The GPRX Blog: The best of youth-produced radio, curated by our Editorial Board

Youth EB Picks: Preparing for College from Open Orchard Productions

November 27, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Sara Wiser

shutterstock_141582367Think back to when you were a freshman in high school, all the excitement and nerves of going to a new school. "Preparing for College" from Open Orchard Productions sums this up in a perfect way. I couldn't relate to this story any more than I did!

As a high school senior, I know exactly what the producer is going through: all the pressure, expectations, focus, drive, competition, etc. I can relate to it all. I enjoyed all the different perspectives, which showed the real diversity of a high school. This piece had some great information. All the interviews provided good insight and very relative advice. Any high school student across the nation can relate to this piece. In the end, I have felt all the frustrations, joys and stresses that the piece spoke about. All of the comments were spot on.

"Focus on the journey, not the destination" is the quote I got from listening to this piece. I would recommend listening to this piece to anyone that is in high school or preparing for college. Finally, the music carried the piece in a very engaging way. Job well done!! This story is definitely worth a listen for anyone who is looking for an inspiring piece to teach you to live in the moment and to focus on the journey, not the destination.

Nominate Your Favorite Stories!

November 25, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

Photo Credit: ky_olsen

Photo Credit: ky_olsen

It's time for one of our favorite annual traditions: listening through this year's catalogue of youth-produced audio on PRX to compile our Best Youth-Made Radio of 2013 Playlist.

But we've only just begun! Help us make sure that the best work is represented by sending us YOUR picks for the very best youth-produced stories you've heard (or produced!).  Work must be available on PRX, youth-produced and posted at some point in 2013 (read: still plenty of time to post your stories to get them in!)

Have a story you'd like to nominate? Let us know by commenting on this post, emailing  the story's PRX link to generationprx[at]prx[dot]org or posting the link to the Generation PRX Facebook or Twitter page. Please include a word or two about why the piece deserves a spot on the list. Submissions due Tuesday, December 10th.

Once we've compiled our playlist, we'll share it via PRX, GPRX, our social networks, and newsletters (just as we did in 2010, 2011 and 2012). We want the world to hear these stories!

PRX at Ten / Where Are They Now: Kiera Feldman, Rockstar Journalist

November 21, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

This post is part of PRX at Ten's Where Are They Now series about former PRX staff. Cross posted from the PRX blog

Back when Generation PRX started YouthCast in 2006 — a podcast to showcase the best in youth-produced radio — we decided to look for a smart host who could reach both youth and adult audiences. Kiera Feldman – who began in youth radio at KBOO and was a Brown University junior at the time – basically blew the lid off what we asked for and elevated the job to art form. Funny, talented and whip-insightful, we knew Kiera was destined for greatness. Now a freelance reporter for the Nation Institute's Investigative Fund, we asked Kiera to share what she's been up to since the good ol' YouthCast days.

From Kiera:

Kiera Feldman, former YouthCast host, current rockstar reporter


I often find myself returning to something I read in a Transom essay some years back. "Radio is my first love," wrote Gwen Macsai, "and like a first love, no matter how far you stray and no matter how badly it ended, your heart still skips a beat when it walks through the door."

Back when I hosted PRX's alt.NPR YouthCast podcast (2007-2008), I thought of myself first and foremost as a Radio Person. I'd be making annual pilgrimages to public radio conferences 'til I died, I thought. But these days, my shotgun mic is stashed away beneath my bed, still a treasured possession but more of a relic from another time. (It's an AT835b, because I know you want to know.)

To recap: after graduating college in 2008, I moved to Brooklyn because it was a thing people did. I found a new extracurricular: producing segments for a progressive radio collective on WBAI called Beyond the Pale, and I've stuck with it ever since. (That first year, I also worked on PBS documentaries and as a fill-in producer at WNYC.) I was the only 20-something in the lefty radio collective, which meant I'd get goaded into doing all the stories that involved young people and going into the belly of the beast. I was a Radio Person working with print people on a volunteer-run show, and gradually I became a print person, too. It started with doing magazine versions of radio stories, like this n+1 story about Jews for Jesus.

