Courtesy of Josh Crane and Myra Flynn
Josh Crane (left) and Myra Flynn
Podcast producer Josh Crane
and singer-songwriter Myra Flynn
, a former journalist at the Burlington Free Press
, have joined Vermont Public Radio
as engagement producers. They'll primarily support the station's Brave Little State
podcast, an investigative program that uses audience-sourced queries as the foundation of its stories.
Crane and Flynn are the first to fill the new positions and start work on Wednesday, March 31.
Prior to joining VPR, Crane was the producer of Endless Thread
on NPR member station WBUR-FM in Boston. The podcast delves into stories that originate from the depths of Reddit.
"To me, engagement journalism, in general, is about listening more intentionally and more openly to the communities that, in this case, VPR is supposed to be serving," Crane said on a conference call with Flynn and Seven Days
"I see my role as basically making sure that VPR and all of the journalism that it's doing is bringing communities into the journalistic process in different ways," Crane continued.
"Josh and I are also tasked with finding new and creative ways to hear those voices who are underrepresented," Flynn added. "The people who are able to respond to, say, the setup that Brave Little State has — they have to have access to high-speed internet, or technology or a device.
"It doesn't clearly represent the full spectrum of the Vermont community if the only people to connect with us are the people who are privileged enough to be able to do so," she continued.
In a press release, Flynn noted a parallel between her work as a musician and her background in journalism.
"Both are documentarians of the people and our times," she said. "Both are eager to wrap words around massive emotional or newsworthy subject-matter but are tasked with condensing them into small, digestible, palatable pieces for the public."
Crane and Flynn each have roots in Vermont. Crane graduated from Middlebury College in 2014, and is married to an Addison County native. Flynn, originally from Randolph, started her music career in Vermont before moving to Los Angeles to continue her pursuit. Flynn recently moved back to Vermont with her husband Phil Wills and their one-year-old daughter Avalon.
"I'm really excited to be a BIPOC journalist and reporter for 'Brave Little State' and beyond VPR," Flynn added. "I'm looking forward to amplifying brown and Black voices more and more in Vermont — and also being a brown and Black voice who is amplified."