An Ode to Independents Everywhere

June 20, 2013 in GPRX Blog by Barton Girdwood


Photo: Lynn Beavin, Independent Producer in Bloomington, IN

You can hear us from our closets, stuffed between dirty laundry and pillows. From our dorm rooms, when our roommate heads to Anthropology 101. From our parent’s laptops, mixing whatever sound we’ve managed to collect on the freest software we can find. We’re the few. We’re the brave. We’re the independents.

No one understands our idols (“Robert Krulwich? Isn’t he in Harry Potter?”). No one understands our dreams (“Don’t you know Journalism is dying?”). But when we find each other, it’s like meeting your estranged twin for the first time, and they just so happen to be as equally brilliant, devilish, and pure-hearted as you.

I met one of the following producers, John Kreitzburg, through PRX last week. I heard his piece, Ashes, and I sent him a message. *BAM* we’re exchanging essay-length emails about story and production ideas. John’s a 20-year-old college student who won Best Dressed in 2nd grade, and he’s one of the hundreds of us youth who make audio off of a whim.

We take what we see around us—rioting on television, open fields for miles and miles, an interview with the local gas station attendant—and we turn it into something that matters, if not to anyone else, at least to us. And we put it out there. This week for Generation PRX we’re going to honor those independents: those of us who don’t have a local radio group, class, or even a friend who gets why we do this.

Each of the following pieces were produced by individuals and posted to PRX on their personal accounts. Some have been doing this for years; others, this is their first piece:

Find the whole great collection on this playlist.