Jones posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | Blog, PRX | No Comments
On March 4th, we hosted a web event on Fundraising with Online Tools for Youth Radio Groups. We were lucky to have a conversation with two fundraising greats:
First, we spoke with Roman Mars of 99% Invisible about how to use tools like Kickstarter to raise money for youth radio groups. Roman’s Kickstarter campaigns broke records for crowd-funded journalism, and he’s set the standard for successful online fundraising.
Next we heard from Carol Varney of the Bay Area Video Coalition about where audio groups can go to find funding online, and how to make the human connection to funders.
Most of the hour-long PRX webinar was recorded and archived (due to a small glitch the 20-minute intro was not recorded). However, the complete slide presentation (including research and contact links) can be found below:
Erika Lantz posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Blog, PRX, PRX Remix | No Comments
So I was instantly intrigued when I came across Criminal, a new podcast devoted to crime.
Lauren Spohrer, Phoebe Judge, and Eric Mennel worked together until this October on The Story with Dick Gordon at WUNC. When the host, Dick Gordon, moved back to Canada, the eight-year-old show went off the air.
“When the show ended, we had this sort of restlessness in us,” Eric told me over the phone. “The podcast was a great way to harness that restlessness.”
Lauren had the idea to start a show about crime. Because who doesn’t love a crime story? Breaking free from the broadcast clock with an indie podcast would let them dive deeper in the long form they’d come to love at The Story.
The three of them have day jobs, with Eric and Phoebe still working at WUNC. That means they’re making pop filters out of tights and coat hangers, recording in Lauren’s closet and mixing stories at one in the morning.
“I don’t think we’re reinventing the wheel,” Eric says. “Some of the oldest stories in print are crime and mystery stories.”
You hear that in Episode 1, “Animal Instincts,” which finds odd parallels in two crimes five hundred years apart.
But unlike typical whodunnits, Criminal isn’t interested in solving crimes. Once you dig into a story, Phoebe says, you realize it’s hard to pin down the truth.
“A lot of times, when we read crimes stories, we read headlines, we read just the facts: this man was convicted, this is the crime he committed, this was the victim,” Phoebe says. “It’s never simple. In crime stories, there’s victims, there’s perpetrators, there’s the other people who are affected. When you are able to give time to a complete story, you start to see all these different ripples, the ripple effect of it. We’re learning that you can’t just say this guy is guilty because of x, y, z. It’s always more complicated than that.”
With that mantra, and with the show’s slow, driving rhythm, Criminal is a little dark, a little playful, a little melancholy, and entirely engrossing. Episode 3 comes out Friday.
Erika Lantz posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 | Blog, PRX, PRX Remix | No Comments
I’m back from the 2014 Media That Matters conference at American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact. I got to spend the day there with experts in film, social media, games, comics, and interactive experiments.
I attended to take part in a panel on sound, but left buzzing with ideas that pushed me outside my radio comfort zone. Here are a few.
1. People pay attention to games, says Kunal Gupta, director of the games exhibition collective Babycastles—and failing to see that means losing potential audience. Too often, media makers don’t see games for what they can be: entire worlds, or art that empowers people and communities. If you want to make an impact, don’t discount a game.
2. “Games are not good for facts. Games are good for feelings.” Colleen Macklin warned against looking to social impact games to teach information, or serve as “Games for X.” A game is a system with moments of choice that create an emotional, visceral experience. Society’s biggest problems are systemic, she said, and games encourage systemic thinking — especially when players start to make their own rules.
3. To engage different age groups, use a variety of media. Marissa Valeri says a comic can jumpstart engagement and mobilize a new audience. While some people will latch on to an image, others want to read information themselves. Greg Pak produced the graphic novel app Vision Machine, but pointed out that for all the fancy stuff you can make, sometimes a simple comic strip can reach the most people.
4. People are breaking the boundaries of their medium in new ways all the time. Take Operation Ajax, an interactive comic book for ipad that brings together all sorts of media — comics, sound design, video, archived documents — into what creator Daniel Burwin calls a “curiosity path for the audience.” The result is pretty magical.
How do you think we radio producers can use these ideas to make better stories? Let us know in the comments.
Erika Lantz posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 | Blog, PRX, PRX Remix | No Comments
Remix’s Rhode Island debut is part of a whole new weekend lineup of superb shows, including some from PRX: The Moth Radio Hour from PRX, and Snap Judgment, a show from PRX and NPR that’s hosted by Glynn Washington, winner of PRX’s Public Radio Talent Quest.
