Along with the video is a blog post full of prompting questions and suggested activities to get your wheels turning. Now all you have left to do is make your story and post it to PRX!
The GPRX Blog: The best of youth-produced radio, curated by our Editorial Board
“Superman Gets Dumped and Batman Returns… Our Phone Call” is unlike any radio show I’ve heard. It is a quirky show hosted by Graphite Girl (Madeline Ewbank) and Wonder Man (Srikar Penumaka) of RadioActive Youth Media. It is mostly fiction and a little journalistic vox-pop tied in.
In the vox pop part of the program, “ordinary citizens” share what they wish their superpowers could be. Many of the responses are classic ones like flying and invisibility, though be sure to listen for some super-cool superpower ideas.
In the next bit of the program, the humor surprised me. Graphite Girl conducted a phone interview with the Batman. While superheroes tend to be charming and sociable, the Dark Knight’s personality is definitely one of a kind. In the interview, Batman was off-putting and seemed to be giving his interviewer a tough time.
Not all of the program was goofy fun. The last story of the program was a serious account about a superhero’s love life. Lois Lane tells her story about what it’s like to date, and break up with, the Man of Steel. Her story is intimate and the details feel real. In the story, Lois becomes insecure. She feels she doesn’t deserve to be with Superman. Though many of us won’t be dating a superhero any time soon, the story is relatable. There are times when we all feel inferior to someone close.
“Superman Gets Dumped…” is entertaining and deep. The producers invite listeners to have fun.
For my October reviews, I took less time to decide which one I wanted to select as my favorite. It was obvious to me that I liked “Future of Youth” by Sterling Anderson of WTIP because it explores youth’s questions, minds, and worries about college and the future of many youth in the 21st century. I also had these worries and questions when I was a high school senior applying to colleges; I understand these high school students’ inquiries. One particular statement that Sterling states inspires me: He tells his audience that he believes that he will be able to chase his dreams like his parents did and will work hard to be as successful and as good or better than his parents.
For more description about this "Future of Youth," you may look at my comments about the piece below:
Sterling Anderson, a high school senior, has been hearing a lot from his classmates and friends about life after college. It makes him wonder whether “today’s youth will have as good of a life as their parents did.” In “Future of Youth,” Sterling explores this question by asking his peers at school for their opinions. Many of them are concerned that they might not be able to go to college, pay for college, or have a better life after college. Some think that they are overeducated; they are getting degrees that they do not necessarily need; they have job qualifications but cannot obtain a job, so they are struggling. With these opinions and concerns in mind, Sterling finds an alternative point of view to address these concerns. He believes that he will be able to chase his dreams like his parents did and will work hard to be as successful and as good or better than his parents.
This audio piece consists of two sections of vox pop and Sterling’s narration as transitions. He does a fantastic job presenting the topic, providing people’s opinions and concerns to help his audience know that there are many people who are dealing with this issue, and keeping his audience interested in hearing his perspective about his conclusion. Future of Youth is a wonderful piece that explores youth’s concerns about their future and success; Sterling’s perspective will comfort many youth and motivate them to be as good or better than their parents.
Words: Connected, Enlightened, and Inspired.
After reviewing 4 different youth-produced audio pieces, I would like to recommend Ali Ankeny’s piece, How We Relax: Teenagers and Stress. I enjoyed this piece a lot because it was beautifully and thoroughly edited from the beginning till the end. This piece also helps its listeners to feel relaxed while listening; therefore, the producer successfully makes her listeners experience with this podcast a pleasant as well as a stressless one.
I hope everyone checks it out by clicking this link:
For more description about this podcast, you may look at my comments about the piece below:
Ali Ankeny, a 10th grade City High School student in Tucson, Arizona, is very stressed out about her school assignments, exams, and when she loses things. Ali wants to find ways to reduce stress by interviewing her classmates and friends for some ideas. This piece, How We Relax: Teenagers and Stress, is a vox pop of Ali classmates’ voices and ideas about ways to relieve stress. These ideas include taking naps, eating, laying down while cuddling with their pets, drinking tea, listening to music and so on. Ali shares some of these activities such as working out, doing yoga, and dancing.
