The Shell Game by Sam Greenspan

July 14, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

This week I wanted to feature some work by young but not so young producers: people who are in the 18 to 24 demographic, but are working as professional, adult producers. I thought it would be inspirational since it inspires the hell out of me to always be making more, making it better, and then getting it out there.

Sam Greenspan is a freelance radio producer, media educator, and production assistant at NPR in Washington, DC. And he has been incredibly gracious in lending me an additional feature for this edition of YouthCast. The one contained in the podcast below is The Shell Game. At first you might think that this is about video games, judging from the image above, but really, it's about music, power, and gender. And more importantly, the way it was recorded totally grabbed my ears. I'll explain in audio format a little more. Just click "Play!"



"Searching for Blelvis" is the story of Sam's quest for DC area street character, Blelvis, or "The Black Elvis." This story contrasts with The Shell Game because it is more intense: scripted, investigative, and took a few months. It aired on WAMU, Washington DC’s NPR affiliate. I think it really demonstrates the two sides of Sam, and a lot of young producers: they have the talent to do something offbeat and off the cuff, but also to report on and write features of substance. Head over to PRX to hear the whole thing.

And right here, listen to a bonus interview excerpt of Sam and I talking about the making of "Blelvis" and the trouble of being on the other side of the mic as a reporter and producer.

(Listen to the interview!)

Sam also wants to give a shout-out to Radio Rootz DC, which teaches District high schoolers audio storytelling and media literacy.

Music in this episode is by Transient / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

The Mario Kart shell image is Flickr user michellegabriel.

Questions asked, Answers given: Ece Ergadöz

July 5, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Ece Ergadöz produced the feature in the most recent episode of YouthCast. And though she produced it with the Youth Media Project in New Mexico, she has returned home to Turkey for the summer. She answered some questions via email ("Hi! I have my driver's test tomorrow, so sorry in advance for the short answers :) ") to let us know how her memory was jogged and her feature, Peculiar Privilege and the Elegy, was made.

* * * * * * * * * *

Why did it feel so awkward to ask that question about being an outsider toy your classmate? Why do you think people looked at you so strangely?

It was strange because a very tolerant atmosphere towards all cultures exists at [United World College]. Therefore, asking my friend about the feeling of outsiderness was a little out of place I think.

How did you get involved with the Youth Media Project?

I got involved because I was very involved with the Constructive Engagement of Conflict program at our school. Naomi, the director, suggested that I join YMP. I came to love the project right away.

Did you set out with a full idea of what you wanted to communicate through this story, or did it evolve more organically?

I actually had no idea about what to do at the beginning, But after talking to my German friend Tina, who is featured in my piece, I decided upon this project.

What was your writing process like? And then after that, what was your editing process like?

The writing process did not take too long because once I got the idea, it was sort of like a stream of consciousness. Editing process was tough though, especially choosing short pieces out of the long interviews I made with my friends, and figuring out the technical aspect of editing. But I had lots of fun!

Tell me a little more about growing up in Turkey. You talk about feeling out of place in your own family, but where do you feel like an insider? How would you define your culture?

I grew up in Istanbul so I have been immersed in the modern day city culture of Turkey. I am really not familiar with my parents’ ethnical backgrounds and cultures to this day. Plus, my mother was also born in Istanbul and my father moved here when he was 1-year-old. So, I have been well immersed in the majority’s culture.

Did you visit your father's hometown?

No, I haven’t been there yet. I just graduated from high school, so after all the stress I suffered during the college admission process, I much more prefer the Turkish south with lots of beaches for this summer :) I’m planning to go to my father's hometown next year. (It’s kind of cold out there in Kars)

What are you up to now?

I will be off to Harvard next fall. Thanks for featuring my story!

Career Advice From the President by Iman Fears of Minnesota Public Radio News

June 2, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Iman in Washington

Photo by Jakub Mosur

Iman Fears (right) was one of two teens chosen from Minnesota to attend the U.S. Sentae Youth Program. She spent a week in D.C. in early March 2010, conducting interviews and recording her thoughts in an audio diary.

In addition to meeting her senators, a chance few people have to begin with, she also met the President and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

This inspiring report was featured as apart of Minnesota Public Radio News's Youth Radio Series.


MPR's Youth Radio Series pairs high school and college-age reporters from diverse backgrounds with an experienced MPR producer to create compelling stories for MPR News, as they say on their website. That producer is usually Sasha Aslanian. She told me that the program was created after their first youth reported piece aired. There was such an overwhelming response from listeners, they now try to deliver a youth reported piece once a month. Check out the sensational premiere, Welfare Migration by Paris Porter on PRX.

Check it out! I talked to Iman on the phone and she does give the gossip like I promised: USA chants in the White House, and staying in the same hotel as former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer when he was, uh, scandalizing himself.

(Listen to the interview!)

Music in this episode is by Deal the Villain and I.D. and Baobinga. It was found at the Free Music Archive.

Andy Boyd Talks: "I don't trust any news source where the anchor doesn't have a speech impediment."

January 7, 2010 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

ICAndy Boyd is the producer of "My Socialism, which  we featured on last week's YouthCast. I finally got a hold of the man behind the essays, and he is one smart, nice dude. We talked for awhile about Spaulding Gray, whether or not WBEZ is an awesome radio station, being nice, smart and white, and when he's finally going to get a higher quality microphone.

Production notes: I myself was not using an awesome microphone, so apologies for the overall sound quality. Also: Cell phones! How awesome are they and how much do they suck? You'll hear some jump cuts with a busy signal becuase the call dropped a few times.

(Listen to the interview!)

Please check out Andy's website, He has links to places on the Internet where you can read his writing.