Introductions

The new Chris (aka Farski)

chris.kalafarski posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 | Blog, Introductions | No Comments

I’ve landed here at PRX just a month after discovering the company. I was immediately intrigued by the work they are doing with lots of the public radio content I have grown to enjoy and trust, so when I saw their posting for a Rails developer I had to jump on the opportunity. My recent work history being filled with Rails applications focusing on presenting data to users in the most effective ways possible. I’ve reached where I am through some print and web design, film and photo production, and even some financial services. Staying on top of the latest ideas and trends in technology, and thinking of ways to use them to help improve the world around us is something I’m passionate about.

PRX has brought me back to Boston, after graduating from the business school at Boston College in 2004. In my time there I worked hard to understand where uses of technology in business and media worked, and where they were lacking or not being used to their full potential. It’s amazing to be part of a company like PRX, which is at the forefront of enacting change in the storied world of public radio, bringing in a fresh generation of listeners and redefining the way radio content is delivered. I hope that with my background in user experience design and development I can help PRX continue to excel at reshaping public radio.

When I’m away from the computer, I pass the time playing a wide variety of board games, being a freelance sports photographer, staying pretty active, or hanging out with my dog. I’m always up for a good movie or documentary, and finding a new best-band-ever happens more frequently than it probably should.

I’m New Here

Chris posted on Friday, August 20th, 2010 | Blog, Introductions | No Comments

It's ChrisSo, hey. My name’s Chris and I just started at PRX as a Web Applications Developer. If you’ve ever wondered what you would get if you somehow combined a computer nerd, radio nerd, and public media nerd, I’m your answer. Naturally, I’m quite excited to be joining the team here, and I’m really looking forward to working on some of the awesome pieces of technology coming out of PRX.

A little bit about me: I have been listening to public radio almost exclusively for so long, it’s hard to remember things ever being different. I’ve got a few cross-country road trips under my belt, and there always seems to be an NPR station somewhere on the dial. I carried my love for the audio broadcast to Longwood University, where I worked as an on-air personality, Music Director, and Webmaster for WMLU.

I’ve run the gamut when it comes to the internet – I’ve done everything from *nix systems administration to pixel-pushing design work to asynchronous message handling, and I love every bit of it. I’m a rubyist (nerd speak for someone who likes the ruby programming language), so I find myself at a lot of ruby/rails meetings. I’m really hoping to be able to improve my skills developing for the Android mobile platform. More and more, I see the future as mobile and social, and I am very excited to see that space developing at the rate it is (even while I am struggling to keep up).

When I am not completely geeking out about the future of computing, I am probably riding my bike or playing my ukulele (poorly).

I have already started working through the main prx.org application, and I’m getting geared up to start working on some cool new features and projects here. I’m really looking forward to working closely with the re-democratized side of public radio, and making the experience of using prx.org even more seamless.

Meet the New Intern: Susanna Bolle

PRX posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2009 | Blog, Introductions | No Comments

A straight line may be the shortest path between two points, but the journey is infinitely more fun when you wander a bit from the straight and narrow — at least I like to think so.

Susanna BolleI’m Susanna Bolle, one of PRX’s newest interns. My path to PRX has been a circuitous one, though it feels like a natural thing. Over the years, I’ve done graduate studies in Russian cultural and intellectual history, worked as a freelance music journalist, and organized a concert series. I’ve always been a fan of radio, be it public, community, or something else altogether — just so long as the voice is independent and interesting. But I took to the airwaves myself only recently. At the behest of a friend, I started doing a weekly music show on one of the fringier of Boston’s college radio stations, WZBC. I was hooked from the start.

Now I’m finishing a Masters in Journalism at Boston University, focusing on radio, of course! I couldn’t be more pleased to be spending my summer at the Public Radio Exchange. Here at PRX I help spread the word about the innovative work done by PRX’s eclectic community of producers, focusing on the collection of PRX albums now available on iTunes. I get to be part of the future of radio and listen to great radio pieces all day at the office. What could be better?

In addition to my internship at PRX, this summer I’m working across the river at WGBH, staring down pixels as the web intern for the public television series, NOVA. I also do my best to get out of the house and onto my bike as often as possible.

Joining PRX

Becca posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 | Introductions | 2 Comments

beccaOne month after joining PRX as a Web Application Developer, I’m happy to report that I’m having a great time, learning rapidly, and already beginning to make some improvements on prx.org.  I’m Rebecca Nesson, PRX’s newest technical staff member.

