Alana Watson | Nashville Public Radio

Alana Watson

Alana Watson is the 2019 spring reporting intern for WPLN. She is a Nashville and Franklin native and previously worked as a fellow for NPR member station WKYU in Bowling Green, Ky. She won Best College Radio Reporter in 2016 by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association for her work in post-apartheid South Africa.

She is currently a master's student at Austin Peay State University. In her free time, she enjoys writing, paddleboarding on Percy Priest Lake, experiencing different cuisines, and traveling to new places. 

Alana Watson / WPLN

Plantations across the South offer tours telling stories about the white families who lived there, but the stories of enslaved African Americans on those lands are often either absent or barely researched.

Now, one woman at a historic plantation in Nashville is using her position to uncover and share the experience of slavery. 

courtyard garden downtown Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

If there’s an unexpected place to find a courtyard garden in Nashville, it’s along First Avenue in downtown. Despite the riverfront access, this is a gritty street with the sensibility of an alley — where businesses have packages delivered and where a row of touristy bars keep their smelly trash cans.

No one really spends much time back there.

Alana Watson / WPLN

Franklin is known for expensive homes and its Civil War history — like the historic Carter House, a major tourist attraction where the Battle of Franklin was fought.

But right down the street lies the birthplace of the city’s African-American heritage. And as home prices skyrocket in Williamson County, this once-prominent African-American neighborhood is slowly disappearing.

Alana Watson / WPLN

The owner of Nashville’s Downtown Antique Mall knew this day was coming.

The century-old warehouse full of quirky antiques is closing Friday after operating for three decades. The mall’s vendors say the reasons for the closure are indicative of the threat to small businesses downtown.


The NFL claims this year's Draft set a new record: The organization says total attendance for the event in Nashville surpassed 600,000 across the three days.

The numbers include the crowd that swarmed Lower Broadway in front of the event's main stage and those who crossed the river to the NFL Draft Experience at Nissan Stadium.

NFL draft Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

The city of Nashville is anticipating over 100,000 people for the 2019 NFL Draft next week, making it one of the biggest multi-day sport events in Nashville’s history.

The Draft, which is being hosted by the Tennessee Titans and Nashville for the first time, is expected to draw visitors from around the country. City and team officials say they're working hard to ensure their safety, while keeping a fun environment for the festivities.

Alana Watson / WPLN

Hillsboro High School is hard to miss. The tall, white building trimmed in green sits across from the Mall at Green Hills. And front and center, high above the ground, is the school’s iconic exterior clock.

Belmont University

Belmont’s women’s basketball team is preparing to go to the NCAA Tournament for the 4th consecutive year. And this is the last tournament for their scoring powerhouse, Darby Maggard. The senior guard has become a Belmont legend for scoring nearly 2,000 points, and she's achieved these record-breaking numbers despite her size.

Micah Van Huss
Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Supporters of the so-called “heartbeat bill” broke out in applause after a state House committee approved the measure, but already both sides are anticipating the court fight ahead if the measure succeeds in passing the Tennessee General Assembly.

Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention is issuing 10 recommendations to improve how churches respond to sexual abuse — a major step for a denomination that prides itself on its decentralized structure and independent congregations.