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WLRN Adds Latin America Correspondent In Collaboration With NPR And The Herald

C. DiMattei

Journalist Tim Padgett spent nearly a quarter of a century covering Latin America and the Caribbean for TIME and Newsweek magazines.

But he's always been envious of the way foreign correspondents deliver the news for NPR.

"They're giving listeners a richer sense of the sounds and the colors than perhaps I'm able to do as a print reporter," he says.

Starting today, Padgett will spend more time behind the microphone, as the new Americas Correspondent for WLRN-Miami Herald News in Miami.

He will coordinate coverage of the region with reporters from NPR, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, forming one of the largest reporting teams in the hemisphere.

WLRN General Manager John Labonia says this sort of expansion has always been one of his dream projects.

"What happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound affect on South Florida.  And it's our mission to cover that news," says Labonia.

NPR's Senior International Editor Edith Chapin says collaborating on international coverage is a new frontier for public radio.

 "That collaboration happens domestically on every major breaking story," says Chapin.  "Why not find smart ways to do it in the international arena as well?

As part of the expansion, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro will become NPR's South American correspondent based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, bolstering a Latin America coverage team that includes Carrie Kahn in Mexico City. 

"We're thrilled to be back in South America. Brazil's growing global significance makes that country the perfect base for us," said NPR Senior Vice President of News Margaret Low Smith. "With that country's rich culture, environmental wealth, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves, there will be no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell."

Padgett and Garcia-Navarro will join the Herald's award-winning staff of eight reporters and editors covering the regionThe Miami Herald's team includes columnist Andres Oppenheimer; reporters Jim Wyss, Mimi Whitefield and Jacqueline Charles; and World Editor John Yearwood. El Nuevo Herald's team is reporters Antonio Delgado and Juan Tamayo and editor Teresa Frontado.

Christine DiMattei is WLRN's Morning Edition anchor and also reports on Arts & Culture.