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).


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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