Emily Kwong, Salt ’13 (she/her) is no stranger to tackling the big, tough conversations with plenty of supporting data.
The same year Kwong graduated from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, she also won the "Best New Artist" award from the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition for a story about a Maine journalist learning to speak with an electrolarynx. As a local government reporter at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska from 2014 until 2018, her work earned multiple awards from the Alaska Press Club and Alaska Broadcasters Association, and in 2018 Kwong was the "Above the Fray" Fellow, reporting a series for NPR on climate change and internal migration in Mongolia.
Today, Kwong combines her love of the arts and science, blends her news chops with her Salt documentary training, into one job: co-host of NPR's daily science podcast Short Wave.
"Science is an inquiry-backed process. And a useful anchor point in the confusing, polarizing times we're living in."
This past Monday, Short Wave aired an encore of Kwong's interview with demographer Dr. Diana Greene Foster. The interview initially took place on May 9, a the week after the Supreme Court’s majority opinion on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization leaked. In a 14-minute conversation, Kwong talks to Dr. Foster about her decade-long Turnaway Study, which followed nearly one thousand women who sought an abortion across 21 states. The study demonstrated the health and financial outcomes of those who were granted, in comparison to those who were denied an abortion.
"Our society assumes many things about people who receive abortions, that are not backed by actual data. We felt it was important to center the voices of those seeking an abortion and most especially, the voices of those who were denied one. What was their experience? How did it affect them? This reality is playing out in states around the country right now."
Listen to the episode.
This wasn’t the only recent episode on Short Wave reporting on abortion as a public health issue. Last Friday, Kwong made a public playlist of seven different takes on the science behind abortion access on Spotify.
We are proud of all the important work Kwong is doing and look forward to hearing everything she does next.