Code Switch Selects Our Favorite Episodes Of 2020



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What’s in a name?

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«I loved working on our episode about the Gen Z Latinx voters that was part of our election coverage. I pitched the idea months before, wanting to know more about this fast-growing demographic of young folks, and spent weeks talking to young folks across the country about the issues that are important to them. I love working on stories that take teens and their politics seriously—and it was great to spend so much time talking to people who care deeply about their world.» — Natalie Escobar, assistant editor

«Our episode about the Treaty of New Echota was born out of a deep, deep research rabbit hole. It was my first meaningful interaction with an idea Julian Brave NoiseCat wrote about recently for the Columbia Journalism Review, that they way journalists are trained to tell stories often fails Indigenous stories and storytelling. In learning so much that I never picked up through school, it constantly felt like this story was missing pieces (slave owning, Christian schooling, attacks on Chief John Ross’s mixed heritage — each one a rabbit hole of its own). But while one episode of Code Switch can’t cover everything, we still told a story about family, art and power that I’m really proud of.» — Jess Kung, production assistant


Code Switch
A Treaty Right For Cherokee Representation

«One Korean American’s Reckoning was a really meaningful episode for me to work on because it’s the first one I reported and produced since joining Code Switch at the beginning of the summer. I was really new to the team and I jumped in feet first with a lot of support and creative freedom to talk about anti-Blackness and organizing in the Asian American community. All of the research was new to me, so I was learning about myself as I was reporting and that is always amazing!» — Alyssa Jeong Perry, producer

«I’d have to say my favorite, and the toughest piece of design I’ve worked on all year, was for the episode A Decade of Watching Black People Die. I had the, what seemed to me, obvious idea of writing out the names of black people killed at the hands of police up to the murder of George Floyd on one sheet, and making it printable, to show the impact of this disease. People really appreciated and felt moved by that simple but meaningful design. I saw the design on posters and flags, and it even became a giant mural in Brooklyn. But the worst part was that soon after I created it, it became outdated. The list is too long and still growing.» —LA Johnson, art director

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The rate at which black Americans are killed by police is more than twice as high as the rate for white Americans. This is a non-comprehensive list of deaths at the hands of police in the U.S. since Eric Garner’s death in July 2014.

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Code Switch
What’s In A ‘Karen’?

«This year was a whirlwind, so it felt really satisfying to be able to work on episodes that felt super relevant to all that was going on in the country. But my favorite episode to work on had nothing to do with the news — it was a story about my family’s history, and how my ancestors’ lives intersected with slavery, reconstruction and the Great Migration. Getting to explore those histories through a personal lens was such a privilege, and helped illuminate how present the past can be in all of our lives. And drinking beer in the French Quarter with my dad as ‘research’ didn’t hurt, either.» —Leah Donnella, editor



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