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Zeitfunk 2014: Most Licensed Series

The Most Licensed Series category is open to series on PRX that were not part of an annual subscription. Other popular series not listed because they are subscription-only include This American Life, The Moth, the WFMT Network, Sound Opinions and more.

Here are our top 10 most-licensed series on PRX.

*WINNER* Folk Alley (1,845 licenses)
Moyers & Company
Global Village with Chris Heim
Vinyl Cafe
The Bluegrass Review
99% Invisible
Stuck in the Psychedelic Era
Blue Dimensions
The Latin Alternative
L.A. Theatre Works

Check out the rest of the Zeitfunk categories as well as other useful stats and facts.

#Zeitfunk2014 on Twitter.

Zeitfunk is coming…

Zeit-what? That’s right. We’re tallying up the numbers, licenses and listens for our annual Zeitfunk Awards. For the uninitiated, check out Zeitfunks past.

We’re doing things a little differently this year and will be announcing our nominees next week, with winners being announced February 9.

Who was the most licensed producer in 2014? Or the most listened-to show?

Stay tuned to find out if you’re a nominee!

What to Listen to During Snowmageddon 2015

Imagevia Shutterstock.
Image via Shutterstock.

If you’re in the Northeast then you’re (hopefully) aware of what is about to go down, weather-wise. It just started snowing here in Cambridge and it’s pretty light…FOR NOW.

In anticipation of being trapped in our houses, we’ve put together a playlist of stories for the snowbound.

Some of the stories celebrate snow while others celebrate…Hawaii. We’ve got entertaining listens as well as meditative ones. Some new Radiotopia episodes as well as the classic Joe Strummer’s London Calling which we highly recommend for cabin fever.

Grab a hot toddy and enjoy the full playlist here.

Best Youth-Made Radio of 2014

Image via Shutterstock.
Image via Shutterstock.

Thank you to everyone who nominated their favorite youth-made stories of the past year. Young people are making a tremendous amount of radio and we want to highlight some of that work. Keep it up!

Thanks also to the amazing educators out there training the next generation of radio-makers.

Take a listen to these stories which range from a teen’s take on life in poverty to a story about Costa Rica’s culture of conservation.

We encourage you to reach out to these young producers and comment on their story to tell them what you think.

Happy listening!

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

Second Annual Gift Guide for Audio Producers

The holidays are right around the corner and we wanted to provide a little gift guide for the producers and audiophiles among us. You may be one of these people or you may know or love one. Producers, it might be a good idea to casually slip a link here to your friends and family, just in case they need a little help.

Let’s get started!

  • Gear! We love gear. Last year, Transom put together a really comprehensive list of equipment. Peruse the list and see if any of these microphones, monitors, cables and more may be up your alley.
  • Tivoli Radio Silenz Headphones. Enter to win!
    Tivoli Radio Silenz Headphones. Enter to win!
  • Tivoli Audio Radio Silenz Active Noise Canceling Headphones. So beautiful we could weep. Lucky for you, we are giving away a pair of these babies. Contest Ends December 18. ENTER NOW.
  • A battery tester. Thanks to Dave Goodman for the pro-tip!
  • A PRX membership. For $50/year, help that special producer in your life get their stories out into the world! Get in touch.
  • Pidgey beany (!!!) and lots of other great stuff in the Third Coast International Audio Festival merch shoppe.
  • Hindenburg editing software. Affordable, designed for radio producers and you can publish right to PRX. Seriously, these guys know what they’re doing.
  • AIR membership. The Association of Independents in Radio is a great place to learn, find gigs and connect with other indies. Get a gift membership!
  • IMG_0633_1024x1024

  • Listening to The Moth while drinking a warm beverage of choice from a Moth mug sounds like a great way to spend the holidays, no?
  • A donation is the gift that keeps on giving. Consider donating to their (or your!) favorite show, local public radio station, podcast network, or radio/audio non-profit.

Happy holidays! Let us know in the comments what you would add to this list.



Santa image by Page Dooley

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.

What to Listen To on Your Thanksgiving Road Trip

Via Shutterstock.
Via Shutterstock.

It’s Turkey Time! As you make your way to your mama’s house, here are some holiday travel picks from Audrey & Genevieve at PRX.

Simply amazing listens:

  • Best of the Best: all the Third Coast winners in one place.
  • Radiotopia! Subscribe to all of the shows and load up with episodes for offline listening for those train, plane and car rides.