The thing was, in the radio world, there just wasn't much opportunity to do longform narrative storytelling of the muckraking variety–which I discovered was what really made me tick. But that's a thing you can do in magazines, and I'm deeply indebted to radio: my ear for dialogue, being able to pull off the print version of the perfect tape-to-tape transition, being able to do interviews where you get people to recount events so that you can reconstruct it as a scene later (the Ira Glass "and then what did you say? And then what did she say? And what was going through your mind?" approach), and on and on.

Lots of my stuff is on my website, but here are some highlights:

+ The story I'm most proud of: "Grace in Broken Arrow," about child sex abuse cover-up at an Oklahoma megachurch. (Over at the Nieman Foundation, I laid out some of my thoughts and working theories about trauma reporting, investigative narrative, and the tremendous honor and responsibility of being entrusted with vulnerable people's stories.)
+ "The Romance of Birthright Israel" in The Nation. The story was funded by the awesome and amazing Investigative Fund, which is supporting a few of my current projects (thus making it possible to be a freelance investigative reporter).
+ The last radio story I did–a dispatch from the Birthright trenches–and it is pretty funny, I must say.
+ "Living the American Dream in the West Bank" for VICE: about New Yorkers who become West Bank settlers ("the long white flight," I called it in a follow-up story).


Youth EB Picks: A poem that will warm your heart

November 6, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Phuong Tseng

This poem, To My Little Brother, from WTIP, is a very special poem that might be difficult (or pleasant) to listen to. It will warm your heart and make your heart throb since it is about an older sister, the producer, and her motivational messages to her younger brother. In “Poem to My Little Brother,” Cailan Carpenter tells her story about how she is far away from home but she wants to send some important messages to her little brother. This piece caught me off guard when I was listening to it since I did not expect it to be so emotional. The producer did a fantastic job bringing this poem to life. If you’d like to take a listen and read my review of this audio piece, you may refer to the information below.


Review: Poem to my little brother

This piece is a poem by Cailan Carpenter’s, a sister who wants to express her care, admiration, and send some messages to her brother. The poem starts off with Cailan’s childhood images of her little brother. Then, she tells her audience about how her brother “is getting bullied,” and how much she misses her brother and wishes that she could spend some time with him. She also wishes that she could be near him to support him but she could not since she is far, far away; she expresses sadness in such a calm voice about her brother’s bloody nose and black eye. She ends her poem with some happy messages by sending some love and thoughts to her little brother. Cailan’s piece is quite emotional to listen to but very inspiring to hear. The pace of the piece is just so soothing and calm which makes the piece easy to comprehend. A sister's love for her little brother is very powerful. Although they are separated by hundreds and hundreds of miles, their love for each other will help them get through their hardships.

Announcing The Moth App: Listen to Stories on Mobile

October 31, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

The Moth app splashCross posted from the PRX Blog.

We're proud to announce that The Moth is now mobile.

The Moth app for iOS and Android, developed by PRX, is the latest product of our ongoing effort to bring audio stories to the places — and devices — where people listen.

The app is also more evidence that great things happen when PRX and The Moth get together. Acclaimed public radio show The Moth Radio Hour, presented and distributed by PRX, is now on 260+ stations. (And yes, those episodes are on the app, too!)

Get The Moth app and start listening!
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The official press release is below.


THE MOTH APP BRINGS POWERFUL PERSONAL STORIES TO IPHONE AND ANDROID
Renowned storytelling organization partners with Public Radio Exchange (PRX)
for effortless, elegant mobile listening experience

New York, NY (October 18, 2013) – Renowned storytelling organization The Moth has partnered with Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to release a mobile app that gives listeners access to audio stories from The Moth’s live events, its top-rated podcast, and its award-winning public radio show, “The Moth Radio Hour,” distributed by PRX and produced by Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media.

