About Corey


Corey Takahashi is an independent journalist and producer. He has contributed features to National Public Radio, The New York Times, the Best Music Writing anthology, and other major outlets. Corey began his career as a founding editor at the music magazine, Blaze, and later worked on staff for Vibe, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, and New York Public Radio. He is also a longtime freelancer who has covered culture and art across the U.S., and around the world. His broadcasts and multimedia productions have been distributed by Monocle, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Corey’s enterprise and documentary reporting has appeared in wide-ranging forums, from chapter-length book contributions to audio, video, and web dispatches. He is a past fellow of the Knight Digital Media Center’s multimedia and news entrepreneur programs, as well as a scholarship winner for The Poynter Institute’s first-ever seminar on journalism innovation and computer programming. Corey recently was part of a prize-winning team at a Bay Area mobile app development competition, focusing on underserved audiences. He also has done production work in the interactive media and entertainment industries.

Contact: corey@coreytakahashi.com
Site: coreytakahashi.com
Video shooting and editing: vimeo.com/coreytakahashi
Research-focused Twitter: @takalabtime




This is a small, nonchronological selection of my work. The links below are mostly feature and enterprise stories, though I’ve also reported traditional breaking news: I contributed in New York to coverage of the 9/11 attacks and the 2008 financial collapse, filed features from New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina, and reported from Chicago on the night of the most recent presidential election. Much of my independent journalism focuses on urban, immigrant, and international culture. As a freelancer, I’ve filed stories from Venice to Mumbai to Phnom Penh.

For links to a few of my recent features, please scroll down the page. You can stream or download any of my radio stories/MP3s by clicking on the links (NPR, PRI/BBC, etc.) that follow the YouTube and Vimeo clips on this page.


 Copyright © 2011 by C. Takahashi  |  All rights reserved


National Public Radio, Weekend Edition Sunday, April 15, 2012


A hackathon is a marathon, of sorts, usually focused on creating new software or hardware in a short amount of time. It’s events like this that serve as informal labs for a lot of the technology in our hands today. But in a twist, the inaugural “Super Happy Block Party Hackathon” in Palo Alto also featured food trucks, children, the elderly, and even the mayor — who might just size up your startup idea.

PRI/BBC/WGBH, The World, July 4, 2011

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD FEATURE: http://www.theworld.org/2011/07/digital-pop-star-hatsune-mikus-first-live-concert/

I’ve covered plenty of concerts, but a recent show by Japanese pop icon, Hatsune Miku, was the first that felt like a life-sized video game. Miku’s style is studio-polished J-pop. During her U.S. debut at Nokia Theatre, Americans were treated to Miku’s hits performed by her dancing, 3D hologram. Miku, you see, is a “Vocaloid” — a digital pop persona serving as the public face for sophisticated voice-synthesis software. That means anyone can use the software to write their own Miku-sounding track and play it back in chirpy Miku style. It turns out anyone can dress up like Miku, too, as I learned at Anime Expo, which was the host of the big concert (one of my Miku-spotting photos above; more photos and the broadcast available through link).

Over the past few years, Korean BBQ tacos have become a staple in Los Angeles. The trend was popularized by the Kogi taco truck. Kogi’s pictured above — parked behind a bar — in this audio slideshow I worked on with PRI’s “The World.” The radio version of this story aired February 2009.

The Art of Hanging Out in L.A.: Huntington Park edition from Corey Takahashi on Vimeo.

MT (Motion This) is a dance crew from the eastside of Los Angeles. I ran into some members on the street, as they were prepping for a competition. They told me the “shuffling” dance style featured in this video was popularized in Australia and Malaysia before spreading globally through web videos.

The story above documents the second dance session I checked out with the MT crew. It’s a mobile narrative about how street styles travel through Los Angeles and the world. I shot and edited it over a weekend in 2011.

Los Angelena on a Metro transit tour (HD version) from Corey Takahashi on Vimeo.

Southern California native Jacki Ueng embarks on her first tour of L.A.’s mass transit system. As the city expands its train routes, it’s a trip more car-loving Angelenos are starting to take. I introduced Jacki to the Metro Red Line in the summer of 2010 and produced this short video for travelers.

PRI/BBC/WGBH, The World, January 11, 2011

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD FEATURE: http://www.theworld.org/2011/01/11/history-of-computers-exhibit/

The Computer History Museum sits in the heart of Silicon Valley, just down the street from Google and other global tech firms. I went to check out the museum’s big reopening, and despite its eye-catching robots, supercomputers and video games, I was largely drawn to the story the museum was trying to tell about the evolution of programming languages. A museum curator and an emeritus professor of computer science help explain.

National Public Radio, All Things Considered, January 26, 2011


At the time of this story’s broadcast, the person with the most number of subscribers on YouTube wasn’t Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. It was a comedic web phenom from Hilo, Hawaii, named Ryan Higa. He and the indie production house, Wong Fu Productions (pictured left, courtesy of WFP), created a straight-to-YouTube mini movie that got well over eight million views in two months. Their movie and success says a lot about the newer pathways to stardom in the digital age.

National Public Radio, Weekend Edition, September 19, 2010

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD FEATURE: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129879673

Following the demise of Brooklyn’s Beat Street Records, the iconic — and even better known — Fat Beats has closed its last retail shops in Manhattan and Los Angeles. Fat Beats specialized in vinyl records and catered to influential DJs. Its fate symbolizes a cultural loss, as well as a commercial one for hip-hop. The beats and scratches struggle to live on, through a new generation of digitally oriented DJs.

National Public Radio, Morning Edition, January 7, 2010

STREAM OR DOWNLOAD FEATURE: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122304695

Everyone knows about the state of the American economy, but when you’re a roving mariachi in L.A., you feel the pinch much more. These are hard times in Mariachi Plaza, the historic gathering point for musicians in the eastside neighborhood of Boyle Heights. One mariachi I met there told me he has started using the web to land gigs. I made a trip with him and other mariachis to check out one of their online bookings in the suburb of El Monte.