The PRX offices are only a short distance from my old digs in the Computer Science department at Harvard from which I am receiving a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics on Thursday.  (Really, who doesn’t want computers to learn to speak English?)  And I feel right at home sharing space with the Berkman Center where I studied cyberlaw when I was a law student at HLS and worked on educational technology as a research fellow after I graduated.  After many years in academia I wanted to work in a production environment where I could improve my engineering skills.  But I didn’t want to go just anywhere.  It had to be an organization that was doing something really cool.  Enter PRX…

PRX is leading the way in helping public radio to flourish at a time when many other forms of media are struggling to remain current.  In my view, the key to our success is figuring out how to streamline the best parts of what public radio already does and envision new ways that public radio can serve and grow its audience.  We do that by building the technology to make it happen.  As a programmer at PRX my work is to build the media environment I want to live in.  That is cool.

In the near future I’ll be contributing to PRX by working on the core web application.  As I get more experienced here I hope to be able to bring some of my computational expertise to bear on our technology and to help integrate PRX content creatively into online educational experiences.

When I’m not at PRX I’m generally hanging out with my family, which has grown from two to four people in the last year and a half.  I’m also a big supporter of local farming and I volunteer as a board member at Waltham Fields Community Farm.

Greetings From A New PRXer

Rekha posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2008 | Blog, Introductions | 1 Comment

The rumors are true: PRX now has the best Director of Projects + Partnerships it’s ever had!

Hi everyone, I’m Rekha Murthy, PRX’s first Director of Projects + Partnerships. I’ve worked in public radio, Web, and mobile media for the past 12 years. My public radio career began with an internship at WFCR in Amherst, MA (thanks guys!). In 1998, NPR brought me to Washington DC to be a writer and editor for their Online division. Then, from 2000 to 2003, I was a producer for “All Things Considered”. I’ve since freelanced for “On Point”, “Day to Day”, and “The World”, and I helped design and teach a radio documentary course for MIT undergrads.

Before, after, and sometimes during my public radio life, I have been a user experience designer (aka information architect) as well. I’ve worked for Web and mobile startups and consulted on my own. Past clients include France Telecom R+D, Bank of America, IEEE, and BarnesandNoble.com.

It used to feel like I was jumping between two different worlds, but now I know that good things come from crossing media. MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, where I got my Masters, affirmed this belief. While there, I designed a multimedia walking tour of Paris for handheld devices. I also spent a lot of time (read: thesis) analyzing how people use the streetscape for everyday communication.

I enjoy radio documentaries while I’m cooking and knitting, and first-person narratives when I’m at the gym. I surf the Web a lot, tracking fads and trends and guessing which ones will endure. I blog occasionally, too.

As for PRX, I like to think about it in terms of movement. Producers and stations use the framework we provide to keep public radio pieces moving, bringing greater exposure and revenue to an ever-growing pool of content.

Much of that movement has been in radio broadcast. But now we’re also thinking beyond broadcast, to a myriad of rapidly evolving ways to distribute and consume audio. These include satellite radio, HD radio, mobile devices and, of course, the Web. At PRX, we believe public radio has a major role to play in this dynamic media world.

That’s where I come in. As Director of Projects + Partnerships, I’m here to move your content further. With your input, I’ll evaluate which platforms are worthwhile, and what kinds of content work best on each. I’ve already helped send dozens of albums to iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, Napster, and Rhapsody, where people are paying to download public radio content to their own players.

PRX on iTunes

Actual iTunes placement of a real album from PRX.org. Click for context.

I’m a firm believer that old and new can co-exist in mutually supportive ways. Broadcast radio will be around for a long time. But the content it airs can go all sorts of places, reaching new people. A digital presence might lure people back to their radio dials. Or it might develop a following in a new medium. Maybe some followers will become producers themselves, bringing a fresh perspective to the field.

All this movement can be overwhelming, but we at PRX see it as an opportunity, and we want to make it easier to navigate. I am looking forward to getting to know you all, and hearing your thoughts on how to keep your work moving in this exciting media world. Feel free to message me from my profile on PRX.org.

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EmilyA Short Story from Emily, the new “Help” girl.

