How a WBEZ listener wins at trivia

May 2020

“I’m always saying to my friends, ‘I heard it on NPR,’ says William Lee, an NPR listener in Chicago. “My friends know. They laugh, but you know, I win at trivia night.”


William Lee is an educator in Chicago currently working from home. For William, starting his day with updates from NPR programs like Morning Edition feeds his news habit and helps him know what’s going on outside his door. Before lockdown, William was an active member of his church and played trivia on weeknights with his friends. With so much change, WBEZ has remained a constant.


Clued in, first thing

I’m an educator, so I’m up early. I wake up at five and I rarely sleep in. First thing, I do the smart speaker. It’s programmed to give me the weather, the traffic, and I listen to Morning Edition or The BBC World Service. Most of the time I’m listening and I’m still in my bed.

Listening to the news is something that I love. I prefer the radio because I can start it in the morning at home, and then turn WBEZ back on in the car. I’m not commuting right now, but it’s a habit.

Teacher appreciation week

I have been an educator for 11 years. This was my first year as an administrator.

Teacher Appreciation Week was last week. We were able to do a flip grid. It’s a teaching tool where we pose a question, and kids can respond in a quick video. All of them did one to show their appreciation for teachers. We’re trying to keep some sense of normalcy.

One thing that does keep me sane is knowing what’s going on outside my door. Talking to people, and listening to the news. The news is still there, the radio is still there.

I want to be prepared

Right now I’m working from home. In the afternoon I try to catch the 2:30, which is when our governor goes on.

I’m just a news junkie. When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist. I lived through 9/11 and I want to be prepared for events. I know big events are part of life, and I want to know the updates and the facts. The radio is always on and it makes me feel better to know what’s going on.

A special moment for StoryCorps

I’m excited to listen to StoryCorps on Fridays. Every Friday they always bring a tear to my eye. Sometimes I have to pull over. One time unfortunately even on the expressway.

Staying connected

My church is very important to me, and Sundays especially are important. I believe in serving. Now it’s different because you miss the people, so I’m always checking in on my community. I’m checking in on the elderly and I’m checking in on my sister.

Take it to trivia night

Before the lockdown, I used to go out to do trivia after work. I’m a teacher so I like trivia. I’m always saying to my friends, ‘I heard it on NPR,’ or ‘I heard it on the BBC.’ My friends know. They laugh, but you know, I win at trivia night.

NPR at any hour

When I was in grammar school, high school, all the way up, I used to stay up late and finish my homework at four in the morning and then listen to the news. I’ve always been a news junkie.


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Source: NPR State of Sponsorship Study, March 2019.