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“Um … where is the car?”

I felt panic rising as I asked Rachel Quester this question in the Times. I clicked the You can lock and unlock the buttons the Key of Our Kia car rental, but the Street in Milwaukee was quiet.

It was late October on a Wednesday and Rachel and I were working on an episode in Wisconsin. of “The Daily,” Pegged to the 2022 Midterm Elections, About the Future of democracy. As producers of the Show, we may edit and chop studio interviews with Times journalists about breaking news or venture outside. the World to do our own thing on-the-ground reporting.

After a long day, we had just stopped by Milwaukee to have dinner. of reporting, the Highlight: An interview with a voter about her doubts. the Election process. We wanted our episode explore. the evolution of election doubt in the We knew from the beginning that our interview would bring a personal, essential dimension to this story.

Rachel and I then left the restaurant. We saw that the car we rented was gone.

We got through the possibilities. Stolen? Towed? We went back to the Security footage should be requested at the restaurant

The Our server informed us that Kias have been stolen from Milwaukee. Rachel and I learned later. that some pre-2021 Kias (and Hyundais) have such leaky security that you can boost them with little more than a USB cable. In 2021, 66 percent of Vehicle theft in the city involved Kias and Hyundais.

We were suddenly confronted with a sea of Logistical problems: Filing a police report, dealing the Renting a car and getting back to our hotel. The biggest challenge was the one that awaited us. of all: The Audio files of that slam-dunk-day of reporting were in the trunk.

We had just a little over a week until our publish date — Nov. 8, Election Day. As we traveled back home with heavy hearts — Rachel to New York, and I to Illinois — we knew we didn’t have much time to mourn the lost files. We contacted our source to see if she’d be able to redo the interview. She was gracious enough to agree to meet with us again the The Monday following.

We knew that this was not the best solution. We knew that a new interview wouldn’t be as honest as the one before. the first. We wanted that original tape to be returned.

I called the To find out if a rental company could use GPS trackers, please contact us the car for us. I emailed the police department about the Security footage Nothing seemed to be changing the We had to wait.

On Friday afternoon, I discovered that law enforcement had been rehabilitated. the car. However, there were also bad news. The Rental company needed to repair and recover the before I could retrieve our stuff.

It was followed by a weekend of calls: the Rent a car company to search for a more understanding agent. the He was a deputy sheriff. the vehicle, to see how he could persuade the Rent agency that will let me in the trunk. No luck.

Then Monday came around. Rachel returned to Wisconsin and I decided to plead my case. the sheriff’s department one final time before our rescheduled interview. I drove up to Milwaukee. the With some good news, a deputy was called: The We would be able to rent a rental agency. the trunk.

When the I was with deputy the I was looking at the impound lot to see what had happened. The back passenger window of Our car was smashed into. The The steering column of the car had been removed. Our bags were in the Trunk had been sorted through.

Rachel and me had two audio recorders. One to record our questions. the Other to capture the interviewee’s responses. We could not live without them the first — but if we didn’t get the interviewee’s side of the conversation, we’d have to re-interview her.

After sorting through, the trunk, I saw only one of the recorders. I got out the memory card and put it into my laptop, and I heard exactly what I wanted to hear — the voter’s voice.

Eight days later, we published the episode.

Audio producers wear many hats — from pitching stories and writing scripts to building episodes with archival footage and music. At a basic level, however, the Your job is to make sure you are doing your best. the episode doesn’t fall apart. This can include backing up recordings and triple-checking the Writing a script and planning production schedules that meet deadlines. Now I’m adding “be careful about your rental car” To the list.