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!