Moth stories span the great range of human experience. Storytellers come from all walks of life to stand in front of a live audience and tell their funny, sad, and moving stories without notes. The app features hundreds of the Moth's stories, including rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels’ confession of his love for Sarah McLachlan, writer Malcolm Gladwell’s wedding toast gone horribly awry, and A. E. Hotchner’s death-defying stint in a bullring with his friend Ernest Hemingway.

The app’s minimalist design keeps the stories front and center:
• Favorite stories you want to remember
• Share stories you want others to hear
• Download any story for offline listening

"We are thrilled about the possibilities the Moth app brings to our listeners,” said Sarah Haberman, the Moth’s Executive Director. “It is the perfect storytelling hub where Moth fans can find and share their favorite stories, whether they appeared on our Radio Hour, our podcast or at a live event. The Moth could not have achieved this milestone without PRX, and we are confident the app will serve to strengthen and broaden an appreciation for the power of storytelling among current and future listeners."

“The Moth apps marry PRX’s love of stories with our insights into how listeners access content on mobile devices,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “As public radio expands to serve audiences on emerging platforms, PRX and The Moth are pioneering new paths.”

The app was developed by Public Radio Exchange, which distributes The Moth Radio Hour, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Public Radio Exchange (PRX) has developed acclaimed apps for This American Life, PRX Remix, and Radiolab, PRX also just announced the second class for Matter, its media-tech accelerator that fuses the values of public media with Silicon Alley entrepreneurship (See coverage in NY Times, AllThingsD).

ABOUT THE MOTH
Originally formed by the writer George Dawes Green as an intimate gathering of friends on a porch in Georgia (where moths would flutter in through a hole in the screen), and then recreated in a New York City living room, The Moth quickly grew to produce immensely popular events at theaters and clubs around New York City and later around the country.

Today, The Moth is a nonprofit organization with ongoing programs, all of which contribute their best stories to The Moth Radio Hour: The Moth Mainstage where celebrities appear alongside unique voices from all walks of life; The Moth's StorySLAM competitions, which are open to all and rapidly expanding to cities across the country; and The Moth's community outreach program, MothShop, which brings workshops to people whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

ABOUT PUBLIC RADIO EXCHANGE (PRX)
Public Radio Exchange (PRX) is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Reveal, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and WTF with Marc Maron. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps including Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

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Halloween Tricks and Treats

October 28, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

From both sides of the trick or treat playbook we bring you:

The treat! PRX's Halloween Playlist. Our staff picks the very best stories, from vampires, to cemetery expeditions, to Dracula's girlfriend.

The trick! Lame Halloween jokes and accompanying GIF-animated responses, from Tapestry.

Listening to: Open Orchard Productions

October 22, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

OOP_TopFeatureThough it only launched last year, Open Orchards Productions – a southern California youth radio group based at Palos Verdes High School – is making waves in the youth radio world and was recently awarded a Transom Donor Grant. Covering topics as wide ranging as addiction, loss and chocolate, the group stands out for its willingness to keep pushing its own creative boundaries.  

One example: A vox pop that asks the same question of 5-18 year olds. If you could have anything besides money, what would it be?

Youth EB Picks: Slip of the Tongue from Youth Radio

October 9, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Phuong Tseng

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Photo: agnesgtr

After reviewing about 12 different youth-produced audio pieces in the past 3 months, I came across so many inspirational, empowering, motivational, and powerful stories. These pieces range from a conversation about relaxation methods, summer jobs, queer youth’s perspective of Valentine's Day, to conversations about death, greeting people with respect and many more.

Last but not least, the last piece that I would like to recommend to you all is Andriel Luis’s spoken word performance, Slip of the Tongue. This piece is a very powerful and insightful piece that offers many layers, dialogues between the poet and an individual, and visual images to understanding mainstream beauty and its negative impact on today’s youth. I was extremely excited and blown away by Andriel’s articulation and wisdom. I urge you all to listen and enjoy this intellectual piece!

