David Forster Headshot

WOUB Employee Spotlight: News Assignment Editor David Forster

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Forster has worked at WOUB since September 2020

ATHENS, OH – David Forster loves journalism and learning how to grow as a journalist. That’s one of the reasons he is so excited to be working at WOUB Public Media. For most of Forster’s career, he worked as a print reporter and editor at newspapers. In his role at WOUB, he is learning about radio reporting.

“I get to have interesting conversations with people almost every day and then share what I’ve learned with everyone else. That’s always been the best part of journalism for me. But now at WOUB I get to play with sound, which adds a new dimension to the stories. I have fallen in love with audio production and still have so much to learn,” said Forster.

Forster grew up in California. He lived as far south as Los Angeles and as far north as Eureka but spent most of his time in the Central Valley. Forster graduated from California State University Fresno with a degree in journalism.

“One of my first assignments in my first job after college was to write a cute feature about a young girl who raised bunnies. During the interview I learned that after she raised them, she then slaughtered them herself in the backyard and ate them. I thought that was an interesting twist to a familiar story and worked it into my lead sentence. Then I was fired,” said Forster laughing. “But what I learned is to always keep an open mind going into a story because you never know where it might take you. Journalists at their best are always trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together, and I’ve spent my career trying and occasionally succeeding at that. I’m still working on that here at WOUB.”

As you might be able to tell, Forster has a passion for journalism. But he also has a passion for motorcycles.

“I love rebuilding old motorcycles,” said Forster. “My first project was a 1966 Honda Dream 305 that I rebuilt from boxes of parts.”

Forster started working at WOUB during the pandemic. It’s been tough because the way reporters connect with contacts and sources has changed.

“No one answers their phone anymore,” said Forster. “So many people are working from home, and unless you’ve already cultivated a relationship with a source, you typically don’t have their cell numbers. So, it’s taking longer to get stories turned around as you wait for people to respond to voicemails and emails.”

But even with the COVID-19 related frustrations, Forster is proud of the work he is doing and the organization he is doing it for.

“I’ve been listening to NPR since my college days. I always liked the NPR depth and context approach to journalism and especially the way the best radio reporters would get me so drawn into a story that I could not pull away – those ‘driveway moments’ they talk about,” said Forster. “NPR sets a high bar, which sets high audience expectations, and it feels good working for a place with this tradition I feel responsible to help maintain.”