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All Things Considered reflects on its favorite stories and voices of 2022

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

As the year comes to a close, we want to take a moment to recognize the many people who get this show to you every day.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

That is right. So we asked some of the staff of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED to tell you about the stories that they will most remember from 2022.

ASHLEY BROWN, BYLINE: I'm Ashley Brown. I'm an editor on the show. And I will always remember working on the book interview with former first lady Michelle Obama. It had a ton of advice. And I'll always remember her take on marriage and compromise.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

MICHELLE OBAMA: We have to understand that marriage is never 50/50. If I look over my marriage, if I were to judge it in year five or year 10, there was never 50/50. Somebody was always giving way more. Someone always needed a different kind of thing. You have to evolve with it.

KAREN ZAMORA, BYLINE: I'm Karen Zamora, producer on this show. This summer, my fellow producers, Alejandro Marquez Janse and Jonaki Mehta spent time with families in Uvalde, Texas. I'll never forget how Kimberly Rubio talked about her daughter, Lexi, one of the 21 people killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary in May.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

KIMBERLY RUBIO: Lexi would have made a difference in this world. She was very into politics already at a young age. I know she would have made a difference. So it's not just us who lost someone. The world lost her. She's a beautiful person. And we miss her a lot.

SARAH HANDEL, BYLINE: My name is Sarah Handel, and I helped edit the stories that came out of Ari's three-week trip through Senegal, Morocco and Spain, where we tried to really put names, faces and voices to the migrants who leave Africa in search of better lives in Europe. This is just one from a Sudanese man, Hussein Mohammed (ph). He jumped the border fence between Morocco and Spain, a place where dozens of migrants died trying to cross this past June. Mohammed told the team he was overwhelmed when he finally reached Spain after six long years on the road.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

HUSSEIN MOHAMMED: When I enter here, I was crying.

SHAPIRO: Were you crying from happiness or sadness or the people who didn't survive or your pain or all the...

MOHAMMED: All the - I was happy and very sad.

SHAPIRO: If you could talk to the Hussein of six years ago, what would you tell him?

MOHAMMED: Keep going. Keep going. Don't give up.

HANDEL: This was a project that took at least a year of planning and a team of producers and editors - Matt Ozug, Noah Caldwell, Miguel Macias, Ayen Bior, Pat Wood and myself.

KAI MCNAMEE, BYLINE: Hey. I'm Kai McNamee, and I'm a producer for the show. Over the last few months, I've worked on a bunch of different stories about outer space. And one of the highlights on the space beat has been the James Webb Space Telescope. When NASA released its first images, I was just blown away. I've talked with several scientists since then who all feel that same excitement, like astronomer Heidi Hammel when she first saw the telescope images of Neptune.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

HEIDI HAMMEL: I was so emotional. I first started crying. And then I started shouting and calling all my relatives to come look at this picture.

ERIKA RYAN, BYLINE: My name is Erika Ryan. I'm a producer for ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I've worked on a lot of stories this year. Many of them were pretty serious. But I also had one of the coolest moments of my career so far. While working on a profile about the actor Michael Imperioli, I got the opportunity to chat with one of the most famous directors of all time who also happens to be a hero of mine, Martin Scorsese.

MARTIN SCORSESE: Naturally.

RYAN: I'm Italian as well, my mom.

SCORSESE: But your name's Ryan.

RYAN: Middle names's Pantaloni (ph). That's my mom's maiden name.

SCORSESE: What happened? How did that happen?

JASON FULLER, BYLINE: Hey, everyone. I'm Jason Fuller. I'm a producer on the show. And 2022 was definitely the year of people getting back out into society and rekindling friendships. One memento that I'll tuck away from this year was traveling to New York City with Mary Louise Kelly and our editor Sara Handel to talk with country music icons Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile about their friendship formed through country music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING MY FLOWERS NOW")

TANYA TUCKER: (Singing) Bring my flowers now while I'm living.

BRANDI CARLILE: I wrote it down for you so you could be your own voice. But I know those are your feelings. So you wrote that song, you know, even if I held the pen.

