Lancer Media journalists inspired by WYPR speaker Mary Louise Kelly: Photo of the Day 5/2/18


Natalie Rebetsky

Journalism students Natalie Roth, Bridget Murphy and Lilly Player attending Mary Louise Kelly’s talk.

by Bridget Murphy and Lilly Player

On May 1, NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly spoke at the Center Stage in Baltimore about her journalism career.  She is now a co-host of All Things Considered, an afternoon news magazine program for National Public Radio (NPR). Kelly replaced Robert Seigel when he retired from the show.

Three of The Lance staff members, Natalie Roth, Bridget Murphy and Lilly Player attended this event with adviser Mrs. Natalie Rebetsky and her family. Rebetsky received free tickets from WYPR.

Although Kelly spoke about her long journey in journalism, the main point of the speech was how she and other journalists are trying to deal with and report on the controversy in America right now.

“So many of the old rules no longer seem to apply,” Kelly said regarding the change in media over time. She has reported on many national topics, such as 9/11 and the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Kelly is a magna cum laude graduate from Harvard University class of 1993. She was a senior editor at the Harvard Crimson as well as a staff writer at Cambridge University.

Kelly got her first major job as a journalist at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after attending graduate school at Cambridge University to get a master in European Studies. She then went on to become a producer for CNN in London.

She has traveled around the globe reporting stories, to places as far as Iraq and Russia. Kelly has written two books, The Bullet and Anonymous Sources. Connecting her experiences in Russia and with U.S. government officials, she explained how crucial it is that each source is very carefully questioned when they request to be anonymous. She spoke about how important the trust of her viewers is to her and how it is hard for them to believe her when she uses anonymous sources.

This is an issue that most journalists must face.

“Anonymous sources are not anonymous to me. Standards of vetting are greater because they are trusting me,” said Kelly.

courtesy of Susan Boroff
Mary Louise Kelly talks about her experience throughout her journalism career.

After the talk there was a Q&A held for the audience to engage personally with Kelly.

Bridget Murphy asked Kelly how they keep their NPR newsroom unbiased. She told Murphy that it was important to get a lot of voices as part of each story, to make sure all sides are covered.

She explained that when she is interviewing someone (from either political side) she tries to challenge them and make sure they have justifications for their views.

While there were many controversial questions from the audience, Kelly stayed very composed and mature.

It was a wonderful experience for any aspiring journalist! If you’re interested in listening to Mary Louise Kelly, hear her on All Things Considered on NPR.