RFA Insider

The podcast that takes you behind the scenes and tells you what the news really means

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Kick back with RFA staffers Amy Lee and Eugene Whong as they discuss Radio Free Asia's latest stories and take you behind the scenes to show you how RFA journalists use their expertise and connections to deliver the news to our global audience.


  • Podcast Free Asia: Amy proposed this as the title of the podcast given that we are at "Radio" Free Asia, and we were doing not radio but podcasts. Podcast Free Asia is therefore the segment before the other segments, where the hosts might respond to listener comments, discuss any show developments or issue corrections. It's basically anything that doesn't fit into the other segments.

  • The Rundown: The Insider crew discuss and react to two or three of the zanier stories that RFA English published since the previous episode, and hopefully laughter and hijinks ensue.

  • How It's Made:  The Insiders interview a guest, usually a journalist from one of the language services to go more in depth about a particular story they worked on, and also to go a bit behind the scenes to discuss the news reporting process and any challenges they may have faced in putting it together, as well as any further anecdotes they might have about how the story was made.

  • What's in a Word: An occasional segment where, usually with a knowledgeable guest, the Insiders digest terminology and explain why certain terms are used at RFA and others are avoided. How one calls certain bodies of water, country names, and names of people can sometimes be either confusing or controversial. 


About the Hosts

Amy Lee

Amy is an Editing, Translation and Research Associate for RFA’s Research, Training and Evaluation team, which is to say that she works with translators, edits and occasionally writes things.

Amy is a Richmond, Virginia native who studied print journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University. During her undergraduate years, she covered Richmond City politics for the student news wire and wrote about Korean entertainment for Seoulbeats.

Amy left Richmond to live in a snow globe through the Japan Exchange Teaching Program, also known as JET, where she taught English in a rural town with one of the highest annual snowfalls in Japan. During her two-year stint, she served as Travel Editor for the JET Program’s nationwide magazine “CONNECT.” Amy moved to Washington, D.C. and continued working with the JET Program office before joining RFA in 2021.

Amy speaks English, Mandarin (Chinglish) and a little Korean. She enjoys watching true crime, bouldering, taking blurry photos on her film camera and tending to her plants.



Eugene Whong

Eugene is an English News Editor for RFA’s English Service who specializes in content about North Korea. 

Born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Eugene attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and like Amy, was also a teacher on the JET Program and is therefore her senpai by more than a decade. 

After finishing a three-year stint in Japan, Eugene moved to South Korea, one of his many ancestral homelands (yes, he’s of Korean descent even though he has an unconventional spelling of 황). He was supposed to be there for just two years for grad school at Yonsei University but life got in the way. After graduating, Eugene worked for several English-language radio stations in Seoul in a variety of roles. He and several coworkers founded the Café Seoul Podcast, which won a Korea Observer K-blog award for "Best Best Podcast" and became a prominent fixture in the expat in Korea podcast niche over a five-year, 81-episode run.

Eugene returned to the United States in the 11th year of his two-year plan and began working at RFA in 2018. He speaks English natively and is conversational in Korean and Japanese, but not at the same time. He's also a big nerd who is into retro video games, tabletop RPGs and Star Wars. Paradoxically, he's also a sports junkie and fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the NFL franchise in Washington. 

To send us feedback: 

X: @rfainsider

email: insider@rfa.org

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