PRX is excited to announce the first cohort of Project Catapult, an innovative podcast training project for public media stations, made possible by a $1 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
The project initially intended to include five stations, but will now total seven. “The final pool of applicants was so strong, we found a way to expand the first Catapult class to seven station teams,” said PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman.
The stations are located across the US, have varying market sizes and represent diverse production teams and topics. They’ll kick things off at the PRX Podcast Garage in Cambridge, MA in January with a podcast bootcamp, and will continue an intensive production sprint for 20 weeks.
The Catapult process will create a professional network of diverse talent across the country, and help the podcasters hone skills in digital content development, audience engagement and monetization. At the end of the curriculum each station, in co-production with PRX, will launch a new, or re-launch an existing, podcast.
PRX has hired Enrico Benjamin as Catapult’s project director. Benjamin is an Emmy award-winning producer with a background in video and digital production, most recently KING-TV in Seattle. During his time at Stanford University, Benjamin was exposed to design thinking, a method that will guide Project Catapult.
“Through this innovative program, we’re pleased to help more stations increase their multimedia production capacity and increase the diversity of voices heard in public media,” said Erika Pulley-Hayes, CPB vice president, radio. “We hope the new podcasts that these stations produce will lay the groundwork for more multimedia content that connects with a broad range of audiences.”
“Project Catapult is an ambitious first step,” said PRX CEO Hoffman. “We are investing in station capacity so they can make digital content that is sustainable and relevant, both locally and beyond.”
Project Catapult will culminate in an open listening session in Boston in May to show off the work and progress to date.
Project Catapult Stations
Inflection Point, KALW – San Francisco, CA
Extraordinary women are leading the change in our world join the KALW team to tell their stories–to help us understand a moment when women are embracing their power as never before, and to inspire a future generation of women leaders.
Versify, Nashville Public Radio – Nashville, TN
Versify is a podcast with a twist on storytelling: Nashville poets travel to neighborhoods across the city, hear stories from people they’ve never met, and then capture them in verse.
Us & Them, West Virginia Public Radio
Stories of people on either side of the fault lines that divide Americans, from culture wars, to education and religion, to the basic beliefs about what defines Americans in a troubled time. From DuPont Award-winning producer Trey Kay.
We Live Here, St. Louis Public Radio – St. Louis, MO
We Live Here empowers you by untangling policy and systems so you can better understand how race and class influence everything from what we learn to how long we live.
Que Pasa Midwest, WNIN – Evansville, IN
Whether you speak Spanish, English, or both, come along on a rich journey of discovering El Sueño Americano, the many definitions and faces of the American Dream with Que Pasa Midwest.
Out of Blocks, WYPR – Baltimore, MD
Each episode is a collage of life-stories from a single city block. The episodes are rich with the sounds of people in their own spaces, talking about life on their own terms. The soundscape is enhanced when the natural sounds of the block are fused with an original musical score. There is no host; rather, the people on the block are the hosts.
Second Wave, KUOW – Seattle, WA
Thanh Tan takes the listener along on a quest to better understand her Vietnamese American identity and to explore the heartbreak and triumph of refugees who fled Southeast Asia en masse 40 years ago after the Vietnam War to pursue new lives in the United States.
PRX is shaping the future of public media content, talent and technology. PRX is a leading creator and distributor, connecting audio producers with their most engaged, supportive audiences across broadcast, web and mobile. A fierce champion of new voices, new formats, and new business models, PRX advocates for the entrepreneurial producer. PRX is an award-winning media company, reaching millions of weekly listeners worldwide. For over a dozen years, PRX has operated public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio shows including This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour and Reveal. In 2015, PRX opened the Podcast Garage, a community recording studio and educational hub dedicated to the craft of audio storytelling. Follow us on Twitter at @prx.