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Starting June 1: Open Call for Your Science Audio Story Ideas

PRX is back with our third annual open call for science radio ideas — the STEM Story Project. STEM Stories from 2013 and 2014 aired on Here & Now, All Things Considered, Studio 360, our science podcast Transistor, PRX Remix, and numerous other podcasts and public radio stations around the country. We’re excited to do this again.

Starting June 1, we’ll accept proposals to create radio stories inspired by STEM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). We have a pool of funding from the the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to distribute among multiple projects.

Our goals are to:

• Unleash highly creative, STEM-based original stories and productions
• Educate and excite listeners about STEM topics and issues
• Tell stories and explain STEM issues in new ways

Have an idea for a story? We will accept proposals between June 1st and July 1st, 2015. Here are the application guidelines. Be sure to check them out, and stay tuned to #PRXSTEM on Twitter, via our handles @TransistorShow and @prx

Have questions? Comment below or email your questions to stem@prx.org. But please refer to the FAQ below and application guidelines first!

May the force be with you.
-John Barth & Genevieve Sponsler

The PRX STEM Story Project Team

____________________________________________
FAQ

What is PRX’s STEM Story Project?

An open call for proposals to create radio stories about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). In the past two years, PRX has funded the creation of 29 STEM stories. They’ve aired on national shows like Here & Now, Studio 360, All Things Considered, our science podcast Transistor, and PRX Remix, in addition to being aired on stations throughout the country.

TIMELINE

What are the dates?
PRX will accept proposals online between June 1 and July 1, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Accepted proposals will be announced in early September. Producers will then have two months to create their stories and publish them to PRX.org by November 1, 2015.

ELIGIBILITY

Who can apply?
We welcome any producers or writers with audio production experience to apply. Producers can be independent or station-based.

What if I don’t have audio production experience but want to submit a story?
We recommend that you work with an audio producer to come up with a story proposal and to provide audio samples.

If I already received a grant last year, can I apply again this year?
Yes.

If I applied last year and didn’t get a grant, can I apply again?
Yes, but you must apply with a different story than the one you submitted last year.

I have a podcast/an idea for a podcast. Can I submit my podcast as a proposal?
We cannot fund an entire series, but you can submit an entry for a single episode of your podcast. For example, in past STEM open calls PRX has funded single episodes of Criminal, 30 Minutes West, and Destination DIY.

THE APPLICATION

What do I need to include in my application?
We’re looking for a proposal of your story idea, two audio samples of your previous work, and a proposed budget.

How long should my proposed audio story be?
We generally ask that the stories be 10 minutes or less. Shorter stories are more shareable online and more likely to get picked up by national shows, podcasts, and stations. Past stories we’ve funded have ranged from 6 to 18 minutes long, but again, with the majority being under 10 minutes.

How will proposals be chosen?
We will work with a team of science advisors and radio advisors to select proposals that best fit the project’s goals.

BUDGETS

What should I include in my budget?
Producer fees, engineering fees, travel expenses, and editor fees. If your proposal is chosen, we will contact you to revise your budget, if necessary.  

PRODUCTION

Will you be giving me any guidance during the production process?
PRX requires at least one mandatory check-in during the production period to go over initial script drafts.

POST-PRODUCTION

What happens after the stories are done?
PRX will work with you to get the pieces licensed to different stations within our network as well as placed on blogs + other digital platforms.

Hi, I’m Alex! (=^_^=)

Lewiston Middle School Students with Claire Holman, head of Blunt Youth Radio, and two Portland High School students. The show aired  on March 30th from WMPG in Portland, ME and featured selections from students' interviews with Lewiston community members.
Lewiston Middle School Students with Claire Holman, head of Blunt Youth Radio, and two Portland High School students. The show aired on March 30th from WMPG in Portland, ME and featured selections from students’ interviews with Lewiston community members.
Hi, my name is Alexandra Morrow (but you can call me “Alex”). I’ll be here at PRX as an intern through the end of August. I’m an only-child born and raised in Southern Maine, 4 houses over the border from New Hampshire (but that still makes me a Mainer, right??). I just finished my Junior Year at Bates College in Lewiston, ME where I’m a self-designed Narrative Studies Major. I’m interested in using stories and public media to organize communities and connect people across lines of difference. In Lewiston I run an after-school workshop for Middle Schoolers – helping to guide them through the process of conducting audio interviews to learn more about their community.

