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Get Your Stories Featured on This American Life

ThisAmericanLife.jpgI’m sure you’re a great writer, but did you ever consider radio?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience in the AM-FM field. This American life, the weekly public radio show that reaches more than 500 stations nationwide and is home to Ira Glass, wants your story. But none of that generic “my first marathon” stuff — think funny, dramatic, or surprising when pitching.

“The show started as a place where writers and performers could broadcast their stories and a place for journalism that wasn’t following the big news,” says founding producer Nancy Updike. ”After 9/11, we started doing more journalism, including sometimes tackling whatever was in the news in a given week. That shift wasn’t a conscious decision; it just worked out that way as people on staff followed their interests.”

And get this: 60 percent of the show’s content is freelance generated. Find out where to direct your perfect pitch here.



Multi-Platform Journalism: An Interview with Dominick Brady

Dominick BradyFor journalists, the opportunities for diversifying your craft are increasing at a rapid pace. Multi-platform journalism is the name of the game, and no one knows this better than Atlanta-based journalist Dominick Brady. I recently had a chance to talk with Dominick about what he does, his perspective on journalism, and his future projects.

Maurice Cherry: Tell our 10,000 Words audience a little about what you do.

Dominick Brady: I’m an independent multi-platform journalist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Traffic reporting for Clear Channel radio is my day job but I also freelance quite a bit. My freelance work has focused primarily on arts and entertainment. I’ve worked in Internet radio as a features contributor for East Village Radio, an audio documentary series producer for Brooklyn Radio, as a blogger and audio features producer for CentricTV; a video features producer, blogger and contributing writer for Atlanta’s Creative Loafing and a features contributor for The Smoking Section. My passion is radio journalism. I’m a member of the Association of Independents in Radio, but I’ve found myself returning to writing for print and the web for the bulk of my freelance work.

MC: How do you think the current digital landscape affects how journalism and reporting works?

DB: I think it’s an exciting time. There are now more formats and mash-up possibilities available in the journalist’s tool box. I’m really interested in data visualization, data reporting and how they can Read more

Applications Open for ONA MJ Bear Fellowships

Online News AssociationThe Online News Association, an organization dedicated to journalism innovation online, is currently accepting applications for their 2011 MJ Bear Fellowship Program for early-career digital journalists. The fellowship is named in honor of ONA founding board member Mary Jane “MJ” Bear, whose career included roles at Microsoft’s MSN portals, MSN International, NPR, and American University.

According to ONA, the MJ Bear Fellowships will help identify and celebrate young digital journalists working independently or for a company or organization who have demonstrated that they deserve support for their efforts and/or vision, either through professional experimentation, research, or other projects. This is the inaugural year for the fellowships, and the search committee will select three journalists (two in the US or Canada or one internationally). Selected fellows will receive a personal ONA mentor for six months, a full year’s membership with ONA, and registration, travel, accomodations and recognition at the 2011 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet (ONA11) in Boston, Sept. 22-24.

Eligible journalists must be age 23-30 (as of Sept. 22, 2011), fluent in English, and must not be full-time students. The deadline to apply for the MJ Bear Fellowship is Monday, May 30, 2011, 11:59 p.m. ET. For more information about the MJ Bear Fellowships, please visit the Fellowship’s website.

Fellows will be announced in July 2011.

5 Ways to broadcast live on the web (and why you should do it)

1. UStream

UStream is one of the web’s most popular tools for broadcasting live video directly to the web. You can use your computer’s webcam or hook up a digital video camera to your computer for more professional quality video. UStream also includes a live chat feature so viewers can discuss the broadcast as it as happens.

California Watch recently used the tool to conduct a live chat with director Robert Rosenthal, the results of which are embedded below (unintentionally hilarious hijinks precede the actual chat).


2. Qik

Qik makes it pretty easy to broadcast live from internet-enabled phone. A quick sign-up process gives you your own unique web address where viewers can watch your streaming video. The previously mentioned UStream also has mobile applications for the iPhone and Android for broadcasting live from your handheld device.


3. Tinychat

If you just want to set up something quickly and less formal between a few people, check out Tinychat, a tool for creating simple video chat rooms. The tool can access your computer’s webcam and can also create a chat synced with your Twitter account.

Other options for broadcasting live video include Livestream and


4. CoverItLive

CoverItLive is the tool of choice for many news media and livebloggers who want to share updates in Can also post images, audio, and video to the chat. One of CoverItLive’s most significant features is the ability of the moderator to regulate which comments from participants appear in the live chat or to allow all comments to appear as they are posted. The free tool has a bunch of features that you can read about here.

Below is a screenshot of Entertainment Weekly’s liveblog of the 2010 Grammy Awards.


