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About the program

You've heard the sound bites. Word for Word gives you a chance to hear from the newsmakers at length. Each week we feature an interesting and timely speech on a hot topic in the news: from the war in Iraq to intelligence gathering, education reform to immigration. Word for Word strives for balance, featuring top policymakers, thinkers and opinion leaders from the left, right and center. We draw speeches from respected venues like the National Press Club, the Chautauqua Institution, the Aspen Institute and other prestigious institutions across the country. Host Melinda Penkava, a 15-year veteran of public radio, provides the crucial background information and context. Then we open up the microphone and give our influential speakers the time they need to make a nuanced argument.

(American Public Media is cancelling Word for Word effective Friday, August 8, 2008. )
Melinda Penkava, host

Melinda Penkava, host Melinda Penkava has worked in public radio since 1991, first at member station WUNC in Chapel Hill and later at NPR, where she was a newscaster, reporter and hosted programs such as Talk of the Nation. In recent years she hosted WUNC's daily interview and talk program, The State of Things.

Melinda is a native of New Haven, Connecticut and worked in commercial radio there and in North Carolina. Her resume includes a stint on a pirate radio ship off of the English coast, and later, a year and a half living on a 28-foot boat and sailing between Cuba and Nova Scotia.

Producer: Larissa Anderson
Associate Producer: Patti Rai Rudolph
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