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1A's Joshua Johnson Talks About Civility And His Florida Roots

Stephen Voss
1A Host Joshua Johnson

NPR listeners across the country can hear 1A with Joshua Johnson every weekday.

Many South Floridians are even more familiar with Johnson because he hails from West Palm Beach and has journalistic roots in Miami.

1A will broadcast live at 10 a.m. from the USF St. Petersburg Student Center on Monday and WUSF on Tuesday. WUSF spoke with Johnson about his background and what he's looking forward to.

On civility:

"The key for me in being civil is in reminding myself of a good general rule - which is that the things that people say and do to you are not about you. They're about them. What you say to me is more about you than it is about me because you're the one choosing to say it, and as long as I bear that in mind it keeps my ego from being bruised...for my work as a moderator, as an interviewer, my job is to never let it get personal."

On Florida:  

"Florida is this wellspring of talent and insight and expertise. There's so much in Florida that I think would surprise people if they knew just how much expertise there is in the state on so many different kinds of topics. We're known for a few things, but there's so much more in this incredibly diverse, incredibly complicated, endlessly fascinating, sometimes embarrassing state that is just very loveable from a journalistic perspective."

On the 1A approach:

"We try to start with someone's story. Say we do a piece about a hurricane. Say a hurricane comes across South Florida and does tons of damage, and we have booked a meteorologist, someone who is an expert in disaster recovery, someone whose home was destroyed and we have booked someone on Capitol Hill.

"Who do you think we're going to start with? The person whose home was destroyed. Because that's where the story is. That humanizes the story. You ground it in someone's lived experience. It doesn't mean those other guests don't count, but it's most important for us to start with what's at stake for real people."

Almost every day, I come before the microphone with the same enthusiasm as the Dani Rojas character in the “Ted Lasso” television series. I do 100 pushups, take some laps around the house, thank my supervisors and audience for giving me the opportunity to do what I love, bellow “Radio is liiiife” from the back steps, and bound back to my garret and get to work.
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