We’re thrilled to start working with the folks at RIPR. Rhode Islanders, tune in Saturdays at 6 a.m. or Sundays at 8 p.m. for an hour of mind-bending interviews, found tape, cool sounds, and the some of the best radio stories from PRX and beyond.
Those of you living outside The Ocean State, take heart: PRX Remix airs on radio stations across the country. You can hear us streaming 24/7 at PRX.mx, on XM Channel 123, and in your pocket. And there’s no harm in asking your own public radio station to put some Remix on.
Jones posted on Thursday, December 19th, 2013 | Blog, PRX | No Comments
In 9 years of leading Generation PRX, I’ve watched this network grow from a handful of committed youth radio groups to something more closely resembling a movement. And though I’ll be leaving PRX to pursue a career in health at the end of the month, I’m so excited to see what comes next for the youth radio field.
We’ve come a long way! Thanks to dedicated youth radio producers, teachers, and stations, diverse stories from young producers are reaching millions of listeners. From 26 youth radio stories, the PRX catalogue now hosts over 2,400 pieces from 60 youth radio groups. Audiences are hearing young people report on topics ranging from politics to heartbreak, but they’re also hearing something else: young people’s capacity, vision, and insight.
GPRX’s Youth Editorial Board has proved to be a vital network of peer feedback, and our hour-long specials on topics as wide-ranging as immigration, parenting and the environment have created a new model of programming. This work demonstrates what I think of as the hallmark of youth-produced radio: the transformative power of both making and listening to stories.
But this isn’t goodbye! I’ll be staying on in some new capacities to help shepherd this important work forward, and we’ve got excellent partners that support new voices:
- At PRX, we’ll continue to feature youth-produced radio on the website, newsletters and social media. And PRX Remix - our 24-hour satellite and broadcast stream – is always looking for great content from new producers. If you have work or news to share please let our editors know. We’re also planning to offer webinars to help youth radio groups build capacity in areas like fundraising, peer feedback and distribution. Details to follow.
- Transom has recently launched online workshops (now in testing) to help new producers hone skills in a free, distance-learning format. From history, to interviewing, to equipment – keep your eye on this one.
- HowSound podcast, from venerable radio teacher Rob Rosenthal, is an incredible tool for understanding how great radio gets made. Subscribe in iTunes.
- Start planning now to go to Third Coast Festival, the best producer meet up in radioland. TCF is a chance to build skills, connect with new and veteran producers, and (of course!) show off your dance moves.
- AIR - the Association of Independents in Radio – offers both student-discount memberships and mentorship programs that help individual producers focus on a particular skill and audio piece. Their New Voices scholarships help minority producers attend Third Coast. Contact Erin Mishkin (erin[at]airmedia[dot]org) to learn more.
I’m so proud of what the Generation PRX network has created, and excited to hear what comes next. I remain as inspired by young people’s stories - and the producers, teachers and stations who bring them to the world – as I was ten years ago. The future is bright!
Genevieve posted on Monday, December 9th, 2013 | Blog | 2 Comments
Not an audio producer.
We couldn’t get ahold of Santa, but we did gather some ideas from other friends on what to get for the audio makers in your life.
- Sony MDR-7506 headphones
- Tascam DR-60D. Better yet, Sound Devices 722.
- Sennheiser K6 mic preamps and capsules
- Pair of KRK Rokit 8 nearfield self-powered monitors. Better yet, pair of Focal CMS-50s
- Nice mic boom, like a K-Tec. “I tend to like the ones that don’t have cables inside because they can rattle and you can’t do anything about it. Lightness is good, like carbon fiber. Here’s a super cheapy… never tried it.” – Jay Allison.
- sE Electronics Reflexion Filter PRO Portable Vocal Booth
- Hindenburg software
- WAVES plug-ins – Broadcast and Production bundle, Sound Restoration Bundle, Dorroughs Loudness Meter plugin
- Dropbox account
- A good camera for stills and video. Like GoPro.
- Sonic Studios mic cables. “He makes all kinds of cables, but his basic mic cable is great. Expensive, but the best. You can get right angle on a mini plug, which reduces stress.” -Jay Allison
More ideas from us and other places:
More ideas from us and other places:
Satisfied bib customer.
- If you shop on Amazon, we’d much appreciate you starting from here, our Amazon affiliate link, which supports us.
