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StoryCorps In Kansas City — A Journalist And Doctor Grapple With Politics At Work

KCUR 89.3 / StoryCorps
Shweta Goswami and Michael Bushnell talked about how they navigate politics in their workplaces.

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Northeast News publisher Michael Bushnell has to wrestle with politics in his work all the time. 

"I write an opinion column every week, and 9 times out of 10 it falls on the conservative side," Bushnell says. "But it's more common sense than it is anything else, I think."

Outside of the column, Bushnell says he has to take a more objective approach and make sure that readers are getting just the facts. He also wants to uphold his team's credibility in their community, and getting overtly political in any direction could tarnish that.

"There's been times I have to abandon my politics and just write it straight up," Bushnell says. "I've got to do the "who, what, where, when, why, how" and put it down on a page."

Shweta Goswami also has had to confront politics in her work as a physician. She recalls once treating a patient with a rare lymphoma that had spread to his brain. The cancer caused him to become disinhibited — he would say whatever came to his mind.

"Everyday he would come up to me and ask me if he could see my husband in the clinic," Goswami says. "Out of nowhere, he says, 'Is it because I'm a Trump voter?'

Goswami says the man's wife pleaded with him to not bring up politics again so he could continue to get care, but Goswami never took his politics into consideration.

"I saw him every day for a month and a half and never once did I ever look at him and go, 'I bet you're a Trump voter,'" Goswami says. "The only thing that was on my mind was this poor guy who was really healthy, supported his family and now he's down with this really rare cancer that most people find out when they're dead."

Matthew Long-Middleton is a community producer for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter@MLMIndustries.

Ron Jones is KCUR's director of community engagement.

Cody Newill is an audience development specialist for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter@CodyNewill.

Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.
Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
Ron Jones returned to KCUR in September, 2013 as Director of Community Engagement. He is now the program director. You can reach him at ron@kcur.org.
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