I think Ali’s voice draws her audience to listen to her podcast. By providing facts about stress and its impact on teenagers’ brain function, Ali draws her audience into the piece and makes them curious about what her story entails. I also like that Ali asks her friend to play a quick guitar song; that part adds a lot to the mood of the story and allows me to feel very relaxed and stressless.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Descriptive Words: Restful, Comfortable, and Mellow
Finally, after months of looking, I’ve managed to find something related to South Asian youth. The first thing that draws you into this piece is Shivani’s voice, full of an enthusiasm to tell her story. While her school life is pretty much identical to that of any other high schooler, her life away from school is what lets her tick. This piece is an expose of that life, one filled with family, the clanging bells and chants of the temple, and the scintillating sound of anklets. The strongest point of this piece is the way Shivani has created scenes, full of sound and flavor. All the sounds captured in the piece give the listener the audible textures that make up Shivani’s life. In addition, the musical contrasts in the piece highlight the separation, or maybe the differences between Shivani’s experiences at and away from school.
This piece seemed to me more of a montage piece, a sampler to something larger. Shivani brings up so much that could be further explored – I found myself curious about cultural tensions and about her interest in dance. Perhaps a series of follow ups could explore the topics she presents more in depth.
It occurred to me after hearing this piece that underneath the exposition of Shivani’s ‘out of school’ life, . Unlike many other ‘between cultures’ stories I have encountered, this piece focuses on someone who is deeply tied to the culture of the place her family left behind. For me, this was interesting, because it questions the United States reputation as a ‘melting pot’ of cultures. Can it be a melting pot when one can retain their own heritage and culture? Or is it more of a collage, a mosaic perhaps?
This piece is well suited for programming dealing with culture, religion and multicultural youth.
“From Elephant Toys to Elephant Gods and back” is a sweet and simple piece layered with unspoken, but deeper implications. Take a listen and enjoy this treat for the senses.
Learn more about WHJE Radio.
I was introduced to the rap song “Thrift Shop,” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, in my third period class. There was a conversation about thrifting when a classmate started singing, “I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket.” I was hooked. Now when the song comes up on the radio, you bet I’m singing along. “Thrift Shop” doesn’t come off as being the typical rap song. While many rap songs are about spending money on bling, Macklemore raps about saving money.
A Tune To Change The Way We Act from Seattle's RadioActive Youth Media is about how the popular song has inspired its listeners to get into thrift shopping. I love this radio story. It’s engaging and fun. Those who don’t thrift shop or listen to rap could find pleasure in the writing.
One thing that strikes me is the professionalism of the piece. With smooth transitions and precise volume levels, this well-paced story is made with high quality. It held on to my attention and left me satisfied when it was finished.
In this piece, there were perspectives from a shopper who started thrifting because of the song, a thrift shop employee, and an avid thrift shopper. They share what they think of “Thrift Shop” and what their thrifting experiences have been like.
One idea that was talked about was whether thrift shopping is going to continue to be popular. The way the piece ended, it seemed the producer didn’t think so. As someone who is already a thrift shopper, I hope that thrift shopping can continue being a craze. It is economical on the wallet and sustainable for the environment. Thrifting is just cool all around.
This month's Signal pauses to listen. From Youth Radio's Coming of Age in the Era of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin to an hour-long special on African American masculinity from Chicago Public Radio, the National Black Programming Consortium and PRX, we're stepping back to hear what young people have to say. Plus new apps and opportunities to connect you with hearing and making stories.
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This piece is very powerful. I enjoyed "Racial Equity" for its diction and very direct message. Luna's perspective from inside of private school gives a very interesting perspective of modern racial issues. Her pacing added to the overall youthful passion for this topic conveyed in her speech. The segment of her speech in which she retells the dialogue between her and her teacher about the authors of the humanities text books really hit a nerve with me,having been a dialogue I have had before. I really enjoyed this piece and hope to hear more powerful words from my generation.
Before I clicked ‘play’ and heard City High Radio's ‘The Words of Our Parents’, I was expecting some sort of confession about how irritating parents really are. That is not what this piece is. The producer, Grace, does a beautiful job putting together this vox-pop piece, which is more like a conversation than your average vox pop. By asking only one question in the beginning and stringing on answers from various people, Grace puts together little nuggets of insight in a very powerful way. The casual style of the piece – no copy, just cuts – makes its messages all the more resonant with the listener.
This piece is a reminder to take the words our parents say to heart. While listening, I was transported to a place reminiscent of the safety that only parents can give. There are mixed anecdotes of things parents have said, some hurtful, some true; the wide variety only supports the idea that parents wish the best for their children.
One thing I felt would enhance this piece is a follow up. Such a follow up might be to ask the same question Grace asks to the parents rather than the children.
Maybe it is because of a personal recognition of how not to take parents for granted, but this piece to me is pretty flawless; it turns the little things our parents say into perhaps some of the biggest wisdoms of our lives.