Last summer I interned at Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, MA. I spent the summer making Sonic IDs and produced a 6-minute feature about the upcoming 400th Anniversary of Plymouth Plantation (in 2020) from the perspective of Native Wampanoag. I’d played around a little with audio editing before getting to APM, but didn’t realize just how much work goes into production until I was sitting at a desk, staring at hours upon hours of audio, and trying to find those golden 30-60 seconds.

Recording Sonic IDs on a Farm in Rochester, MA for Atlantic Public Media (Summer 2014)
Recording Sonic IDs on a Farm in Rochester, MA for Atlantic Public Media (Summer 2014)

My appreciation for public radio and audio-storytelling increased exponentially in those moments. It’s hard work, people!! It takes a long time to really figure it out and get it right. I can’t count how many times I read Ira Glass’ quote about creativity that summer. It’s going to take a while, it’s going to take a while… just gotta fight through it. Nothing I produce at this stage in my life is actually going to feel good enough. Just. Have. To. Keep. Trying. Ahhh.

I spent August – December 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal living with a host-family and learning Nepali. I worked with the phenomenal power-couple Jaya Luintel and Madhu Acharya, two incredible and renowned radio-Journalists in Nepal. I worked mostly with Jaya doing some writing for her organization The Story Kitchen. I didn’t produce a radio story in Nepal for a number of reasons, but largely I was trying to figure out ethics of recording in a cultural context completely different from my own. I did a final project on Women Exercising in Nepal. I was inspired by a group of women from the Siddhipur Jogging Group. I met them while on one of my early morning runs with a friend and we were graciously welcomed into their community and their homes. These women became family. I returned in late-December to a world of snow, and ice, and closed-off New England homes. It was a hard transition to say the least and I miss my family every day. We talk on the phone often.

With the Siddhipur Jogging Group
With the Siddhipur Jogging Group

The recent earthquake in Nepal has been devastating. To learn that the people who so graciously shared their lives and their culture, who became both my family and my friends are struggling in ways that are difficult to fathom is heartbreaking. My host-family and many of the women from the Siddhipur Jogging group lost their homes. Many lives have been lost and countless more will be threatened as the situation continues to worsen. I’m trying to find ways to effectively assist in recovery efforts from afar. Nepal and its people have a long road ahead in terms of recovery. I had been planning to return in June with my parents (this would be their first time out of the US!), but we all agree the money can be better used to support relief efforts.

I’m really excited to be here at PRX this summer. I’ll be here in the office once a week, on Tuesdays. When I’m not at PRX I’ll be working at Brandmoore Farm in Rollinsford, NH. At Brandmoore I’m doing a combination of farm Brandmoore Farmwork and media production. Becky and Phil Brand so graciously invited me to work as a Digital Media Producer / Outreach Coordinator this summer. I’ll be creating content to showcase their farm and also look into the ways that local farms and food systems can reach a wider range of the population through public media. The content I produce might also be used for a Kickstarter Campaign they’re organizing in the near future. I’m hoping to integrate that work into something I do here at PRX. What that will look like, however, I’m not sure!

In my spare time I like to run in the woods, bike long distances, and experiment with fresh ingredients in the kitchen. :-)

If you read all the way to here, you’re a trooper! I definitely wrote way too much – but hey, that’s me.

Questions? Comments? Fantastic story?! Shoot me an email. alexandra@prx.org

 

Introducing Transistor, A Science Podcast from PRX

PRX is thrilled to announce the launch of a new weekly podcast series Transistor (official press release). Three scientist hosts — a biologist, an astrophysicist, and a neuroscientist — report on conundrums, curiosities, and current events in and beyond their fields. Sprinkled among their episodes are the winners of the PRX STEM Story Project, a competition we held for unique science radio.

