My name is Adaora Udoji and I’m a news junkie

Monday, April 28, 2008 - 12:00 AM

I’ve been one from the day I started talking. My parents tell me the first full sentence out of my mouth went like this: “do we have some bacon and eggs and toast for breakfast?” It wasn’t about the food. It was about wanting to know what was in the kitchen.

Of course, I then ate the staples too.

In Kindergarten, I was obsessed with parachutes and planes. During my first trip to Nigeria at six, my father’s country, the pilots made me an honorary member of the team and I sat proudly in the cockpit with my wings marveling at the impossibility of flying high in the air. For weeks, I tried to figure out how the sands in Senegal got so white and decided the beach was drowning in bleach.

As long as I can remember I wondered how anyone could argue dogs had no souls. When I looked into their eyes as I child without exception I saw something there. In third grade it was nuclear power plants, since my dad was building them. I tried to imagine the power of fusion. By seventh grade it was the worlds introduced to me in The Great Gatsby and Blubber I wondered about.

And in high school it was the Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland, where my grandparents lived. The lore of the gift of gab was thick in my mother’s Irish family. Could it really give you the gift of gab? I kissed it several times just in case. I think it worked.

I won’t bore you with the twists and turns of my rampant curiosity, suffice to say I was always the kids asking, “Why, why, why?” Understanding the world around me has been an ongoing and frantic effort towards comfort.

It’s no wonder, despite the detour to law school at UCLA (yes, I graduated, much to the delight of my parents, and I even worked briefly for the brilliant Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall), I wound up in journalism. I’ve spent the past dozen years covering hundreds if not thousands of stories all over the America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. That’s meant presidential elections, environmental marvels and disasters, murder trials like that of O.J. Simpson, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the British royal family, Tiger Woods on the hunt for a Grand Slam in St. Andrews, Scotland, and Hurricane Katrina.

What had the takeaway been? I’ve learned there is no one way to live life, that man can never kill the human spirit, that understanding what divides us leads to great and wonderful surprises, that humanity is ever changing while at times staying the same, and that sometimes there are just no answers.

It’s a thrilling ride me and my co-host John Hockenberry hope to take you on in understanding our lives, our world. Along the way you’ll meet the extraordinary staff we have backing us up. They too have lived all over the world and have been driven most of their lives by the idea of getting to the bottom of things.

That’s what we hope to do.


Adaora Udoji


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Comments [16]


I just couldn't leave your site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person supply to your guests? Is going to be back incessantly in order to inspect new posts

Mar. 07 2013 11:20 AM

No, the BBC is not anti-Israel they just report without forming an pinion first. Most European news agencies do just that: report. Biased, pro-Israel reporting however, well, that's what we have the American media for. The only exception to this rule, most of the time, happens to be WNYC. Although I have to admit I am not a fan of Takeaway and prefer the Morning Edition instead they still offer far more insightful reporting than all the other major news networks in the US.

Feb. 04 2009 01:26 PM

I'm not the most well-read person but I can see the difference between a news show that doesn't take itself too seriously and a Morning Zoo. NPR fans seem to love mixing news with humor. These are the same people who watch Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert and listen to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. So why are so many people having trouble with this one?

I wake up to the Takeaway, my roommate to Opie and Anthony. I can feel my IQ lowering about 15 points when I walk across the apartment to put up the coffee.

Dec. 15 2008 07:19 AM

Seems like this should be in a different category of the Mix, say, morning drive reinvention, etc? I dont have any beef with folks who want to be heard, but please put your comments in the correct discussion thread. thx.

May. 13 2008 03:48 PM

Laura Walker said to offer "options". Well, this is like being offered twinkies when we have been having good healthy food all along. Thanks but no thanks.

May. 13 2008 01:06 PM
Tina Maceda

I'm very surprised at the negative responses. Yes, it sounds like those commercial stations! The first morning my husband and I heard it, we looked at each other, wondering who dared change WNYC... then we listened to the content and laughed and loved it... fun and smart.
Could you have a repeat show later at night? We work long days and nights and somedays miss the 6 AM. Downloading podcasts is sometimes not possible for everyone. Thank you and best wishes.