Emily posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 | Blog, Introductions | 1 Comment

I was probably on the San Diego Freeway (I was always on the San Diego Freeway,) sealed tight in my car and inching forward in that jaw clenching, hair-pulling gridlock between Los Angeles (home) and the Valley (work) when, despairing, I hit the “FM” button on my stereo. I had come to LA as a music student, and stayed to play in a rock band and teach cello. Despite musical inclinations, I had long since exhausted my CD collection, moved on to my library’s books-on-tape shelf––inexplicably reminiscent of my 8th grade reading list (think: Emily Bronte, Nathaniel Hawthorne)––and had even listened to 18 lectures on the History of Linguistics. (Sound desperate?) And because driving in Los Angeles always put me in some kind of apocalyptic, existential mood, I was probably meditating on the carbon dioxide rising up from my exhaust pipe, or the clumsiness of a cello in combating abuse of power on Capitol Hill, as I scanned through the local radio stations. Jay Z, The Monkeys, Everlast. . .then, (angelic choir sounds please!) KPCC. That is, Air Talk, Patt Morrison, The Story, Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, StoryCorps, All Things Considered. From that moment until I left Los Angeles 9 months later, I turned off the radio––dial set permanently on 89.5FM––only while teaching, sleeping, or on the phone. I dreaded the moment between parking my car and turning on the radio in my apartment. With an iPod strapped to my arm like an IV, I brought Terry Gross with me on my morning jogs. I was an NPR junkie.

What is it about the voice that is so comforting? Why do stories move us so? Is it embedded in our culture? Encoded in our DNA? Storytelling is fundamental to our perception of ourselves and each other. Through public radio, we transmit the real and complex stories that inform and create real and complex communities. But healthy communities need all kinds of different voices and stories. Can the handful of local and national public radio shows I love so much sustain a nation of 300 million? A world of 6.5 billion?

That’s why I was so excited to discover PRX last May, and why I am downright thrilled to be starting work here today. That’s right! I can’t wait to help you producers get your pieces up on our site, or help you stations license them for broadcast, because really, I can’t wait to turn on my radio and hear some mindblowing radio!

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Hello from Larissa!

PRX posted on Monday, March 10th, 2008 | Blog, Introductions | No Comments

New intern reporting for duties!

It’s been a month since I discovered that PRX lives down the street from me, and after a couple meetings and some emails, I’ve landed in one of the coolest public radio projects around. Not that I’m basing this off of a lot of experience, but I discover something cool about PRX every time I come to work. This blog, even, is super informative. I’ve spent most of my radio time in the dungeon-like (but still lovable!) abode of WHRB, Harvard’s radio station. I interned for the radio show “Pacific Time” at KQED, which was an eye-opening and awesome experience. I got to go to Ozzfest to interview the first Asian band to perform there. (You can also find my own stories in the PacTime archives)

I got hooked on public radio during high school and thought that it would be SO FUN to be on the other side, working for radio. My favorite shows include This American Life (of course), KCRW’s Good Food, WGBH’s On Point w/ Tom Ashbrook, Wait Wait!, Science Friday w/ Ira Flatow, The World (and its GeoQuiz), Car Talk (here’s my favorite Car Talk segment ever- too bad there’s no audio) the list goes on… I love the really quirky stories, the personal ones that can’t quite be stuffed into a category. I’m coming to discover that PRX is a great place to find these off-the-beaten path stories. The aural medium is so accessible that everyone would fall in love with producing their own stories if they gave it a try. I did.

So, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming months with PRX. I’ll be helping out with BallotVox and other campaign coverage, looking out especially for fresh youth voices. And I’ll also be pitching in with general PRX business. It’s great; I get paid to be immersed in something that I really love (in addition to cleaning the bathrooms and refilling parking meters, of course). Just kidding!

AndrewIntroducing the PRX campaign curators

Andrew posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 | Blog, Introductions, Press Releases | No Comments

Contact: Jake Shapiro, Executive Director
617 576-5455
jake@prx.org

PRX is pleased to introduce two Campaign Curators who will help lead PRX’s contribution to the recently announced Public Media Election Collaboration.

Campaign Audio Curator
Charles Lane is a freelance radio and print reporter who files frequently with WSHU, NPR new magazines such as Justice Talking, Here & Now, as well as VOA, Radio Netherlands, and Soundprint. He also writes for the Religion News Service, Catholic World Report, and Penthouse (!) among others. His fourth full-length radio documentary will be distributed by Soundprint this spring, and his fifth will be distributed on PRX in mid-March 2008.

charles%20lane.jpg
Charles’s reporting has been funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, and the PRX/NEA Reversioning Fund. He studied Patristic History at Oklahoma State University. He now lives in Harlem with his wife and her cat.

As Campaign Audio Curator Charles will work with PRX to find, select, annotate, and promote public radio and other audio material on Campaign ’08 and related issues. The collection will include produced pieces, interviews, raw audio from campaign appearances, issue-based and local or regional stories that can be edited or excerpted for re-use by stations and other project partners. An initial campaign collection is underway and located here: http://www.prx.org/articles/905

Social Media Curator
Katherine Bidwell is a producer and writer who most recently worked for Open Source, the pioneering public radio program that actively integrated blogging and “web 2.0″ approaches in the production, presentation and promotion of the show. She was also a producer for NPR’s “The Connection” and has worked for a number of environmental nonprofits and as a freelance editor. Katherine lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.