Just as the transistor radio was a new technical leap, this Transistor features new women voices and their science perspectives. We’ve launched with four episodes from our three scientist hosts:

  • Dr. Michelle Thaller, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who studies binary stars and the life cycles of the stars.
    • We Are Stardust: We’re closer than ever before to discovering if we’re not alone in the universe. Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller visits the NASA lab that discovered that comets contain some of the very same chemical elements that we contain. Then, Michelle talks to a Vatican planetary scientist about how science and religion can meet on the topic of life beyond Earth.
  • Dr. Christina Agapakis, a biologist and writer based in Los Angeles. Her research focuses on the intersection of microbiology and design, exploring the symbiosis among microbes and biology, technology, and culture.
    • Food, Meet Fungus: The microbiome — the trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on our body — is hot right now. We explore what we do know in the face of so much hope and hype, starting with food.
  • Dr. Wendy Suzuki, a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University, whose research focuses on understanding how our brains form and retain new long-term memories and the effects of aerobic exercise on memory. Her book Healthy Brain, Happy Life will be published by Harper Collins in the Spring of 2015.
    • Totally Cerebral: Untangling the Mystery of Memory: Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki introduces us to scientists who have uncovered some of the deepest secrets about our brains. She begins by talking with experimental psychologist Brenda Milner, who in the 1950s, completely changed our understanding of the parts of the brain important for forming new long-term memories.
    • Totally Cerebral: The Man Without a Memory: Imagine never being able to form a new long term memory after the age of 27. Welcome to the life of the famous amnesic patient “HM”. Neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin studied HM for almost half a century, and gives us a glimpse of what daily life was like for him, and his tremendous contribution to our understanding of how our memories work.

Each scientist is working with a talented independent producer: Lauren Ober, Julie Burstein, and Kerry Donahue.

Subscribe to the show through iTunes or RSS, or you can stream it on PRX.org.

Follow us at @TransistorShow.

Transistor is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, enhancing public understanding of science, technology, and economic performance. Learn more at sloan.org.




PRESS RELEASE

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com
Scott Piro, scott@pkpr.com
PKPR, 212.627.8098

PRX LAUNCHES TRANSISTOR – A NEW PODCAST

FUSING SCIENCE & STORYTELLING AND FEATURING WOMEN SCIENTIST HOSTS

Cambridge, MA (February 18, 2015) – Blending science and storytelling, a new podcast featuring three women scientists as hosts officially debuts today from PRX, the public media nonprofit that last week was named one of the world’s ten most innovative media companies by Fast Company.

Reporting on conundrums, curiosities and current events from across the scientific world, the “Transistor” podcast launches with four episodes exploring a wildly diverse range of topics from long-term memory and amnesia to the search for intelligent life in the universe and the role that trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses play in food and in our gut.

“Transistor” is part of a PRX science storytelling initiative supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In addition to its scientist-hosted episodes, “Transistor” will include winners of PRX’s STEM Story Project, which has brought dozens of original stories about science, technology, engineering and math to public radio since 2013.

Three of the “Transistor” featured hosts are women scientists who have never done a podcast before: Dr. Wendy Suzuki, a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at NYU and author of the forthcoming book Brain Healthy; Dr. Michelle Thaller, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; and Dr. Christina Agapakis, a biologist and writer based in Los Angeles, whose work focuses on the intersection of microbiology and design.

“There is a growing audience for scientific news, and ‘Transistor’ meets that demand with original, captivating storytelling from the perspectives of women at the forefront of their fields,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We are thrilled to bring this fascinating and addictive series to listeners worldwide.”

“‘Transistor’ explores the meanings behind scientific discoveries that we hear about everywhere in our lives,” said Dr. Suzuki. “Asking big questions humanizes science, and ‘Transistor’ opens up scientific fascination to audiences who don’t always look past the headlines.”

Listeners can subscribe to “Transistor” through iTunes and stream the show for free at transistor.prx.org.

About 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 This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, Reveal, Snap Judgment and the Radiotopia podcast network. 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, PRX Remix, and This American Life.

Matter Expands: four media partners join forces

Matter — the mission-driven media accelerator that PRX helped launch back in 2012 — has just announced that four major media companies have joined our community alongside original founding partners PRX, Knight Foundation, and KQED.

You can read more from Matter Managing Partner Corey Ford in his post. Below is also a press release from McClatchy — one of the four new partners — that helps explain their reason for joining.

With our fourth class of startups underway (announcement on who is in the class will be out tomorrow) and these new partners, it’s clear that Matter has reached an important moment of impact in media.

Having helped first developed the concept of the “public media accelerator” that evolved into Matter under Corey’s leadership, it’s exciting to see Matter take shape at the center of a community bringing entrepreneurship, design thinking, and public media values into the tech startup movement.