For more information about my review of Slip of the Tongue, you can view the review below.

Slip of the Tongue is a deconstructive audio piece produced by Adriel Luis. Through spoken word, Adriel addresses issues that many female teenagers and women face in today’s society. Adriel touches on the social construction and internalization of mainstream standards of beauty, resistance and deconstruction of beauty in relation to ethnic identity, society’s perception and perpetuation of masculinity, and social consumption of beauty products. This is an excellent audio piece that deconstructs societal construction of beauty and reminds everyone to embrace their ethnic makeup and roots.

Lastly, I just wanted to thank Generation PRX and Jones for this amazing opportunity.

Sincerely,

Phuong Tseng

5 Tools to Build Your Radio chops

October 2, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

Radio education bonanza! Here are five excellent tools for building your audio chops:

1. Online tutorials from American Student Radio. ASR has been doing lots of exciting work since its launch just last year. Among their many accomplishments: a fleet of online video tutorials and .pdfs covering everything from using Audition software, to recording with your iPhone to making your first vox pop

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 2. Transom Online Workshops. Transom, that great source for online tools and in-person workshops, is piloting an exciting MOOC-Style Online Workshop. Currently testing, you can follow the progress of the current workshop, volunteer to beta test, or sit on your hands excitedly until the official launch.

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3. And speaking of Transom,  radio teacher guru Rob Rosenthal talks you through recording via iPhone using the free TASCAM PCM app. Producers with smart phones who claim radio inertia due to lack of equipment? The gig is up!

4. Those of you near the Bay Area can check out veteran teacher Claire Schoen's excellent Soup-to-Nuts seminar. The $250, 2-day intensive on documentary radio production takes places on October 27th & 28th. Learn more at www.claireschoenmedia.com

5. Look no further! One of the best ways to improve your radio skills is to LISTEN. The Youth Editorial Board makes sure the GPRX blog is constantly updated with the latest greatest work in the youth radio world.

 

 

 

 

 

What is PRX NXT?

October 2, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Jones Franzel

At PRX HQ, we've been talking about how to improve PRX in a number of ways, including some exciting changes to profile pages, audio and, ultimately, listening. It's a project we're calling PRX NXT. We asked Director of Project Management Matt MacDonald, who heads up the project, to break it down. Thanks Matt!

GPRX: Take it from the top: What is PRX NXT?

Matt MacDonald, developer smarty man

Matt McDonald, PRX's Director of Project Management

Matt: PRX NXT is a significant refresh and update to the www.prx.org website, improving the publishing process and creating brand new piece and producer profile pages with a focus on increasing listening.

GPRX: What are the biggest changes producers will notice as it rolls out?

Matt: Producers will notice that piece pages will be updated to make it much easier for people to listen to their stories and share their work. We know that visitors to PRX often first experience a producers work via a piece page, that essentially a piece page is a homepage for PRX and the producer. With that in mind we're focusing on designing that page to encourage more listening. Right now when you visit a PRX piece page it is very much geared toward the marketplace, producers selling pieces and stations buying pieces. The most visible change will probably be how much we're improving the listening experience.

GPRX: How will these changes help producers get audio work out in the world?

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Matt: I'd say the most important change that we're making relates to the listening experience. PRX.org has always been an open and transparent marketplace and the listener community has just sort of come along for the ride. With PRX NXT we are creating a world-class listening destination for professional audio and storytelling producers. We want to make sure that when a producer points someone to their PRX piece or producer profile that they get a great listening experience.

GPRX: Anything else we should know?

Matt: We'd love to hear what producers at all stages of their career and experience level need to improve their work and build audience. Whether you are looking to become a professional producer or a skilled hobbyist, we want to make sure that PRX is the home for your audio stories.

Have an opinion? Fill out the PRX Producer Survey.