TUCKER: Well, you know, we all do things differently. But she gets me. And I'm so thankful.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING MY FLOWERS NOW")

TUCKER: (Singing) If your heart is in them flowers, bring them home.

FULLER: Not only was this conversation a treat to put together, but I've since developed an ear and appreciation for the whole genre.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING MY FLOWERS NOW")

TUCKER: (Singing) But the years are lightning. They're bright and they will never strike again.

MEGAN LIM, BYLINE: I'm Megan Lim. I'm a producer. Earlier this year, Juana and editor Mallory Yu and I got to commemorate 30 years of a childhood favorite, "Sailor Moon." We talked to fellow nerd and writer Briana Lawrence about why this show still means so much to so many, but especially the relationship between two of the Sailor Scouts.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

BRIANA LAWRENCE: Because with Uranus and Neptune, there's no, like, episode explaining, you know, why they're gay. It is just like, no, they just are.

LIM: It can be so bittersweet as a queer adult seeing all the amazing kids shows today that show queer people and wishing you had that as a kid. But for me, I'll always love "Sailor Moon."

CHRISTOPHER INTAGLIATA, BYLINE: Hey. I'm Christopher Intagliata, and I'm an editor on the show. And I've also always been a big science geek. And I love connecting the dots between new scientific findings and things that people might relate to from their own lives. And there was a story we did this year about how bats make certain low-pitched calls. And it turns out there's some similarity between how they do that and how death metal singers do their thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SLOWLY WE ROT (REISSUED)")

OBITUARY: (Vocalizing).

INTAGLIATA: Obviously, we had to call up Jeff Tardy (ph) of the band Obituary to tell us what that feels like.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

JOHN TARDY: I mean, it's from your abdomen to your chest to your legs to obviously a lot of your throat.

INTAGLIATA: Talking to a death metal singer for a science story about bats, it definitely felt like we were considering all the things.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SLOWLY WE ROT (REISSUED)")

OBITUARY: (Vocalizing).

MIA VENKAT, BYLINE: I'm producer Mia Venkat. And one of the highlights of my year was getting to interview the Gregory Brothers, the musical masterminds behind so many viral songs over the years.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S CORN")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Singing) For me, I really like corn.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: What do you like about corn?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

ANDREW GREGORY: I think our videos are really about finding amazing moments on the internet and celebrating them and amplifying them.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S CORN")

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) It's corn, a big lump with knobs.

LINAH MOHAMMAD, BYLINE: I'm Linah Mohammad, a producer on the show. One of my favorite segments is an interview we did with Palestinian-Syrian chef Reem Assil about maamoul. They're these stuffed shortbread-like cookies.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

REEM ASSIL: Anyone who has made maamoul will know, when you stick it in that mold, you have to slam it on the table. And it's like the most satisfying thing to get that cookie with the beautiful design, but also to take out your aggression.

MOHAMMAD: My family used to make maamoul (inaudible), and making them is the most tedious thing. I would always complain. The conversation brought all of those memories back, but it also made me appreciate maamoul a bit more.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SHAPIRO: Part of our team recalling some of our favorite stories of the year. Of course, there are more people who help bring you the show all year round on the radio and online.

CHANG: Apart from those whose names you just heard, our team also includes editors Justine Kenin, Patrick Jarenwattananon and Courtney Dorning.

SHAPIRO: Also producers Elena Burnett, Fatma Tanis, Gabe O'Connor, Gustavo Contreras, Kat Lonsdorf, Lauren Hodges, Lee Hale, Vincent Acovino, Manuela Lopez Restrepo, Wynne Davis, Connor Donevan, Brianna Scott, Seyma Bayram, Michael Levitt, Taylor Hutchison and Enrique Rivera.

CHANG: Our intern is Mallika Seshadri, and Jonas Adams directs our show day in and day out.

SHAPIRO: Our technical directors are Stu Rushfield and J. Czys, just a sliver of the much, much larger team that makes ALL THINGS CONSIDERED possible every day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

William Troop
Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who hosts All Things Considered along with Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, and Mary Louise Kelly. She landed in public radio after practicing law for a few years.
Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.