PRESS RELEASE

McCLATCHY JOINS MEDIA ACCELERATOR MATTER

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 17, 2015 – The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) announced today that it has signed on as a media partner with Matter, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm and incubator that supports promising media startups and entrepreneurs.

“This is a very exciting partnership and opportunity for McClatchy,” said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy president and CEO. “In the midst of our company’s own digital transformation, Matter and the startups it nurtures will provide ideas, innovation and potential new business models for successful media companies of the future.”

In addition to McClatchy, The Associated Press, A.H. Belo Corporation and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. will join founding media partners KQED Public Media for Northern California, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Public Radio Exchange in support of the Matter program.

The new partnership features a powerful mix of international, national and local media organizations with a vast reach across television, radio, digital and print. The network of media partners gives participating startups extensive mentorship by industry leaders, connections to potential customers and real-world opportunities to test their ideas.

Matter, founded in 2012, brings selected startups together at its San Francisco headquarters that “have potential to become meaningful media institutions of the future – creating a more informed, connected and empowered society.”

Matter invests seed capital and provides an intensive, five-month program for the budding entrepreneurs to refine their business plans, develop prototypes, work collaboratively with other entrepreneurs and learn from leaders in media and technology. The program culminates with “demo days” presentations in San Francisco and New York in front of a select group of investors, media executives, mentors and others.

Matter has a current portfolio of 19 early-stage media ventures.

About McClatchy

The McClatchy Company is a 21st century news and information leader, publisher of iconic brands such as the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News and Observer, and the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram. McClatchy operates media companies in 28 U.S. markets in 14 states, providing each of its communities with high-quality news and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

Contact: Karole Morgan-Prager
Vice President, Corporate Development,
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
(916) 321-1828
kmorgan-prager@mcclatchy.com

Fast Company Names PRX and Radiotopia Top Innovative Companies

We’re thrilled to announce that Fast Company has named PRX one of the Ten Most Innovative Companies in Media and Radiotopia one of the Ten Most Innovative Kickstarter Companies (press release).

This has been a big year for PRX with Radiotopia launching just a year ago this month with a hugely successful and record-breaking Kickstarter in between. We’re a small company with a lot of big ideas and we’re honored to accept these nominations alongside other media companies like The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Gimlet, and Medium.

Check out all of Fast Company’s Most Innovative and read our press release below.

__________________________
PRESS RELEASE

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com
Scott Piro, scott@pkpr.com
PKPR, 212.627.8098

FAST COMPANY ANNOUNCES MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES

PRX AND RADIOTOPIA NAMED IN MEDIA AND KICKSTARTER CATEGORIES

New York, February 9, 2015 – Fast Company today announced its annual ranking of the world’s Most Innovative Companies for 2015, honoring leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in business and innovation. For “breathing life back into radio,” PRX earned the No. 5 spot in the Most Innovative Companies in Media. In addition, PRX’s podcast network Radiotopia earned the No. 4 spot in the Most Innovative Kickstarter Companies for “creating an audio utopia.”

Other companies honored along with PRX in the Media category include The Washington Post, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Gimlet, and Medium. Radiotopia is honored in the Kickstarter category alongside Oculus VR, RRKidz, and others.

“Public radio is ripe for reinvention and we are thrilled that Fast Company has named PRX and Radiotopia as top innovators,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “Credit goes to our remarkable team, talented producers in our network, and listeners like you. Stay tuned for lots more to come.”

Most Innovative Companies is one of Fast Company’s most significant and highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. The magazine’s editors spend months gathering and analyzing data on companies around the globe. The resulting package emphasizes the breadth of companies with progressive, nimble business models, an ethos of sustainability, and a culture of creativity.

Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March 2015) is now available online at www.fastcompany.com/MIC as well as in app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning February 17.

ABOUT PRX
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 This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, Reveal, Snap Judgment and the Radiotopia podcast network. 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, PRX Remix, and This American Life.

ABOUT FAST COMPANY
Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, one of the U.S.’s leading media companies.

Welcome, Mortified!
Now, We Are Eleven.

It’s been a year since PRX launched Radiotopia, our collective of amazing, digital-first storytelling shows. Then, we were seven.

