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Nathan Bernier

Transportation reporter

What I Cover

As KUT's transportation reporter, I cover the big projects reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. But I also focus on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. I break down complex jargon into clear, everyday language. And I'm constantly trying to peer inside government agencies and find out what's really going on.

I'm a tech nerd with a passion for Python, so I use computer code, data journalism and other investigative techniques to establish facts and look for hidden stories no one else has covered.

Ultimately, I'm just trying to report transportation news you find interesting. Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know what I'm missing.

My Background

When I was a teenager, I watched the movie Pump Up The Volume. It changed my life. Christian Slater played an introverted teenager who was secretly running the coolest pirate radio station in town. With the help of a family friend who was a radio technician, I soldered together my own pirate radio transmitter. I'd climb up the mountain to the train tracks in my tiny Canadian hometown of Nelson, BC and broadcast pre-recorded radio shows from a Walkman with my friends to the town below.

This passion for broadcasting led me to a radio school in Ottawa, Canada's capital city 2,000 miles away. Algonquin College had its own radio station, CKDJ, and that's where I started in news. My first real news job was at 580 CFRA, a news/talk radio station just blocks from Parliament Hill. I worked overnights — doing newscasts, producing late-night call-in shows and running old time radio programs like Zorro and the Shadow on a vintage reel-to-reel tape player.

After a while, I moved to Montreal, studied political science at Concordia University and worked at a 24-hour news station called 940 News. I became the youngest morning news anchor in Montreal.

But growing up in Canada, I always wanted to live in the United States. My mom is from Chicago, so I had dual citizenship. With my then-girlfriend/now-wife Sonia, I moved to Boston and worked at New England Cable News and WBZ Newsradio 1030. But after visiting Austin, Sonia’s hometown, I fell in love with the city and moved here without any job lined up. A few months later, after barely scraping by, I started freelance work as a reporter at KUT. I've been at the station ever since.

I served a bunch of different roles including education reporter, web editor and the local host of All Things Considered. In 2021, I took over the transportation beat, and it's the best job I've ever had.

Journalistic Ethics

I believe in reporting honestly and accurately without a hidden agenda. When I speak to people, I'm upfront about who I am and what I'm doing. I treat people with respect and empathy. I try to understand why they think what they do. But I'm constantly skeptical and enjoy looking for the nuance in stories. I also try to stay humble about what I think I know. I'm still a human being, after all.