An evening with NPR’s Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi talks to WKMS listeners about the changing economy. (Photo courtesy of Nick Kendall/TheNews)

Story by Nick Kendall

Contributing writer

Thursday, June 6th at Murray State’s Wrather Auditorium, NPR business correspondent Yuki Noguchi talked to the crowd about economic and workforce issues in today’s world.

Noguchi started her career at the Washington Post as a reporter, then later became an editor. She credits the Post for “toughening up” her shy exterior, saying that it was “exciting to be learning almost by osmosis from people around me who are really good at their jobs.” she told Tracy Ross of WKMS. She joined NPR in 2008 and because of that  previous journalism experience, the transition to radio reporting was no problem for Noguchi.

WKMS station manager Chad Lampe was the emcee of the event. He had the list of questions from the audience to ask Noguchi throughout the lecture.

She was asked what kind of jobs people prefer nowadays. She began with the economy and how it’s changed from generation to generation. Since millennials make up the majority of the workforce now, Noguchi elaborated on their job preferences “Millennials prefer contract work because they like to work on projects on their own time,” Noguchi said.

She then went on to explain how Chinese and Mexican tariffs are affecting and in one case helping American businesses. She mentioned a Detroit bike shop that has interesting ways of business. The business has to spend more for parts from China but they can get their money back and more from making bikes for American companies.

What made Noguchi famous was the story she created about the Opioid epidemic in the region. She talked about a restaurant in Indiana that doesn’t give it’s customers spoons so they don’t go to the bathroom and cook drugs. Then she made some of the guests in the Wrather Auditorium tear up when her interview with the family of Katie Sexton, a woman who died of an overdose.

To lighten the mood after the tear-jerking subject matter, Lampe asked if there were three things she could say to Murray State students. Noguchi told the crowd, “Know your power, dream big, and stay curious so you can stay informed.”

The night ended with the question—why is radio the best form of media?

“You can say what you want, how you want it to be heard,” Noguchi said. She believes with radio, you can listen to a person’s story and picture it in your mind how you want to.  Because of this, she knows that radio will be around forever.