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.

Youth EB Picks: A Tune To Change The Way We Act from RadioActive Youth Media

July 31, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Milton Guevara

Thrift 2

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.

Dumpster Diving by Rebecca Barker of the Alaska Teen Media Institute

February 9, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Slightly safer and cleaner dumpster diving for books in NYC.

There’s so many recession stories out there of how people are saving money and hustling to make ends meet. So what’s the most extreme thing you’ve heard of people doing? Well, for me, it’s dumpster diving.

Get to know Connor the dumpster diver. He looks for food, clothes, and pretty much anything else people throw away that is still useful.

But it’s not just a piece about “Hey, check out this wacky guy and the wacky things he does.” Reporter Rebecca Barker of the Alaska Teen Media Institute finds out why climbing into a dumpster, while thrifty and pretty rock n’ roll, is culturally taboo, sometimes illegal, and definitely unclean.

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Now, you don't have to get slimy and dirty to have fun and maybe pick up some free goodies. The Internet will lead you toward free and cheap things to do and consume in, and let us know of things going on in your area!

Intro and outro music is Never ending story by Scappare di Casa / CC BY-NC 3.0
Photo CC Licensed by Special KRB on Flickr.

Lanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House by Xiaojuan Ke of Chinatown Youth Radio Philadelphia

April 21, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

The finished product from Lanzhou Noodle House!

The Chinatown Youth Radio Project (ChYRP) was a short three-week intensive designed by Hansi Lo Wang, a graduate of Swarthmore College and an alum of the outstanding War News Radio. Like a pop-up shop of a radio group. But out of these three weeks in the summer of 2008, a great number of pieces were produced.

This one, Lanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House by Xiaojuan Ke, puts a spotlight on a local business.

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A little more about ChYRP and resourcefulness. Says Hansi about how they got it done:

"I was inspired by my awesome experiences working on War News Radio and wanted to share that experience with other young people and to tackle another under-reported story in American mainstream media — the Asian-American experience. So with the support of local community groups, media professionals, and other volunteers, I put together a 'radio boot camp' for young radio newbies — all of whom were instrumental in shaping the three weeks into a fun and lively experience."

ALSO!! Xiaojuan answered some questions about her radio piece via email. In it you'll find out exactly how long of an interview it takes to get the soundbite you need for your story.

How did you get involved in Chinatown Youth Radio Philadelphia?

Date back to the time that I participated in Chinatown Youth Radio Philadelphia was the time that I’ve been in the US for about two years. I met Hansi, the founder of ChYRP in a teen club and I heard about the youth radio project from him. At that time, I knew nothing about radio. I participated just because I thought it would be a great opportunity to improve my communication skills in English. But after getting involved in the radio team, I realized making radio stories was extremely interesting and beneficial.  It helps to improve my communication, writing and presentation skills, as well as making new friends.

Your piece has so much sound (noise in the shop, the door opening… and the door is really the best. I felt like I was learning a secret when you do that.) Did you think about what sounds you wanted?

At the beginning, I recorded different sounds from the store just for fun. But later, I noticed that if I put those sounds into my radio story, it would help audiences visualize the story and help the audience's imagination.

How did you decide to do a piece on Lanzhou Handdrawn Noodles? Were you a fan?

I’m actually not a fan of Lanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House. The reason why I chose it was because I think food occupies an important position in the minds of the people all over the world. And I think food culture represents one of the most important traditions within Chinese culture. And Lanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House is the first and the only hand drawn noodle house in Philadelphia Chinatown. And the skills to make hand drawn noodle are also unique and interesting. So I thought if I could make a piece on it would help people better understand the Chinese culture.

The owner of the shop gets really personal with you. How long did you talk to him for? And can you spell his name out for me?

I talked to him for about one and half hours. The owner’s name is Zengfeng Zhang.

How was it writing and recording in English? Was it easy or did you get frustrated? If you got frustrated, do you feel like you could have told your story better in Chinese?

I done with all interviews in Chinese, then translated them into English. It wasn’t easy since English isn’t my first language. But I didn’t feel frustrated since there were so many people helped me go through all barriers. I didn’t feel like I could have told the story better in Chinese because the purpose of making this piece was to promote Chinese food and to introduce immigrants’ life in the US, so I think it is better to do in English. Also, the initial reason that I participated in the Radio project was to improve my communication skills in English.

What are you up to now? School, work, etc? Where are you? Do you want to keep making radio if you're not doing that currently?

Nowadays, I am a student who is majoring in Mathematics and Actuarial Science at Temple University in Philadelphia. I want to keep making radio during my free time since it has so much fun and it’s so meaningful.

Music in this episode of the podcast is by Rusko, another Young of the World who is making it big. Check out some free downloads at his MySpace page.

Budget Crisis Worries HIV-Positive Youth by Arai Buendia of Youth Radio

January 27, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

money stackmoney fold

As someone who is not too hot with understanding fiduciary theory beyond making change and how to use a credit card, most news about national and state budgets, budget cuts, mortgage crises, TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES, goes straight over my head and glazed over eyes. It's hard, damn it!

But what makes it easier is when reporters like Arai Buendia of Youth Radio put a human face to a budget crisis. These reporters shrink down the power of billions to a couple hundred dollars and let us know how these decisions are affecting our neighbors and might affect ourselves.

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Hey! The State of the Union Address is on tonight (Wednesday the 27)! The President is going to be talking a lot about the national budget so watch it and try really hard to pay attention because it will affect you.

Photos by AMagill at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/ / CC BY 2.0

Also: podcast music is by Thunderheist and Holy F*ck, intro and outro respectively. As usual, it was found at the Free Music Archive. Thank you so much!