Mandalit del Barco

As a general assignment correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco has reported and produced radio stories and photographed everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR. Her news reports, feature stories and photos filed from Los Angeles and abroad can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, alt.latino and npr.org.

Her reporting has taken her throughout the United States, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Miami. Reporting further afield as well, del Barco traveled to Haiti to report on the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. She chronicled street gangs exported from the U.S. to El Salvador and Honduras and went to Mexico to report about immigrant smugglers, musicians, filmmakers and artists. In Argentina, del Barco profiled on tango legend Carlos Gardel and in the Philippines she reported a feature on balikbayan boxes and has Reporting from China, del Barco contributed to NPR's coverage of the United Nations' Women's Conference. She spent a year in Peru working on a documentary and teaching radio journalism as a Fulbright Fellow and on a fellowship with the Knight International Center For Journalists.

In addition to reporting daily stories, del Barco has created half-hour radio documentaries about gangs in Central America, Latino hip hop, L.A. Homegirls, artist Frida Kahlo, New York's Palladium ballroom and Puerto Rican "Casitas.” She has served as a guest host on Latino USA and Tell Me More.

Before moving to Los Angeles, del Barco was a reporter for NPR Member station WNYC in New York City. She started her radio career on the production staff of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. However her first taste for radio came as a teenager, when she and her brother won an award for an NPR children’s radio contest.

del Barco's reporting experience extends into newspaper and magazines. She served on the staffs of The Miami Herald and The Village Voice and has done freelance reporting. She has written articles for Latina magazine and reported for the weekly radio show Latino USA.

Stories written by del Barco have appeared in several books including "Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share their Holiday Memories" (Vintage Books) and "Las Mamis: Favorite Latino Authors Remember their Mothers” (Vintage Books). del Barco contributed to an anthology on rap music and hip hop culture in the book, “Droppin’ Science” (Temple University Press).

Peruvian writer Julio Villanueva Chang profiled del Barco’s life and career for the book “Se Habla Espanol: Voces Latinas en USA.” (Alfaguara press)

She mentors young journalists through NPR's "Next Generation", Global Girl, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and on her own throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

A fourth generation journalist, del Barco was born in Lima, Peru, to a Peruvian father and Mexican-American mother. She grew up in Baldwin, Kansas, and in Oakland, California, and has lived in Manhattan, Madrid, Miami, Lima and Los Angeles. She began her journalism career as a reporter, columnist and editor for the Daily Californian while studying anthropology and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University with her thesis, "Breakdancers: Who are they, and why are they spinning on their heads?"

For those who are curious where her name comes from, "Mandalit" is the name of a woman in a song from Carmina Burana, a musical work from the 13th century put to music in the 20th century by composer Carl Orff. The guys from Car Talk also pay homage to her in their phony end credits as "inventory manager Mandalit del Barcode."

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5:03am

Mon October 21, 2013
Television

Canada Takes Cable A La Carte, But Don't Expect U.S. To Follow

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If you want to watch MTV, you have to pay for ESPN, even if you don't want to watch sports, and a lot of cable customers don't like it. In the cable TV business, it's called bundling. Now, the government of Canada is requiring cable companies to take those bundles apart. NPR's Mandelit del Barco reports on why that is unlikely to happen in the U.S.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Channel surfing in, say, Montreal, you can find everything from American TV sitcoms to shows in French.

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SHOW)

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5:06am

Thu September 26, 2013
Business

1 In 7 American Adults Don't Go Online

Fifteen percent of Americans don't use the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Most of these "offline adults" are 65 years old or older, many live in rural areas and have incomes lower than $30,000 a year.

5:05pm

Fri September 13, 2013
Code Switch

East LA Homegirl Goes Hollywood

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:04 pm

Evangeline Ordaz (center) stands with teens from Legacy LA who were her script consultants and extras for East Los High. From left: Rebecca Hernandez, Brenda Flores, Ordaz, Wesley Michua, Marlene Arazo.
Mandalit del Barco NPR

Evangeline Ordaz is no ordinary Hollywood show runner. When she's not teaching constitutional law or rehabbing historic buildings, she's writing for a racy soap opera about Latino teens in East Los Angeles. East Los High was a big summer success for the TV-on-demand website Hulu, and much of the credit for keeping the show real goes to its multitalented main writer.

Ordaz was born and bred in East Los Angeles — East Los, as it's known. She still lives there, and you can hear the neighborhood cadence in her voice.

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4:39am

Fri September 13, 2013
Remembrances

Sound Pioneer Ray Dolby Dies At 80

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ray Dolby, whose inventions revolutionized the way audiences listen to entertainment, has died. He was 80 years old.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports the sound pioneer - whose name became synonymous with sound - died at home in San Francisco.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Thank Ray Dolby for inventing the system that surrounds you with sound at the movie theater and in your headphones.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS DOLBY SOUNDS)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Whispering) Surround you.

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1:36am

Thu September 12, 2013
Media

Tina Brown To Leave The Daily Beast

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:41 am

The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown plans to leave the website to produce live forums on news topics.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Celebrity editor Tina Brown announced Wednesday that she's leaving The Daily Beast to launch her own media company. She has been a regular guest on Morning Edition. Brown, 59, plans to produce live forums on news topics.

Brown has edited some of the most prestigious publications: Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Tattler. Five years ago, she helped found The Daily Beast — a news and opinion website. Now, the editor-in-chief says she's leaving to do what she calls "theatrical journalism" before live audiences.

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6:05pm

Tue September 10, 2013
Around the Nation

New HIV Cases Spotlight Adult Film Industry's Testing System

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 7:49 pm

Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (left) at a press conference in February to introduce AB 332, a statewide bill to require condom use by adult film performers.
Bret Hartman AP

Adult film production in California is now suspended after a number of performers tested positive for HIV. Four cases have been reported in the past few months, including one on Monday.

If ever there was an "I told you so moment" for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, it's now. The organization has been campaigning for condoms to be mandatory during porn shoots. Last year, it sponsored a measure in Los Angeles County to that effect, which voters approved.

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5:45am

Fri August 16, 2013
Television

Time Warner Cable Customers Miss Out On CBS

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:34 am

For two weeks, customers with Time Warner Cable in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas have been unable to watch CBS with their cable box. Time Warner and CBS disagree over how much the cable company should be paying the television network for transmitting its shows.

2:58am

Thu August 15, 2013
Crime In The City

In 'Alphabet' Mysteries, 'S' Is Really For Santa Barbara

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 9:27 am

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a Spanish-Moorish landmark, was built in 1929.
Anna Fox (harshlight) Flickr

Novelist Sue Grafton is a real hoot. She's just as likely to talk, in that native Kentucky drawl of hers, about her prized silver-coin mint julep cups as about a juicy murder mystery. But she does have a crime writer's imagination.

"I always say to people, 'Don't cross me, OK? Because you will be so sorry,'" she says. "'I have ways to kill you you ain't even thought of yet.'"

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3:53pm

Fri August 9, 2013
Monkey See

Karen Black, Strange And Lovely, And Always Game

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:26 pm

Karen Black and Kris Kristofferson were photographed together in 1972, when they co-starred in Cisco Pike, a saga of drug-ruined rockers and crooked cops.
John Springer Collection/CORBIS

5:27am

Thu July 25, 2013
Art & Design

Controversial L.A. Museum Director Steps Down

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now to an entirely different side of Los Angeles: A very public controversy on the art scene here appears to have come to something of an end. The board of the city's respected Museum of Contemporary Art has announced that its embattled director is leaving. The departure comes a little more than halfway through his five-year contract.

And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, he stirred up L.A.'s art world from the start.

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