Zachary Barr

Education: Zachary graduated with a B.A. in History from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., and from the radio track at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Professional background: Zachary began in public radio in 2003 at Sound Portraits Productions in New York, where he worked as a production intern. At the time, Sound Portraits was a tiny production house launching StoryCorps, the national project to record stories of everyday people. That led Zachary to a position as facilitator at StoryCorps, where he assisted people interviewing each other inside a booth in Grand Central Terminal. From there, Zachary went on to help manage StoryCorps’ national tour. While living in New York, he began a side project with a photographer on a series of stories about the families of American military personnel killed in Iraq. This project later became a book, “Never Coming Home,” published by Charta. Zachary’s reporting has been featured on NPR, Slate, Marketplace, MSNBC, MediaStorm and in The New York Times.Awards: Zachary has won awards from National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International, Colorado Broadcasters Association and Colorado Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He has been awarded reporting fellowships from MediaStorm and the Institute for Journalism and National Resources.
In his own words…Why I became a journalist: I was hooked on the news from an early age. I read the newspaper and watched the five o’clock TV news. Later, as a young adult, I discovered public radio and became a fan. One day, while listening to “This American Life,” I was surprised to hear a high school classmate narrating a story. Hearing her voice made me realize that public radio journalism was an actual career. Right then I decided to give it a shot. Along the way, I’ve been inspired by people like John Burnett, Joe Richman, Scott Carrier and Ian Frazier.Why I got into radio: I adore radio. My love for it began when I was a kid, holed up in my room listening to Denver Nuggets basketball games. Later, when I stumbled upon a shortwave radio, the relationship deepened. The short wave transmissions came from far-away places, and although I didn’t understand a lick, I could still listen for hours. When I began listening to public radio, Dave Isay’s stories like Tossing Away the Keys and Sunshine Hotel moved me to tears and made me care about strangers. Now, as a journalist, I love thinking about how my interviewing, writing and story structure create that connective tissue between the listener and the voices on the radio. The good folks at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies patiently helped me find my way, and soon I was slogging through a mud flat in Maine trying to describe what it’s like to spend your days digging for worms.How I ended up at CPR: I was working in New York and traveling a lot for StoryCorps. In late 2006 I was looking for a new challenge. Colorado Public Radio’s statewide audience, growing newsroom, and super staff and facilities were a big draw. I was already familiar with the joys of living in Colorado because I grew up in Boulder, but, yes, I’ll always miss New York!

[ Previous ] [ Back to List ] [ Next ]

  • For a second time this summer, we turn to the state’s poet laureate under grim circumstances. Just last month, David Mason shared with us his poem about the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs. Mason lives there. He’s a professor at Colorado College.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • Golf has hit a serious rough patch. The sport isn’t nearly as popular as it was a decade ago. In Colorado, courses have closed and others are just scraping by, forced to offer deals that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • Shortly after last week’s movie theater shooting in Aurora, we started to hear about guns the suspect had. Aurora’s police chief gave reporters a rundown of the weapons and the ammunition.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • A long line is forming, with anywhere from several hundred to several thousand Coloradans. They’re all young illegal immigrants, hoping for a chance to stay and work here legally. President Obama announced a new program last month to make this possible for people whose family brought them when they were young.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • The state’s most destructive wildfire ever is beginning its slow fade into history. Officials declared the Waldo Canyon fire 100 percent contained this week. It destroyed nearly 350 homes and killed two people in the Colorado Springs area last month.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • Chris Daniels has been a fixture on the Colorado music scene for four decades. That run nearly ended when he was diagnosed a couple years ago with leukemia. Daniels began chemo right away and he eventually had a bone marrow transfusion. Daniels is getting better.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • [Photo: flickr/M. Callahan] Imagine getting lost in the most familiar places. Say, along a route you drive all the time, standing on your own street, or even inside your own house. That’s the life 65 year-old Sharon Roseman, of Highlands Ranch, leads.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • Where do wildland firefighters turn if their axe is busted? Or their pants tear? To a massive warehouse in Lakewood that stocks about 6 million dollars worth of gear. It’s called the Rocky Mountain Interagency Support Cache. Folks there are very busy these days with all the fires burning in the West.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • The devastating wildfire in Colorado Springs, and others around the state, are reminders that it’s risky to live in the forest, or even near it. But the risk doesn’t seem to deter people. In the last decade, around 100,000 Coloradans have moved into so-called “red zones,” where the danger of wildfire is high.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • A landmark in Colorado Springs has fallen victim to the Waldo Canyon Fire. The Flying W Ranch was a popular stop where tourists, and locals, came to eat like cowboys and listen to western music. It was a kind of cowboy dinner theater.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • With many fires roaring across the Colorado Front Range, there are already people reaching out who’ve been through something similar. People like Andi O’Conor, who lost her home to the Fourmile Canyon Fire west of Boulder in 2010. She blogs about the recovery process, which continues. She speaks with Ryan Warner.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • The latest choice for doping athletes is something called frog juice. The users aren’t human; they’re racehorses. A lab in suburban Denver was the one to detect the substance, and CPR’s Zachary Barr is here to tell us about it. [Photo: Joachim S.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • Governor John Hickenlooper enacted a statewide ban on open burning. This includes fireworks. The governor is still allowing the SALE of fireworks, and says he’ll lift the ban once we get some good rains. Ryan Wallace, at Pyro-City Fireworks in north Denver, tells Ryan Warner his business has taken a dive.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • We’re going to talk now about what the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns know about you. In addition to your name, age, and income, campaigns increasingly know your shopping habits, what type of car you drive, even your taste in music.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • 10 years ago today, a forest service employee started Colorado’s largest wildfire. The Hayman Fire claimed 100,000 acres and 133 homes. A decade later, the burn zone, southwest of Denver, is coming back. Except in places where conditions are actually worse. Jonathan Bruno explains to CPR’s Ryan Warner how that can be.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2
  • Let’s get a preview of the summer concert season now with a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, Steve Knopper. He’s based in Denver. In addition to the usual classic rock bands, the summer line-up includes a lot artists in the electronic dance music genre, like Avicii.
    CPR News logo stacked 3x2CPR News logo stacked 3x2