Now, we are eleven. We are thrilled to welcome the brand-new Mortified Podcast to Radiotopia (press release below). They join The Heart, Criminal, and The Allusionist as the newest members of our podcast family. These shows broaden our range of styles and stories while sharing the special qualities – describable and not – that make all of our shows Radiotopia shows.

MortifiedThe Mortified Podcast is a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids — diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond — in front of total strangers. PS: It totally likes you. Hosted by David Nadelberg and Neil Katcher and produced by Gina Delvac and Pierce Purselley.

 

The Heart is a radio show about the triumphs and the terrors of intimacy, the bliss and banality of being in love and the wild diversity of the human heart. Produced by Kaitlin Prest and Mitra Kaboli.

 

Criminal is a new take on true crime, with stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle. Hosted by Phoebe Judge and produced by Lauren Spohrer.

 

The Allusionist scratches the surface of why we say the things we say. English is a big messy mutt of a language, formed by military invasion after military invasion, plus countless tiny idiosyncratic decisions made by its users along the way. Hosted and produced by Helen Zaltzman.

 

Special thanks to our Kickstarter backers who gave us the love and funding to spread our wings in many ways, including this very important one.


PRESS RELEASE

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com
Scott Piro, scott@pkpr.com
PKPR, 212.627.8098

MORTIFIED’S HEARTBREAKING AND HILARIOUS STORIES

LEAP INTO THE PODCASTING UNIVERSE AS LATEST SHOW FROM PRX’S RADIOTOPIA

The weekly Mortified Podcast debuts on February 9th

Cambridge, MA (February 9, 2015) – Mortified, the cultural phenomenon that has inspired thousands of adults to share awkward writings from their youth, will bring its unique blend of hilarious and heartbreaking stories to headphones everywhere when it debuts on February 9th as the latest series from Radiotopia, the acclaimed podcasting collective from PRX.

Ripped from the pages of real life, The Mortified Podcast features adults on stage sharing awkward and embarrassing artifacts of their youth in front of total strangers, from teenage diaries to pretentious college poetry to middle school love letters. Hosted by Mortified’s founder David Nadelberg and artist director Neil Katcher, each episode features one performance from the vast audio archives of the Mortified stage shows, which have been performed throughout the US for over the past thirteen years.

Last November, Radiotopia became the most funded radio/podcast project in Kickstarter history, raising over $620,000 from over 21,808 backers, far surpassing its original goal of $250,000. The Kickstarter enabled Radiotopia to launch The Mortified Podcast, and add three new shows: Criminal, The Heart, and The Allusionist. They join Radiotopia’s roster of envelope-pushing podcasts, including anchor program 99% Invisible, Radio Diaries, Theory of Everything, Strangers, Fugitive Waves, The Truth, and Love+Radio.

Radiotopia was launched in February 2014 by PRX, the award-winning public media company, and has quickly become the leader in today’s audio storytelling renaissance by helping the best and the brightest in the podcasting world grow their audiences and create the best work of their careers.

Mortified has long been one of the bravest and funniest live shows in the storytelling field, with an utterly unique premise that celebrates the universality of humiliation,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We’re thrilled to bring this addictive and infinitely relatable series to a mass audience through our Radiotopia network.”

“For years, Neil and I have wanted to do a Mortified podcast,” said Nadelberg. “We finally found the perfect home for that at Radiotopia, who not only understand the power of the medium, but who truly get storytelling. We are honored to have Mortified join their lineup of innovative audio series.”

Mortified began in the late 1990s, when Nadelberg unearthed an awkward love letter and began sharing it with friends. The project has since sifted through thousands of otherwise forgotten notebooks, photos, and envelopes. Participants have ranged from professional comics, actors, and singers to architects, ad execs, salesmen, and other amateurs, all in the noble pursuit of personal redemption through public humiliation.

The show has since been featured on This American Life, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and other public radio mainstays. In addition to its new podcast, Mortified has produced live events, books, a documentary (Mortified Nation), and an interview series for Sundance TV (The Mortified Sessions).

The Radiotopia network roster will expand as PRX enlists new producers and programs that push the boundaries of storytelling and adopt a wide digital distribution model. PRX has a track record of introducing innovative new programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgment and PRX Remix to millions of listeners across broadcast and digital, Shapiro said.

