#8: Gary Noesner – FBI Hostage Negotiator

Gary Noesner was the FBI negotiator at Waco in 1993, where David Koresh and the Branch Davidians waged a 51-day siege against authorities. This is just one of the many high-profile cases Gary has worked on, and we wondered what a career in negotiating life-or-death situations teaches you about listening.

Show notes & links:

#7: Celeste Headlee – Listening to Become More Human

Being in the hosting chair of public radio for almost 20 years made Celeste Headlee discover how bad most of our conversations are. What are we doing wrong? And how can we make it right?

Show notes & links:

#5: Megan Finnerty – The Storyteller’s Project

7 years after starting the Arizona Storyteller’s project, Megan Finnerty has watched her project expand to 22 cities across the United States. We talk about why people are drawn to live storytelling events, what goes into putting them on, and how Megan uses her expertise to help participants get the most out of the experience of telling their stories on stage.

Show notes & links:

#1: Joy Mayer – Building Trust for Civil Dialogue

How do journalists earn the trust of their communities? As the director of the Trusting News Project, Joy Mayer breaks down practices of engaged journalism and explains why credibility is key for effective communication. She and Andrew talk about fostering environments for civility and dialogue within newsrooms and discuss how being a journalist is a lot like hosting a party.

Show notes & links


We’re excited to announce a brand new podcast series called Listeners, a show about the craft and power of listening.

The show reflects the mission of the center I help run: The Agora Journalism Center. At Agora, we wanted to emulate a place where people can come together, present new information, discuss and deliberate, and seek out solutions that ills the community. There was such a place in ancient Greece, and it was called the Agora.

But I fear that we’re losing our natural abilities for healthy discussion and deliberation. And it’s not only because digital screens are vying for our attention, but it’s also because we’re grappling to live in a system that thrives on dividing rather than uniting… that would rather build walls than bridges.

But I do believe that people want to live in a society that is civil and care for the well being of others. To get to that place of empathy, however, we need (as a society) to be better communicators, the root of which is to better active listeners.

So this new podcast show is our journey to that place. We’ll talk with media and communication experts, thought leaders, doers, and innovators whose ideas can amplify the quality of our dialogue and interactions.

If you have any suggestions on who else we should talk to, please shoot us an email at listenerspodcast@uoregon.edu. Or if you have any ideas on how to make this new show better, again, drop us a line. And I hope you’ll enjoy the show.