As Social Media Curator Katherine will work with PRX to discover, review and promote citizen media and “user-generated content” from blogs, YouTube, podcasts and other sources. Selected content will be showcased on local and national public media websites.
katherindbidwellphoto.jpg

About the project

Public media has a unique opportunity to cover Campaign 2008 and elevate public engagement around critical issues at stake nationally and locally.

The democratization of the tools for creating and distributing media has resulted in an explosion of conversation, connection and content. This in turn creates a critical need for ways to sift, filter and find value amidst irrelevant or even harmful expression.

One important role is to use public media’s presence and journalistic values to showcase and highlight examples of the diverse range of content and conversation already taking place online.

While the CNN/YouTube debates are the highest profile attempt so far to incorporate participatory media into coverage of Campaign 2008, there are few focused efforts to help audiences navigate the growing ocean of “user-generated content” to find relevant, important and revealing voices and perspectives.

This social media curating project is an experiment to explore approaches to this task, in the context of a critical national moment of a presidential election.

For the election audio project, we will help bubble up stories that otherwise might get lost in the shuffle, create an collection for timely use during the campaign season as well as a helpful archive for further evergreen and “long tail” opportunities in the future.

With the proliferation of audio on-air and online there’s a critical role to play in sifting, sorting, curating and promoting the best of what’s available. The PRX campaign collection will be a vital resource for public broadcasting stations, partners and the public.

About PRX

The Public Radio Exchange is an online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming. PRX is also a growing social network and community of listeners, producers, and stations collaborating to reshape public radio. The mission of PRX is to create more opportunities for diverse programming of exceptional quality, interest, and importance to reach more listeners.

Read more about PRX here http://about.prx.org

PRX is a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, with 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 Open Society Institute, the Surdna Foundation, and Google Grants.

GenevieveNew Administrative Associate

Genevieve posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 | Blog, Introductions | No Comments

Hi PRX-world! I joined PRX two weeks ago as the new administrative associate. I’m loving PRX and the whole giant-college-campus feel of Boston (school without the homework can never be bad).

I just graduated from college with a major in government and a minor in dance, so naturally the first job I got this summer involved writing help documentation for a technology startup. Several user manuals later, I feel prepared to take on your help questions, which is one of the things I’ll be doing for PRX.

Before graduating and becoming a “real person,” I soaked up all the unique intern experiences I could from the D.C. area, where I grew up. (If you’re from the area you know that the Beltway commute = a lot of public radio listening time.) I conducted interviews for College Media News and braved a scary abandoned hospital for an indie horror film. I wrote a restaurant review and a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” event preview, plus worked on the Shakespeare in Washington festival feature for washingtonpost.com’s City Guide.

A friend introduced me to PRX, and I am lucky to have a job that combines working for a cause and being surrounded by unique journalism and broadcasting. While I couldn’t pick just one piece on PRX that I like the best, as a performing arts lover, I really enjoyed Designing Dance.

I’m looking forward to the months ahead here at PRX!

Hello, Hello!

PRX posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 | Blog, Introductions | No Comments

My name is Carman, the one of the two new Public Radio Exchange interns this season.

During my very first day here, I was advised to stroll down the street to apply for a position with Car Talk, elsewhere in “our fair city.” Name puns aside, I’m happy to have my first public radio experience be at PRX. As an aspiring independent radio producer, I hope to help and absorb all I can. Much like the PRX site, everyone is full of curiosity and hidden talents.

Having spent eight months wandering and volunteering through Asia, meeting new friends that treated me like family, I love how good radio can teach me so much about our wide-world while holding me so close. I have fond memories of hearing short-wave broadcasts of the CBC or BBC at sunrise in dusty, remote villages. I appreciate Hearing Voices (plus blog) and Re:sound for the cross-border narratives they bring to my ears.

Other audio artists I enjoy include: Joe Frank, Benjamen Walker, Scott Carrier, Jake Wargo, Ben Adair, Mira Burt-Wintonick, Song and Memory (from Ann Heppermann, Rick Moody and Kara Oehler and c/o Weekend America)

I played a small part in the re-launch of Generation PRX, our youth-radio online community. Take a look and spread the word! Any radio newbies should check out the handy Guide to Peer Feedback that our own Johanna (Jones) Franzel created.

Explore, celebrate with a new podcasts or even sit down for some Buffalo Turkey Butt.

Feel free to e-mail me: carman at prx [dot] org

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