May. 08 2008 05:38 PM
Connor Walsh

Gosh, mgduke seems not to have gotten over jealously in life. But hey, people can be grumpy too, that's life.

It's always good to see a news junkie who has some different sources from those I follow, and with experiences that give them authority to talk on the established big issues.

And an engaging voice and energy on air too!

May. 04 2008 02:53 AM

"Be civil: Please respond insightfully and respectfully. There is room for disagreement, but please disagree with people's ideas. Personal attacks will not be tolerated."

Great show Thursday! "Mission Accomplished" piece was fun.

May. 02 2008 01:30 AM

Whoa. That was just plain mean. Deeply uncool.

May. 01 2008 09:21 PM
David Trufant

With all the "sponsors" I wonder just how much on air time you have. I get the feeling I am listening to just another AM morning show without the top music.

Apr. 30 2008 01:04 PM
Ward Chamberlin

You are off to a great start. I like the way the news is discussed in conversation and Adoada has a great voice.....The first time on the air is hardly ever the best or even representative...But yours was very good and held the attention of this news junkie.

Apr. 29 2008 03:24 PM

Often tune away from BBC b/c of their blatant anti Israel bias, which is normal and confortable in Europe, espec. among the intellectual elite, but not as much here in US.,,Please don't give in to this, at least not out of habit. Just because Hamas calls AP and says that the Israelis are murdering their moms and kids doesn't make it unbiased or true -- at least include the Israeli government response. Bad reporting makes it harder, among other things, to figure out what acts for which the Israeli govt. really must be held responsible. With Israel's strong press, filled w excellent Palestinian and Arab reporters along with many others, there is no reason for an honest american reporter to exclude key pegs of the story.

Apr. 29 2008 09:00 AM
Steve G

(I've written a similar note to John.)

The BBC fed you another Israel atrocity story and it emerged as a headline two minutes into your first broadcast.

So, you are saying, 'well, how should this be reported?',
Here's how:
'Hamas rocket crews once again used the streets of Beit Hanoun as shelter after firing missiles into Israel. Hiding among the civilian population has caused casualties when Israel forces have pursued the terrorists. Israelis continue to protest extremists' use of the Gaza population as human shields.'

You can work with that one. It's closer to the truth than your 'Alan Johnson Special' (as these types of propaganda stories are known) from the BBC.

The BBC has a years-long record of being anti-Israel and pro-Arab-extremist in their stories. Don't be sucked in and spread their distortions and biases. Remember, this is the same BBC whose report cried at Yasir Arafat's funeral.

Apr. 28 2008 08:32 AM

The expert on oil made the strange assertion that the Scotland pipeline shutdown takes 2 million barrels out of the supply. Not true - it takes 2 million barrels out of consumption, as if UK drivers stopped buying gas. The fact that this moves the market price upward suggests that they are rigged. Who is making money out of a doubling in prices? Sounds like speculators - there haven't been similar increases in production costs.

Apr. 28 2008 06:35 AM

OK, so I tried it. I didn't like it.
First, the hosts have voices that are 1) dull, and 2) very similar in tone. If we are to listen to 2 people for an hour, could we at least have voices that hold our interest?
Second, the music during the local news is beyond annoying. It comes off as something dreamed up by a 50 year old programmer trying to tap into the hipster scene. 6:20 is no time for a throbbing beat. It doesn't serve to do anything but annoy.
Third, the style is very similar to cable TV talking heads, which is not something to emulate. I don't watch CNN or the others precisely because I don't care to listen to news peppered with opinion. The TakeAway compounds this by filtering the news through 2, well, less than vibrant personalities.
Overall, I think it's a valiant effort but it misses the mark, particularly if the target is the 20 somethings. I wonder just what demographic it is targeting? Certainly not a 43 year old female professional.

Apr. 28 2008 06:34 AM

The program is promising, but I am detecting a slightly sarcastic tone from Adaora. Unfortunately, this does not come across well.

Apr. 28 2008 06:22 AM

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