'Let's Navigate This Brave New World Together'



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Michel Martin introduces her award-winning commentary "Can I Just Tell You" to weekend All Things Considered. In this installment, she reflects on her life, and her career in journalism.

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Finally today - so maybe it's a little strange to be saying hello at the end of the program, but let me do it this one time. If I've met you before, say, on another NPR program or at an NPR live event or even from my previous life in television, it's good to be with you again. But if this is our first time running into each other, well, I am very glad to meet you. Since we are hopefully go spend some time together on the weekends, I thought this would be a good time to get acquainted. So here goes.

I've been a journalist for my entire adult life. I actually started my career as a summer intern at The Washington Post right out of college. True story - getting that internship was the reason I learned to drive. Having been born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., I never really had the need or the opportunity. So when I found out I got the internship, the first thing I did - besides jump up and down and hug all my roommates - was scrape up the last few dollars in my bank account and arrange for lessons.

My graduation ceremony was June 5. I took my driver's license exam June 6 on a stick shift - thank you very much - and drove to Washington with some interesting friends on June 8 and started my internship June 10. My driving teacher also taught me how to change a tire, which came in quite handy when I flattened one on a company car during my - oh, I don't know - third or fourth day at work. Sorry I didn't mention it before, Mr. Graham (ph). After The Post, where I cut my teeth covering local and state politics, I worked at The Wall Street Journal, where I eventually became a White House correspondent. From there, I headed to ABC News, and then, in 2006, I came to NPR to launch a program called Tell Me More.

If you happen to have listened to that program, which I hosted for nearly eight years, then you know I have a particular interest in how this country's population is changing and how those changes affect us all - our politics, our culture and our sense of ourselves. But people who listened to the show also know I'm interested in a lot of other things - technology, religion and spirituality, broadly defined. I'm also interested in education. I think it's a critical issue that affects every level of our society from the most privileged to the least. I'm very interested in economics and personal finance and sports and science - particularly research that sheds new light on old questions.

Now that you know little bit about me, can I just tell you it turns out I know a little bit about you, too. I know that you really value the news. You really want to keep up with what's happening in the country and the world, but you also like to slow down a bit on the weekends sometimes to a little deeper dive into the headlines. I know that you don't much care about the antics of a certain famous family whose last name begins with a K, but you are interested in the culture, in books, movies and music. But like friends arguing over the playlist on a road trip, you often don't agree on what you want to hear.

Here's what I would ask of you - our bargain, if you will. I will keep you up on the news, but I'm going to ask you to keep an open mind about just what that means and what form that takes. I've been around long enough to know that ideas that seem out of this world one minute, like a female secretary of state or a phone that takes pictures, plays music and fits in your pocket, can be an everyday fact of life in the next. So let's go. Let's navigate this brave new world together. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.