Rick has been a member of the WFPL News team since 2001 and has covered numerous beats and events over the years. Most recently heââ
Matt Thompson is an Editorial Product Manager at NPR. He works with the Digital Media team and NPR member stations and has helped to coordinate the development of 12 topic-focused local websites.
Before coming to NPR in 2009, Thompson served as the interim Online Community Manager for the Knight Foundation. In May 2009, he completed a Donald W. Reynolds Fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute; where he explored creating context-centric news websites with results that have been widely cited in discussions about online journalism's future.
For four years prior to the Reynolds Fellowship, Thompson served as the deputy web editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His work leading the development, community and production of a socially networked arts-and-entertainment website vita.mn contributed to the site being honored with a Digital Edge Award, "an Edgie," from the Newspaper Association of America' New Media Federation. Also at the Star Tribune, Thompson managed technology and interactivity-related projects for StarTribune.com, from creating an internal taxonomy to transforming the online opinion section into a blog.
As an online reporter/producer for the Fresno Bee from 2004-05, Thompson's work on multimedia projects earned him a first- and third-place 2004 Best of the West award. At the Bee, he led an internal advisory committee exploring the paper's strategies for acquiring new audiences.
Thompson was the Poynter Institute's 2003-04 Naughton Fellow for Online Reporting and Writing. While at Poynter, he and his colleague Robin Sloan produced the Flash movie EPIC 2014. Presenting a picture of the media past set 10 years in the future, the movie was written up in The New York Times, Financial Times, USA Today, the Guardian, and on MSNBC. In 2010, Thompson completed a four-year term on Poynter's National Advisory Board.
A graduate with honors in English from Harvard College, Thompson wrote his senior thesis on the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Outside of work, he blogs at Snarkmarket.com, has completed one Twin Cities Marathon and is itching to get ready for another.
Melody wakes up very early in the morning to produce regional content for Morning Edition. She began at VPR as a part-time production assistant and was promoted to full-time in 2007. She has also served as a news and editorial assistant for The Burlington Free Press. After graduating from Skidmore College, she spent a year in France working as a high school teaching assistant. Melody grew up on a dairy farm in Addison County. She spends her free time gardening, cooking, and being outside as much as possible.