- A PRX membership! $50/year for individuals. Get in touch.
- Babies love headphone bibs.
- Great T-shirts and CD sets for supporting Transom.
- KCRW has a list of inspiring books and more in Gifts for a Future Radio Producer.
- John Biewen’s book Reality Radio — a compilation of stories and reflections from audio documentarians.
- Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) membership
- Stick stuff to this and it’ll still be there later.
- Third Coast Festival T-shirts and more.
- New book from The Moth. It’s sold out on Amazon right now. But, you should find out which indie stores near you have it anyway.
Producers, what are some of your favorite gifts you’ve received or given? Jump on in with your ideas in the comments below!
Audrey posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 | Blog, PRX, PRX at Ten | No Comments
This year is PRX’s 10th anniversary and we’ve been doing a lot of reflection on PRX’s accomplishments as well as those of our producers, stations, and public media partners.
PRX is participating in Giving Tuesday (think the opposite of Black Friday, Cyber Monday or… Brown Thursday?!). In contrast to the buying frenzies, we want to show our support for a different kind of gift-giving, a day for giving back.
Why PRX? We believe that public media plays a critical role in our civic society and our democracy by creating an informed and educated citizenry. That belief is what drives all the serious fun we have getting public radio stories out into the world. It’s why we nurture new and established talent, forge new distribution opportunities, and use technology to get public radio onto new platforms.
Some major PRX accomplishments from 2013:
- Pop Up Archive.
- STEM Story Project and the Global Story Project open calls.
- Built The Moth app for iOS and Android.
- Saw many programs reach Kickstarter success.
- Matter One and Matter Two.
- PRX Remix app for iOS and Android.
- PRX/CIR collaboration on Reveal pilot.
- Public Radio Player redesign.
PRX is a small entrepreneurial nonprofit with big ambitions. We’re leaders and innovators who want to continue to develop content, technologies, and ways of doing things that provide broader access to public media. We want to support our storytellers and truthtellers to do what they do best: add value to our lives and our communities.
Here’s a testimonial from one of our PRX Remix listeners:
“When the world looks like it’s starting to suck even worse and it’s going down hill, I turn off my phone and I turn on the radio to you, and you always give me a little glimmer into the things that are here that are good. Just little people with little stories. It makes the whole crappy world look a whole lot better.”
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to PRX today so we can continue our mission of making public radio more public.
Take a moment on Giving Tuesday to reflect on public media as a whole and consider donating to your local radio station, a favorite public radio program, or other public media organization that you find valuable. You can find a full list of Giving Tuesday participants here. And help spread the word.
Lily Bui posted on Friday, November 22nd, 2013 | Blog, STEM Story Project | No Comments
This post is part of PRX’s STEM Story Project series.
The New York City Subway is one of the most complex engineering feats in American History. In 1904, it spread out the dense population at the southern tip of Manhattan and has since fueled the city’s growth. In Engineering Gotham From Below, hear how the first subway system was engineered and its current expansion from the MTA’s chief engineer, historians, and the tunnel workers who make it possible.
In a conversation with PRX, producer Bishop Sand shared the inspiration behind the story:
“When I first moved to NYC, I loved the idea that I could get anywhere via the subway. The subway seemed to be this infinitely large passageway that I’d never fully explore. I remember riding in the front of the C train, where there is a window facing forward onto the tracks, thinking that there was an entire world of utilities and sub-tunnels down there. Then I wondered–how this was ever built with the city buzzing above and around it?”
With so much to say about a subway system that is one of the oldest in the U.S. (preceded only by Boston’s MBTA green line), it was a challenge to decide what information to include or exclude. One noteworthy aspect of production that was included, however, was Bishop’s interview with the Sandhogs, the guys who “do the dirty jobs that nobody else can do” and improve the subway for those who take public transit. (The myriad of improvements to work on may surprise you.)
“[They work in] the ‘hog house,’ where the workers change into their work clothes before they go into the tunnels. Inside, guys who knew each other for years asked about families, told jokes, and gave a lot of support to each other when someone was injured…The interview was done in small room, in between off-color jokes that would never make it radio…”
After about half an hour of trying to gather stories from the Sandhogs, Bishop began to realize that what we may see as an impossible feat is just like any other ordinary day.
“To them, their normal day’s work doesn’t seem like anything worth talking about and yet it is almost superhuman for most people.”