To get you in the holiday spirit:

On America and travel:

On the best topic…food!

Happy travels!

Finding Science in Speculation with Bayes’ Theorem

Image: "Bayes' Theorem MMB 01" by mattbuck (category) - Own work by mattbuck. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Image: “Bayes’ Theorem MMB 01″ by mattbuck (category) – Own work by mattbuck. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re not mathematically inclined, one look at Bayes’ Theorem – a parade of parenthetical A’s and B’s stacked on top of each other — can be a bit intimidating.

However, the theorem can be traced to many different parts of our everyday lives. First conceived around the time that Ben Franklin experimented with his infamous kite and key, it now helps us predict things like the weather, election results, health trends, even locating missing people and things.

Sydney Beveridge’s PRX STEM Story Project guides us through different ways the theorem is used, framing it with how it might be used to help someone find their missing keys.

When asked how she chose the topic, producer Sydney Beveridge responds, “This story was an opportunity to dig into the magic and manipulation behind the numbers that we encounter in our daily lives.” Outside of radio, she works with data at the demographic research and visualization website Social Explorer, which focuses on numbers to communicate trends and ideas. Also, she admits, she lost her keys last year.

“Even though numbers feel so concrete, the way we work with them varies and can be heavily disputed,” Beveridge reminds us. While researching the story, she was surprised to learn that the field of statistics is fraught with controversy; it even has warring factions within the field. No huge surprise there, especially with books like How to Lie With Statistics juxtaposing statistics and dishonesty, and general skepticism around exit polling during elections.

However, Beveridge hopes that listeners come away from the piece better understanding the difference between Bayesian statistics and classical statistics. “In some ways, the theorem is a common sense idea…but it is also conceptually rich in its handling of subjectivity, contradictory possibilities and iteration.”

That said, if you end up listening to the piece, the odds might just fall in your favor.

Reveal Coming January 2015 from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX

Reveal Logo

Here’s the story.

Reveal will launch officially on a monthly schedule on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

The full hour-long radio show will be distributed exclusively by PRX.org starting Thursday, January 22, 2015. The radio air window opens Saturday, January 24.

Reveal will be free to all stations regardless of PRX membership. Not sure how to use PRX? – drop us a line at PRXhelp@prx.org.

Reveal launched with three hour-long pilots in 2013 and 2014, tackling multiple investigative stories, winning a Peabody Award and leading to real impact. Hundreds of stations aired the programs.  CIR and PRX created the program because stations told us they wanted a regular investigative presence in public radio. Listeners are showing a hunger for deeper journalism with meaningful impact. Reveal will showcase the best investigative reporting together in one regular, national broadcast.

Reveal is based on a collaborative production model: many of the stories come from CIR’s award-winning newsroom, but excellent stories come from many investigative efforts. The pilots featured work from the Center for Public Integrity and public radio stations including WNYC, Chicago Public Radio, Michigan Radio, KQED and others. The pilots also included collaborations with the PBS NewsHour, various print outlets and websites to extend the reach of their featured stories. CIR and PRX are in conversation with dozens of other news outlets and public radio stations to feature their stories on Reveal.

Reveal is more than a radio program. It also produces stand-alone digital assets – from accompanying text stories, to data interactives, video, animations, and more – offered to stations for their audiences to engage with any time. Plus a Reveal podcast is in production for 2015.

Reveal won a 2014 Peabody award for CIR’s original investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs’ role in over-prescribing opioid drugs to returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. The story put pressure on the VA and, as a result, the federal agency has reformed some of its most egregious prescription practices.

Al Letson, the recipient of multiple journalism awards for his original series, State of the Re:Union, is the host of Reveal. Al’s engaging storytelling style and straight-on questioning will be hallmarks of Reveal.

Reveal will air monthly from January through June. The air dates for the first two quarters are:

January 24, 2015

February 14, 2015

March 14, 2015

April 11, 2015

May 9, 2015

June 13, 2015

The first WEEKLY show of Reveal will be released on July 2, 2015 for broadcast starting Saturday July 4, 2015. It will be delivered to station automation systems through SubAuto on PRX or available by exclusive download through PRX.org. The weekly program will also be free to all stations regardless of PRX membership status.

Questions, comments, concerns? Contact John Barth at john@prx.org or Kathleen Unwin at kathleen@prx.org.