About PRX
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 This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, Reveal, Snap Judgment, and the Radiotopia podcast network. 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, This American Life, and PRX Remix. PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, and receives support from public radio stations and producers, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and Knight Foundation.

# # #

Reveal Launches as Monthly Investigative Series

Reveal with CIR_PRX
Wow.

For only the second time in its history, PRX is launching a new home-grown show today.

That show is Reveal and, like The Moth Radio Hour, it is designed in many ways to move the public radio landscape forward.

With our amazing partners at The Center for Investigative Reporting and various editorial collaborators (stations, investigative centers like the Center for Public Integrity, Bloomberg News and others…), Reveal does something public radio has not been able to do until now: deliver a regular investigative reporting program for public radio.

Risky? Yes. Needed? Now more than ever. And listeners and stations now it as news hungry audiences flock to original stories with meaning and depth.

We’re building a staff on top of the considerable reporting resources at CIR. Welcome Kevin Sullivan, fresh from Here and Now, as the executive producer.

Check out the video CIR did to intro the show.

The program, at last count, will air monthly on 200 stations. Reveal goes weekly in July.

Don’t forget to also subscribe to get the episodes via the Reveal podcast.

Listen. Send feedback. And join us on the next breakthrough program for public radio wherever you might listen.


PRESS RELEASE

CIR and PRX Launch Reveal as Nation’s First Monthly Public Radio Series Devoted to Investigative Journalism

Emeryville, Calif. – “Reveal,” the nation’s first public radio show and podcast devoted to investigative reporting, will begin airing on public radio stations nationwide in monthly episodes starting Jan. 24, marking a significant expansion of the show conceived and produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.

The hour-long “Reveal” show will feature investigations and storytelling from CIR’s own newsroom and from media partners around the world. PRX’s commitment to “Reveal” builds on its success in creating and distributing “The Moth Radio Hour,” one of the most successful launches in public radio history.

“Reveal” is hosted by Al Letson, creator of the award-winning public radio series “State of the Re:Union.”

“CIR is committed to creating the opportunity for investigative reporting to find its voice for a new generation of fans and communities while continuing to deliver the high-impact journalism that has helped define, challenge and preserve our democracy,” said Joaquin Alvarado, CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting.

The January “Reveal” episode will feature investigative stories about poorly regulated day care centers, online currency trading, scientific integrity at the Environmental Protection Agency, and the surrogate baby industry. Reporters and freelance writers from CIR, Bloomberg Markets and The Center for Public Integrity contributed to the episode.

The series will air on nearly 200 public radio stations nationwide, including WNYC, KCRW (Los Angeles), WBEZ (Chicago), KQED (San Francisco), and WAMU (Washington D.C.)

CIR and PRX have produced three “Reveal” program pilots since September 2013. The first pilot won a George Foster Peabody Award, one of broadcasting’s highest honors, for CIR’s story about how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs feeds prescription opiate addictions. The pilot episodes featured investigations by CIR, WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio, The Center for Public Integrity, St. Louis Public Radio, The Hollywood Reporter and others.

“Public radio listeners are hungry for meaningful journalism. ‘Reveal’ brings high-quality investigative stories from around the country to audiences nationwide,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX.

Significant funding for “Reveal” comes from The Reva and David Logan Foundation, which last year awarded CIR a three-year grant of $3 million for “Reveal,” citing its founders’ commitment to investigative journalism as the “guardian of the public interest.” The Ford Foundation awarded CIR a two-year grant of $500,000 for the show and its accompanying podcast. In awarding the grant, the foundation noted CIR’s commitment to multiplatform journalism, helping other newsrooms localize deeply researched investigative reporting on “Reveal” and engaging the public in seeking solutions to the issues raised by its reports.

About The Center For Investigative Reporting
The Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation’s first independent, multiplatform investigative reporting organization. Devoted to holding powerful interests accountable to the public trust, CIR creatively employs cutting-edge technology and innovative storytelling to reveal injustice, spark change at all levels of society and influence public dialogue on critical issues. CIR produces high-impact reporting across print, video, TV, radio and online platforms and is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, winner of a 2013 Emmy Award and a 2014 George Foster Peabody Award, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 (for local reporting) and 2013 (for public service).

About 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 “This American Life,” “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.

