So we made it through. But, you know, there are people who, once that happens, they don't want to come back to your day care.

NADWORNY: And we couldn't end the show without a shout out to our fearless leaders - Michel Martin, who hosts this show, our supervising editor, Adam Rainey (ph), and our executive producer, Natalie Winston, and, of course, our engineer, Kwesi Lee, who gets us on the air. I'm Elissa Nadworny. Here's to more memorable stories in 2023. Thank you for listening. And Happy New Year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.