Production Assistant, Hidden Brain


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The Production Assistant will assist in producing material for Hidden Brain, a weekly podcast that explores human behavior and life’s unseen patterns. She/He will cut audio of long-form interviews and assists with basic sound design of host-reported stories; gather field tape and “found sound” from online and other sources, and assembles audio montages; assists with in-studio production of interviews and live events; books guests for host interviews and conducts research on show topics; produce content for digital media, including web builds and newsletters; and conduct research, compiles show data and completes other administrative tasks as needed.

Essential Duties Include

Participates in sound gathering and audio production for our weekly podcast and Hidden Brain newsmagazine stories.

  • Edits audio of long-form “spotlight” interviews for the Hidden Brain
  • Assembles host-narrated “deep dive” stories for the Hidden Brain
  • Gathers “found sound” from online and other sources and conduct field interviews.
  • Assembles montages or “waterfalls” of sound for use on the show.
  • Assembles shorter versions of our podcast stories for use on NPR’s newsmagazine programs.
  • Assists with in-studio production, including running the sound board and connecting to guests via ISDN.
  • Assists with production of live events and town hall-style recordings of shows.

Participates in reaching out to guests and developing content for the Hidden Brain podcast.

  • Helps to coordinate and book guest interviews.
  • Prepares background research on interviewees and other topics as required.
  • Writes copy for web builds, newsletters, and other digital content.

Participates in show-related administrative tasks.

  • Assists the supervising producer with workflow management, including assembly of spreadsheets and other content management materials.
  • Opens Hidden Brain mail and distributes to show producers.

Other duties as assigned. This job does not have on-air responsibilities.


Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.



  • Ability to edit audio. Knowledge of MTE is a plus.
  • Strong storytelling sensibilities and an ability to identify anecdotes that can bring a larger idea or research finding to life.
  • Experience and demonstrated commitment to fact checking.
  • Thorough knowledge of research tools, including online databases.
  • Demonstrated writing ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to work quickly and efficiently under deadline pressure.
  • Ability to handle more than one assignment at a time; ability to prioritize, anticipate and communicate effectively.
  • Ability and willingness to work varied shifts.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a collegial and high-energy team.
  • Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating, at all times, respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system.
  • Ability and willingness to relocate. In the future, NPR may choose to transfer employees to other geographic locations.  Severance provisions of the AFTRA collective bargaining agreement will apply should you choose not to accept a transfer.


  • Experience in podcasting and radio broadcasting, including producing in and operating digital audio self-op facilities. 
  • Ability to use recording equipment to gather field sound.
  • Digital media skills, inclduing proficiency in social media as a news gathering technique.
  • Familiarity with blogging and Web 2.0 functionalities. 

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