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Janet Saidi

Producer | Assistant Professor

Janet Saidi is KBIA’s long-form audio producer and serves on the Missouri School of Journalism's faculty and graduate faculty. Janet’s many and varied media projects are about building community through audio, journalism, and storytelling. She serves on the board of the nonprofit media collective Media for Change, and has written and produced pieces for NPR, PBS, the BBC, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times. Her most recent projects include KBIA's newest podcast, Cover Story with Stephanie Shonekan; she hosted KBIA’s live, national award-winning talk show The Check-In; and she has co-created two award-winning, collaboratively-produced series combining oral history with audio journalism, You Don’t Say and Missouri on Mic. In 2014 and 2016, Janet co-produced two journalism-on-the-stage theater productions with playwright Michelle Tyrene Johnson: Justice in the Embers, with Kansas City’s Living Room Theatre, and The Green Duck Lounge with MU Theatre. Janet began her public-media work at KPBS in San Diego, on a live, nightly talk show called The Lounge. While in California, Janet helped produce the national PBS series “Remaking American Medicine” about healthcare in America, and worked as an editor at the Gay & Lesbian Times and Uptown Newsmagazine. As vice president for news at Kansas City Public Television, Janet led a team of multiplatform journalists to launch KCPT’s digital magazine FlatlandKC, and co-produced the Beyond Belief interfaith journalism project for AIR’s Localore “Finding America” series. Janet lived for several years in England, where she earned her master’s in Literature from University College, London. Her Substack newsletter and podcast is the Austen Connection. Ask her anything you want about Jane!

  • A roundup of headlines from across the region
  • A roundup of headlines from across the region
  • A roundup of headlines from across the region
  • This is Cover Story with Stephanie Shonekan, a podcast where we take apart the song covers we love and take a deep dive into the stories behind them. Today, I’m chatting with my good friend, Dr. Brandon Boyd, who is, up to this point, the only professional musician I’ve had on this show. And the song we’ll be discussing is one of my favorites, actually, one I had in mind when I first conceived of the idea behind the show. And that song? I Will Always Love You
  • This is Cover Story with Stephanie Shonekan, a podcast where we take apart the song covers we love and take a deep dive into the stories behind them. Today, I’m chatting with my daughter Faremala Shonekan to talk about a song we both love…Before I Let Go, first released by Frankie Beverly and Maze and covered by Beyonce.
  • This is Cover Story with Stephanie Shonekan, a podcast where we take apart the song covers we love and take a deep dive into the stories behind them. Today's guest is a good friend and colleague, Dr. Keona Ervin. She’s a professor in the Department of History at the University of Missouri, and also someone I’ve talked with at length about music. And so when I came up with the concept of the show, I knew she had to be one of my first guests. And so I reached out and asked her to choose a song to chat about. And that choice? Donny Hathaway’s live cover of Yesterday by the Beatles.
  • This is Cover Story with Stephanie Shonekan, a podcast where we take apart the song covers we love and take a deep dive into the stories behind them. Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart remains one of the most iconic songs of the ‘60s. Released in 1968, it reached #12 on Billboard Hot 100, thanks in part to Joplin’s impassioned and unique vocal delivery. At the time, Billboard called it “dynamite”. It’s remembered as one of her most popular songs. And yet, it wasn’t hers at all. Just a year earlier, Erma Franklin -- as in older sister to Aretha Franklin -- released her version. It didn’t do nearly as well, peaking at #62 on Billboard’s Pop Singles Chart. So which one’s the better version?
  • This is Cover Story with Stephanie Shonekan, a podcast where we take apart the song covers we love and take a deep dive into the stories behind them. Nothing Compares 2 U was written by Prince in 1984 for his band, the Family. One version was recorded in 1984, but wasn’t actually released until only recently...in 2018. Instead, the song debuted on the Family’s 1985 self-titled album, released under the Paisley Park Records label. Neither version had much of a splash. Fast forward 5 years when, in 1990, a 24 year old Irish singer-songwriter by the name of Sinéad O'Connor released her version, and it became a breakout hit, thanks in part to the song’s music video, made up almost entirely of a closeup shot of the singer’s face. So, which one is the better version? Stephanie talks to her good friend Jeremy Root...about the songs... how they compare to one another, and by the end, they’ll reveal their top pick.
  • A roundup of headlines from across the region
  • A roundup of the day's headlines from across the region