"Bullied:" Behind the scenes from producer Iris SanGiovanni of Blunt Youth Radio

March 1, 2012 in GPRX Blog by Iris SanGiovanni

I was exceptionally thrilled with the outcome of Bullied: Teen Stories from Generation PRX, and I'm pleased I could be a part of it. It was great to finally hear teen perspectives on the topic of bullying. Each piece created for this special focused on different aspects of bullying, all were absolutely wonderful. My piece was unique in the fact it focused not on the victim or bystander, but the bully itself. 

The piece was based off the idea that anyone can be a bully, and in fact many of us are or have been. I feel very fortunate for the interviews I was able to have. 

Alice is a senior at Casco Bay High School in Portland, Maine. I spoke with her about her own experiences as a bully. It was absolutely wonderful speaking with Alice, listening to her story and insight. As hinted in the piece, Alice is from an immigrant family. Though this was not mentioned in the piece, I later found out Alice was born in Sudan during the war and left the Uganda refugee camp to live in America when she was nine. I appreciate the courage Alice had to share her story because it's not an easy thing to do. It's a difficult task for people to just identify themselves as a bully let alone share their experience.

Producer Iris SanGiovanni

Cynthia Erdley is a professor of psychology at the University of Maine located in Orono, Maine. It was great to have her insight on the mind of a bully. I left the interview with a better understanding of what a bully really is. I learned that we all are capable of being a bully, but more importantly we're all capable of changing that too.


To make this experience even more worthwhile was being able to use new equipment and software supplied by Generation PRX. I had only wished I had better experience with both prior to this project. I think the inexperience may have played a role in the poor sound quality of my piece. Well, you live and you learn. 


I'm so glad I can say I was a part of this special. A special thanks to Alice and Cynthia, Jones and Catie, and Claire for all their help. I congratulate my fellow producers for their wonderful works of audio and to the hosts of this special.


Iris SanGiovanni, Blunt Youth Radio Project: Iris SanGiovanni is a 17-year-old junior at South Portland High School. She has been a member of WMPG's Blunt Youth Radio for two years. Along with being involved with Blunt, she enjoys playing trumpet in her school's marching and jazz bands.

Iris' pitch: The Psychology of Everyday Bullying: We've all experienced at least one moment where we've bullied another individual, whether intentional or not, but what stopped us from continuing to bully others? Was it our conscience or the feeling of guilt that stopped us?