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Ben Philpott

Managing Editor

What I do

Managing editor is mostly an air traffic controller. I guide the newsroom’s coverage plans. You know, see what’s going on and figure out what we should cover. I also work with the staff to figure out who is covering stories. A lot of my daily work focuses on taking our amazing journalism and figuring out new/different ways for you to see it. That could include coming up with special programs for the radio or even creating live events around some of it.

And I do edit many of the radio features you hear on KUT.

My background

I started college as a music education major. I had gone to a performing arts high school and wanted to be just like my amazing music theater teacher. That plan morphed to a psychology major for a hot second and finally broadcast journalism. I wanted to be a baseball play-by-play guy. But figured out I was pretty good at radio feature reporting – specifically the NPR-style stories we did at my school’s NPR station. (Shout out to WUAL at the University of Alabama.)

I spent a few years working as a TV reporter and videographer after graduation before finally getting back to WBHM, the NPR station in Birmingham. After a few years there, I heard about a station in Austin that was going to launch a newsroom. That was 2002 … and I’m still here.

During my time at KUT, I’ve covered a little bit of everything, but quickly settled into the role of political reporter. I covered about eight legislative sessions. I followed Rick Perry as he ran for president (twice). Followed Ted Cruz a little, too, during his own attempt.


Being accurate and fair, of course. For me that means reporting on things from the viewpoint of the people we report on. There are so many different life experiences out there, and we need to make sure those are coming through in our reporting. We can’t report in our own bubbles.