Brooke started out in print journalism, writing on defense policy, strip-mining, broadcasting and cable TV. Her freelance pieces (on topics ranging from orgasmic Russian faith healers to the aesthetics of Pampers to NPR's near fiscal crash) have appeared in the London Observer, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and The American Journalism Review among others. She also covered public broadcasting for Current, wrote and edited theater, film and music reviews for The Washington Weekly.
In 1987, NPR's Scott Simon asked her to fill in as senior editor for his still-new program, Weekend Edition Saturday. Eventually they gave her the job, and a couple years later, she became senior editor of the daily news magazine, All Things Considered. She was awarded a Knight Fellowship at Stanford in 1991 and a year later she was in Russia, reporting on the bloody insurgency of the Russian Parliament and other stories for NPR.
In 1995, NPR created its brand new media beat and gave it to Brooke, who covered it for six years from NPR's New York in midtown Manhattan, until she was tapped by WNYC several subway stops downtown to help re-launch On The Media. The program was reborn in January of 2001. It has since tripled its audience and won quite a few awards by brazenly showing how the journalism sausage is made.
Brooke has won several awards too, including an overseas press club award and a Peabody. Recently, the Milwaukee Press Club recently bestowed on her the Sacred Cat Award for lifetime achievement, but sadly, On the Media's staff stubbornly refuses to perform any of the associated rituals.