5. Blog Talk Radio

Are you constantly told you have a great radio voice? Are you the next great NPR host but can’t get your foot in the door? Blog Talk Radio may be the site for you. The free online tool allows anyone to set up their own call-in radio show that is broadcast live on the web and can be archived like a podcast. BTR is used by both upstart radio hosts and mainstream media.

Now that you know about the tools, why should you invest time in live broadcasts? For one online broadcasts allow the web audience into an event or proceeding that may not otherwise be able to see in person. Instead of having a journalist or blogger recount the detail of the event after it has happened, the audience can experience it for themselves.

The aforementioned tools also allow content producers to have a conversation around the broadcast. The various chat tools bundled with the broadcasting tools allow observers to discuss the events as they are happening and possibly provide feedback to the subjects of the broadcasts.

There are many different reasons to conduct a live online broadcast, so use your imagination to formulate a way to incorporate them into your work. For more on liveblogging or how to post text updates during a live event, check out’s “Complete Guide to Liveblogging.”

Also on 10,000 Words:

Beyond Twitterfeed: Innovative uses of Twitter in the newsroom
3 Ways journalism classes are making education more interactive

Radio: Innovative ways to follow the aging medium

After radio was invented way back in the 19th century, few likely imagined they would eventually listen to the innovation on a computer (whats that?) or from the other popular invention, the telephone. Radio has evolved from sitting in front of a large wooden box to listening to what you want, when you want, wherever you want. These are the technical innovations that are pushing the medium into the 21st century.


Thanks to the internet, radio lovers are no longer confined to the stations in their area. Sites like and RadioBeta let users choose from radio stations all over the world and listen to a variety of genres and styles. RadioBeta wins out for its sheer ease of use, allowing the user to control any of the selected radio stations in a player at the top of the page, as well as bookmark favorite stations.

Seattle’s KEXP 90.3 FM has been ushered into the new millenium with KEXP Music Explorer, a site that aims to help listeners find out more about the music they are listening to. Like most radio stations, KEXPlorer lists the song currently playing, but also lists recently played and the most spun songs and encourages users to tag songs they like or don’t like. And of course, anyone can listen to the station live from their browser.

The interns have taken over National Public Radio! Considering interns can be some of the most creative members of the newsroom, it definitely makes NPR Intern Edition a must-listen. Aside from traditional news stories, the interns have also put together photo slideshows and maintain both a blog and a Twitter account.

If you prefer your NPR on the go, use NPR Road Trip to get travel directions and find out which NPR stations you can listen to on the way. For example on a trip from Manhattan to Hackensack, New Jersey one will be in the range of 13 member stations on the way. NPR Road Trip is limited to travelers in the United States.


With the iPhone came thousands of applications and with them the ability to listen to the radio on a mobile phone. Music radio applications like Pandora remain popular, but for those who prefer to listen to actual stations, the AOL Radio app has you covered. The free application gives users access to hundreds of music, news and talk radio stations from their handheld iPhone. News radio fans will also love Stitcher (previously covered here), which makes radio stories available on demand.

Radio fans/iPhone owners should also check out College Radio Tuner, an application that puts college radio stations from across the U.S. in the palm of your hand, and stay tuned for news of an iPhone app from satellite radio giant Sirius.

Other mobile phone users aren’t out of luck. Blackberry, Palm, Nokia and Windows Mobile users can download Mundu Radio, an application for listening to the music on the go.


Thanks to sites like, Twitter users have turned the microblogging service into their own personal radio station. An easy sign-up process lets anyone share their favorite tunes with their Twitter friends and followers.

Because there are so many tweeps sharing music, it was only a matter of time until Twisten.FM was created. The site tracks the music people are listening on Twitter and makes each song available for listening, all on one page.

Twadio takes the music sharing concept to an unforeseen level. Instead of sharing a song on Twitter, the @tweejay simply tweets a popular song and if you’re familiar with it, the song is supposed to start playing in your head. Of course, if you forget how it goes, you can also listen to the song in the sidebar of the site. Best of all, Twadio is interactive and list the tweets of people who either love or hate the song.

Of course, Twitter can be used for more professional and educational purposes. There are ton of radio stations on Twitter and many public radio stations are listed in this handy wiki. Thanks to Twitter you no longer have to call in to tell the DJ to play your song, especially if that DJ is thousands of miles away.

For more on the future of radio, check out Radio 2020 and radiocreativeland.

Also on 10,000 Words:

6 Sites that are changing the way you follow the news
Set up your own online call-in radio show in minutes
Where to find free sound effects and royalty-free music
10 Essential iPhone apps for bloggers and reporters
How to create, edit and embed audio for free