The Future of State of the Re:Union

Dear Stations,

Seven years ago, the CPB-funded “Public Radio Talent Quest” went looking for new voices. A defining quality of the search was “hostiness,” people an audience would want to spend time with, and explore with. One of those voices was Al Letson, who created and has been producing State of the Re:Union since 2008 for NPR, PRX, and the more than 200 stations that have supported each season.

This winter, Al Letson will partner with PRX to host Reveal, a new, weekly investigative news program from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Watch for Reveal‘s debut in January 2015.

In turn, in Spring 2015, following the release of new Black History Month (February 2015) and National Poetry Month (April 2015) programs, State of the Re:Union will end production of its 10-programs-a-year seasons. However, Al and WJCT (SOTRU’s producing station) are exploring opportunities for additional SOTRU specials in 2015.

The 2014 fall season of five SOTRU programs is available now to all NPR Member Stations, on both Content Depot and PRX.org — have a listen now. It’s filled with the kind of work that won Al Letson and producer Laura Starecheski an Edward R. Murrow Award for the episode, “The Hospital Always Wins,” last season. SOTRU has been recognized with the Murrow two years in a row.

NPR and PRX’s collaboration with Al, CPB and WJCT/Jacksonville to share the program is something we’re all are proud of. Keep an eye out for more on Al’s new show, as well as details on possible SOTRU specials in 2015. We thank the stations who have and will continue to present Al Letson’s work, and the man himself for telling the story of America, one community at a time.

Sincerely,

Israel Smith, NPR
John Barth, PRX

More listeners and more listening

We’ve released an exciting change at PRX today: non-logged-in visitors to PRX.org will see our new story page, like this.

Why does the piece page (now a “story” page) look different?

For the love of listening. Millions of people visit PRX.org who want to hear your stories and we want them to have a simple and awesome listening experience.

We’ve been working on this experience for months — designing, coding, testing, and making changes so we can encourage more people to click play and listen for longer periods. The data we’ve collected so far shows that the changes we’ve made have resulted in just that.

When people visit PRX.org on their mobile phone, tablet, or desktop they’ll see a large play button that makes it simple for them to hear your story. We’ve also removed the bulky listener signup process, a high hurdle for most listeners that resulted in most of them not hearing your work. Moving forward it is dead simple: send someone a link to your PRX story and with a single click they can start listening.

I’m with a station or outside purchaser. How do I license?

You won’t be able to license just yet from the new pages. To license a story, just sign in, and you will see the old site with the “Buy” button.

story-page

I still see the old piece pages. Where are the new ones?

When logged-in — which is most station staff and producers — you will see the same look and experience that you are familiar with. Nothing is changing yet for people who are logged-in. We’re working on the whole site: improvements to uploading, how stories are curated and found, and so on. Stay tuned for updates.

For over 10 years PRX has been the distribution pathway for producers to have their work licensed by stations for broadcast. With updates like these we’re also making PRX a great place for listeners to hear your stories.

If you have questions, feedback or thoughts we’d love to hear them.

Asteroid miners prepare to harvest outer space

Image credit: thespacereview.com
Image credit: thespacereview.com

Don’t get too attached to your real estate — human civilization may be headed toward space.

It currently costs $10,000 a pound to transport material from Earth into space. If humans want to live in space someday, those transport costs alone pose a major roadblock. Asteroid mining companies offer an alternative idea: support life in space with resources from space. That may sound like science fiction, but these companies are already scrambling to extract goods from space rocks — an average asteroid holds about $100 billion in water and minerals. In producer Audrey Quinn’s PRX STEM Story Project piece, we’ll visit a spacecraft facility and take a look into the business, the science, and the legality of the asteroid mining industry.

In September 2013, Quinn reported for Marketplace on NASA’s interest in asteroids. As part of that story, she interviewed Deep Space Industries’s Rick Tumlinson and was struck by how committed he and his company were to asteroid mining, a prospect that sounded like pure science fiction. Quinn reflects, “I thought it would be a great chance to dive deeper into this idea that seemed so fantastical to me.”

These space entrepreneurs are thinking beyond science fiction and are are banking on the idea that humans will live in space someday, that the future of human civilization is, in fact, in space. They are also preparing to have the technology ready to make that a reality within the next couple of decades.

Quinn hopes listeners will learn that a lot of the materials we rely on here on Earth are also out there in some form in asteroids: “That could make life in space might be more viable and imminent than you realized before.”