In a time when divisiveness has become so prominent in nearly all aspects of life, Talia Chiariello simply talks through it.
The Penn State junior, who’s majoring in broadcast journalism, hosts her own radio show called Talia Talks. The show first started in October 2017 and is broadcasted live on The LION 90.7fm. Recordings of each episode can be found on her YouTube channel.
“Having a live show is addicting,” Talia says. “It puts my skills as host to the test.”
At only 20 years old, Talia is a self-described “open book” and tackles subjects ranging from international students to LGBTQIA to Juuling. An aspect of her show that may come as a surprise is that her guests rarely argue.
During a show earlier this year, Talia and her guests discussed Juul use and all sides of the argument were presented.
“That was interesting because it allowed me to be educated on it and honestly my guests were able to just talk…not argue,” she says.
Tinder is another controversial topic she took on and was able to discuss without any angry disputes.
“I had someone for, someone against it and someone who had a relationship from it,” Talia says. “Still, no one argued.”
Having a radio show can be a lot of work and Talia does it all on her own. As host, she is responsible for booking, scheduling and developing topic questions. She researches the topic beforehand, records the interviews herself and edits it all afterward.
“It is a lot of work and sacrifice, but if I want to be a talk show host I have to put in the work!” She told VALLEY with cheerful conviction. “I’m just glad that I have people who support me and understand my motivation in doing this.”
Talia, who loves spending time with her family, says they are her rock and her foundation. Aside from hanging out with her family, Talia’s hobbies include “hiking, tap dancing, exercising and well, eating!”
Producing a radio show entirely on her own once made her nervous, but now is like second nature to her.
“Every show, I am provided the opportunity to learn from my interviewees,” she says. “I spoke with someone about coming out in public for the first time. I had a guest on that opened up about their mental illness and struggles with panic attacks. I had a Penn State athlete open up about saving himself for the women of his dreams.”
The experiences Talia has on her show not only benefit her and her career, but her guests as well.
“The opportunity to create such a comfortable environment for my guests has been the most rewarding part of this experience. I love seeing people be real and raw,” she says.
Although her shows span from a variety of topics, one of her favorite topics to discuss is self-confidence. Talia feels like people have become so concerned with how that look that they’ve begun to lose themselves.
“It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being ‘Instagram worthy,’ but who cares?” She says. “I used to spend my time worrying about what others thought…I finally realized that I am who I am. People either take it or leave it.”
Moving forward, Talia hopes to interview someone who has a “weird travel story.” More specifically, she’s interested in talking to someone on her show who has lived in a tiny house.
“It’s a whole movement called ‘Tiny House Nation’…I think it would be interesting to learn why they live the way they do.” Talia told VALLEY.
Although she’s only a junior, Talia looks forward to her future as a talk show host and hopes to one day have her own network show. After graduating from Penn State, she hopes to leave people with the thought that it’s OK for students to have friends with different opinions.
Similar to what happens on her show, she wants students with different views to be able to have discussions rather than arguments.
“There are a lot of things to learn from those with different views and different experiences,” she says. “If we surround ourselves with people who agree with us on everything, what opportunity is for us to grow?”