Joe Moore is director of program content for Valley Public Radio, the NPR affiliate for California’s San Joaquin Valley, and the host of the weekly radio magazine program Valley Edition. Before moderating a panel in Fresno on where art reaches us today, he talked about rooting for the underdog, the newscaster who was his childhood hero, and why he thinks people overuse the word “impacted” (which is one of his more minor pet peeves) in the Zócalo green room.
Who or what do you root for?
I am a big San Francisco Giants fan, at least in the sporting realm. And I would say I root for the underdog, and in this case, I would say the Central Valley. I’m a Valley native, I’m a big believer in the potential of this area and the people here, and I root for the people who are trying to do interesting things here.
What are you keeping in your closet that you should have thrown out already?
I probably have too many ties, and I don’t actually wear neckties very often. But I do have a collection that’s probably too large given the frequency of their actual use. Fresno’s not a town where you generally use neckwear that often.
Who was your childhood hero?
A former newscaster in Fresno who’s no longer with us: Bob Long. Bob was one of the pioneers of local TV news in this community, and he was something of a local historian. He did a series for about 30 years on the local NBC affiliate called On the Map, and it’s still remembered fondly to this day. He would go around to small communities and places that don’t even exist anymore and tell stories about how this place got its name or something interesting that happened here. He chronicled the stories of our Valley and brought them to a mass audience in a way few others did.
Where would we find you at 10 a.m. on a typical Sunday morning?
At home sleeping in or making a Sunday brunch.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
As an editor, we always have our own little pet peeves and things. I really don’t like the word “impacted.” I would say that’s one of my pet peeves—unless we’re talking about something that’s crashing into the wall or into the earth. I think generally people use that as an easy out because they don’t know the difference between “affected” and “effected,” so they use impacted when they probably mean to use affected.
What dessert do you find impossible to resist?
Ice cream. There’s nothing not to like about ice cream. How can one find anything to resist about ice cream, other than calories?
What weapon would you choose in a zombie apocalypse?
I have to admit I am not a zombie apocalypse expert. I have not done the zombie pub crawl, although that’s probably something I should do. I’m not sure I have a good answer to that one.
When did you last break a sweat?
Yesterday I was at a conference in Southern California at USC, and we had about an hour-long break, and I realized I had enough time to take a nice quick stroll through the campus. One of my passions is architecture and photography, and I like to take pictures of historic buildings. USC not only has some great buildings from the 1920s and 1930s but a lot of great modern architecture from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. So I was trying to hit all the high points of the campus with my Instagram account before I headed to the next conference function in about an hour.
What’s the fastest way to annoy you?
I’ll answer this from a journalist’s perspective and a radio host’s perspective. When I’m listening to an interview or radio program and the host or listener is not listening to what the guest is saying—when someone’s just sticking with prepared questions, or not engaging in a conversation. I find that programs, public radio or commercial broadcast, that really engage in thoughtful conversation are the ones that appeal to me. Not that preparation in advance is not a good idea, but you have to also be able to think on your feet and adapt your questioning to the situation.
How are you different from who you were 10 years ago?
I would say I’m more confident, I have a much broader base of interests, and also I think I’ve grown a lot in the skills of my profession. I always seem to be taking on something new that I don’t necessarily have a background in. My degree is in history, it’s not in journalism, but I’m now in this field. So I see that I’ve grown a lot, and I still have a lot of room to grow.