Lean in and listen to the story about the engineering of New York’s underbelly.
Jake posted on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 | Blog, PRX | No Comments
Please join me in welcoming Janet Balis as our newest member of the PRX board of directors!
Janet is an accomplished digital media executive who has just started a new position as Chief Revenue Officer at Betaworks in New York City. Prior to Betaworks Janet most recently served as Publisher of the Huffington Post and held senior roles at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Time, Inc. and Aol.
“I’ve been an avid public radio listener my whole life,” says Janet. “I’m excited to join PRX as an innovative organization defining new models for public media content, distribution and engagement.”
Janet joins PRX board members Henry Becton, Torey Malatia, Susan McKeever, Ashton Peery, Jake Shapiro, and Bruce Warren.
Genevieve posted on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 | Blog, Press Releases | No Comments
The service — a lightweight web application developed by Pop Up Archive with PRX — allows content creators to store, search, and access audio files from anywhere, with additional features like automatic transcription, keyword generation, and timestamped search.
Plans are available for both individuals and organizations (like public radio stations!). Indies, head on over to popuparchive.org to get started. (By the way, Pop Up Archive is integrated with PRX so individuals can log right in with their current PRX accounts.)
Media organizations, newsrooms, and archives: check out Pop Up Archive’s time-saving enterprise services.
Questions, comments, or anything audio on your mind? Let Pop Up Archive know.
Get the official word below in the press release, and see you in the Archive!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2013
Media Contact: Anne Wootton, popuparchive.org, 510 463 4066, email@example.com
Pop Up Archive lends a new (searchable) voice to sound
Oakland, CA The web is getting noisier — but sound is trapped on servers and hard drives, untranscribed and unheard. Pop Up Archive has built simple tools to help journalists and media organizations find and reuse sound.
Developed with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) through support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Pop Up Archive is a workspace and audio search tool for journalists, archivists, and the institutions supporting them.
Pop Up Archive is:
● Immediate automatic transcription
● Keyword extraction and tagging
● Timestamped search results
● Transcript refinement
Pop Up Archive enterprise features include:
● Mass ingest
● Archival processing and metadata creation
● Newsroom integration
● Team access
● Publishing to thirdparties
● Longterm digital preservation at the Internet Archive (archive.org).
● Amara (amara.org) for perfect transcripts and translations.
Pop Up Archive is lightweight, designed to fit individual workflows and some of the biggest media collections in the world. Pop Up Archive began with rigorous user research across media industries and archives. Initial partners and clients of the service include Illinois Public Media, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Pacifica Radio Archives, and the Studs Terkel complete radio archive, curated by the WFMT Radio Network and the Chicago History Museum.
“As radio and history lovers, we support the creators and archivists who make and preserve our collective memory,” said Pop Up Archive cofounder, Bailey Smith. “Around the office, we talk about the magic of serendipity — what we discover and create when voices from the present and past are searchable. Pop Up Archive liberates undiscovered sound.”
“PRX is excited to collaborate with Pop Up Archive to develop this innovative service,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We share Anne and Bailey’s vision of preserving and expanding a diversity of voices from radio and beyond, and will use PRX’s distribution platform to ensure that exceptional stories reach audiences everywhere.”
“Pop Up Archive is the smart solution we’ve been waiting for. The team is ahead of the curve in ways that make our job easier and our team more effective,” said Joaquin Alvarado, Chief Strategy Officer, Center for Investigative Reporting.
“Archiving and preserving audio is an ongoing challenge for content creators; tackling the issue becomes even more important as technologies continue to evolve,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism and media innovation. “With its entrance into the mainstream market, Pop Up Archive is filling a major gap—providing newsrooms, journalists and others with an easy way to apply audio to enrich the quality and breadth of their storytelling.”
About Pop Up Archive
Pop Up Archive inspires the next generation of media by giving a new voice to audio on the web. Cofounders Bailey Smith and Anne Wootton’s first challenge was thirty years of unsearchable audio from San Francisco producers The Kitchen Sisters. The result: simple tools that organize sound through automatic transcription, tagging, and search indexing. Pop Up Archive is a winner of the 2012 Knight News Challenge: Data and is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, in addition to serving on the Innovation Working Group of the Library of Congress National Digital Stewardship Alliance.
PRX is an awardwinning 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, 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 such as Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation advances journalism excellence in the digital age through an array of media innovation projects and other initiatives. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.
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