Amy DiPierro, Swarthmore College
A student-athlete and an honors history major from Park Ridge, NJ Amy DiPierro ’15 joined War News Radio as a first-year student in fall 2011. War News Radio is an independent and award-winning journalism project of Swarthmore College students like Amy who are devoted to putting a human face on the long-term causes and consequences of conflict. The WNR mission is to bring voices otherwise absent from the media — civilians in combat zones, war veterans, survivors of violence, and solution-oriented experts — to their audience and the world. Amy has led dozens of students who have participated in the production of WNR to gain a deeper understanding of international affairs, to learn how to use resources for research, to practice interviewing and listening skills, to voice radio stories, to use recording and production equipment, to write clearly and succinctly, and to think deeply about how best to communicate and share knowledge. Most recently, under Amy’s leadership, WNR is in talks with NPR founder, Bill Siemering to join the “Developing Radio Partners,” a NGO that works with local radio stations in developing countries, providing them with the skills they need to bring reliable information to those who need it most.
-Constance Hungerford, President
I joined War News Radio because I strongly believe journalists can be part of the solutions to violent conflicts. One of my most important responsibilities as a reporter is to give the people I interview, who have often lived through the trauma of war, a respectful and safe space to tell their stories. Listening to such people is one way journalists can help the healing process and, in the bigger picture, interrupt cycles of violence. With this in mind, my job as a leader at WNR is to teach our staff to listen closely and to look for solutions to conflicts especially when they cover polarized issues. Within our group, I also work hard to maintain a culture of collective mental health support as we report on weighty subject matter. These facilitation and critical-thinking skills, cultivated in Swarthmore’s classrooms, have followed me into the WNR newsroom and even to Philadelphia’s public radio station, where I interned for a summer. The values and strategies I have practiced at WNR while serving communities as close as the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and as far away as Baghdad will certainly guide me long after I leave campus.