JohnNew funds for global stories

John posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012 | Blog, Global Story Project, PRX

PRX is excited to announce the Global Story Project. This is an open call for great audio.

We’re looking for really groundbreaking and gotta-keep-listening stories — long-form works, segment length pieces, and reversioned materials — about people and situations outside of the U.S. that will help American listeners better understand the rest of the world.

We’re not looking for ‘foreign reporting’ per se. In fact we have some cool projects underway that get to some of that necessary and timely stuff.

For the Global Story Project, we want story to drive the audio. And creativity.

Time is short and we have about $50,000 to work with. PRX has fueled a lot of projects over the years, helping struggling and talented producers make great work. One of these previous PRX funding efforts actually led to The Moth Radio Hour. We want to make a memorable and meaningful impact on listeners.

So, we’ll be taking your pitches online for only a few short weeks. The criteria (please read it!) and application form are here.

Then, some people you know and some you don’t will help PRX decide where to invest. We want all of the chosen works posted to PRX before the end of the year. We’ll award the funds based on the proposed budgets, the ambition of the projects, the application criteria, and the overall ability of the applicants to deliver the goods.

At a time of shrinking independent funds for radio and audio productions, the Global Story Project is a sign of hope. Thank the Open Society Foundations for its vision and dedication to risk and audio storytelling. We’re proud to be part of this.

Dream big; review your archives from that overseas reporting trip or the audio diary you might have kept in the Peace Corps; reach out to friends outside the U.S. and let them know. Let’s see what jewels the Global Story Project can unearth.


John Barth
Managing Director, PRX

15 Comments to New funds for global stories

September 25, 2012

Hi John – this is excellent news. Can one submit more than one application on the understanding that each individual/organisation is likely to have only one funded?

[...] can apply until Oct. 15. Head here for the official announcement and the application details and entry [...]

September 26, 2012

Hi Jon — Yes, an organization can submit multiple projects. Please fill out the form separately for each one.

Sean Kelly
September 30, 2012

Hello, thanks for this opportunity. For PRX audio in the US, is there a preferred length for ‘long-form’ work?


October 1, 2012

Hi Sean,
Longform works for US stations should be 59 minutes with two one-minute breaks at about 20 and 40. There is also an option to do a 5-minute newshole after a one-minute billboard. Here are examples:

You don’t have to be this specific on the form… you can just say an “hour-long program formatted for public stations” or something to that effect.

[...] New funds for global stories [Public Radio Exchange] (via @NiemanLab) [...]

[...] still time to apply to PRX’s Global Story Project by Oct. [...]

October 3, 2012

Hi, the requirements say ‘no phone audio’ – does that include Skype recorded interviews?

[...] be shy! We know you have great ideas. Apply by Oct. 15: official announcement and the application details and entry [...]

October 9, 2012

Is there a specific type of reference person you are looking for? People directly involved with the producing? People who helped obtain audio? People who were subjects of the story?

October 10, 2012

Hi Maggie:

This is a reference who can speak to your ability to produce and complete this sort of work up to the standards we require…and on deadline.

So, someone in a work or collaborative capacity who can speak to the body of your work, production habits and skills.

Hope that helps!



October 10, 2012

Hi Kate:

For this project we want to really encourage in-person reporting and interviews, not access by phone or Skype or other distant audio gathering. We don’t want pieces where all the sound is by people in the US doing call-outs to gather audio in other countries.

So, phone tape and Skype interviews are really discouraged unless they are simply one brief element in the context of a fully, in-person reported and gathered piece. Incidental audio is ok; more than

Hope that helps.


October 15, 2012

Hello, I have a last minute question.

I’m a radio reporter but I don’t usually produce my own stories. Are we expected to do so or do you provide a producer?

One of the questions on the application is: How long will it take to produce? Again, I’m not sure, as I’m not a producer. How long does it generally take to produce a pretty straightforward one-hour piece?

Thank you
Ursula Lindsey

October 15, 2012

Hi Ursula,
You would need to collaborate with a producer for the project. We don’t provide the producer. How long it takes to produce would depend on what you discuss with your producer and what you are producing. We are asking that stories be complete by Dec. 31.

[...] done by a creative and kindly Londoner, one Bernadette Russell. After winning a commission from the PRX Global Story Project run by the American Public Radio Exchange, I turned the audio into a documentary featurette.  Just [...]

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