Rachel Mendl Ward

Hey

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I’m Rachel m. ward

I use audio to solve problems.

If you need to get in touch with me you can email me at rachelmward at gmail.

 
 

Portfolio


 

What I do


PRODUCTION

DEVELOPMENT

CONCEPTING

EDITING

writing

I’m a producer. The meaning of that word is industry-dependent, but when I say I’m a producer, I mean my job is to anticipate problems and solve them before they happen. My job is to think on my feet, get good assets, invent something new and beautiful, and hit the deadline.

Along the way, I’ll extract lessons and refine the process so the next time we do it, it’s faster, cheaper, and more fun.

I’ve made voice skills for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, podcasts for Gimlet Media, news broadcasts for NPR, and television for PBS in upstate New York.

I like to use the design process for concepting, Scrum for managing projects, and the SPJ’s Code of Ethics for journalism practice.

 

valueS

I don’t think a job is just a job. It’s my work. It’s how I’m going to spend most of my time. I choose work where I can live my values.

professional VALUES

Everyone deserves an editor.

There is a solution.

Stories are the molecular unit of everything.

Teach don’t tell.

You need a big idea.

Let’s create a process.

Use privilege to destroy privilege.

PERSONAL VALUES

Radical empathy.

Black and brown, queer and femme people deserve bodily autonomy.

Everyone ought to feel the satisfaction of contributing.

Climate change is man-made and requires man-made solutions.

It is more important for more people to have economic security than for some people to have prosperity.

A free press is critical to a free state.

Safety is a human right.

Let’s focus on what we need, not what we want.

It is easier to tell the truth, to be kind, to say yes.

 

Experience


Currently

Gimlet Media
October 2015 - Present

I’m currently the executive producer of special projects for Gimlet Creative, Gimlet Media’s branded studio. Don’t know what any of that means? That’s totally fine - it’s just a made-up title that allows me to say yes to everything.

Like, you want me to build a tooth brushing skill for kids for Amazon Alexa from scratch? Ok, I’m on it. Adobe’s podcast Wireframe needs an editor? Ok, you got it. You need a budget, scope of work, and production plan for a new voice skill for a leading global payment & technology company? I’ll share you on the doc. Nike’s Fenom Effect podcast needs a producer to interview Abby Wambach? Yup. What are we going to call the Microsoft podcast? I’ll run a brainstorm. Blue Apron’s Why We Eat What We Eat needs a rewrite? Just tell me when you need it by. We have to figure out some flexible staffing for the next six months? Let me pop open my contacts. Heavyweight needs an extra set of ears? Just put it on my calendar.

Yes to everything.

Previously

National Public Radio
April 2012 - October 2015
I produced Morning Edition on the overnight run-up to the live broadcast, and through the live show, leading a team of producers and editors. I also field produced for Steve Inskeep, Renee Montagne, David Greene and Linda Wertheimer. I won the 2015 Spark & Impact Award for building a healthy and proactive culture on the overnight. I am the perpetrator of various NPR goofs, including: the Annual Overnight Halloween Scavenger Hunt, Outfit of the Day Thesis Statement, overnight waffle night, @NPRBees, “Offensive Language,” “The Book of Clocks,”Ari, Marry Me,” and the overnight New Years Tiny Desk Concert.

Innovation Trail
June 2010 - April 2012
I was the founding editor of the Innovation Trail, a reporting collaboration housed at WXXI in Rochester, NY. Working with reporters and news directors at public media outlets across the state, we built upstate’s first vertical covering the innovation economy. My team fed the daily beast, did investigations, made TV shows, and collaborated outside of New York State on regional issues like fracking and horse racing. I designed systems to measure the strength of our reporting, wrote grants, and served as a member station lead on NPR’s Digital Services Core Publisher pilot project.

WXXI Public Broadcasting
January 2007 - June 2010
I hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered and reported on county government and social justice issues. I was selected for NPR’s Economic Reporting Project fellowship.






Even more previously

WOUB Public Media
August 2005 - August 2006

Association of Public Television Stations
January 2004 - December 2005

 
 

Bona Fides


AWARDS

Schools

Masters of Telecommunications, Ohio University
Athens, OH
Thesis: “Podcasting Implementation in Public Radio”
January 2007

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English, French minor, Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
May 2003

LanguageS

I can make myself understood in French.

I can understand what’s being said in Spanish.

I’m just beginning to learn ASL.