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Posts Tagged ‘public radio’

Center for Investigative Reporting to Launch Public Radio Show

CIRThanks to the Reva and David Logan Foundation, along with the Ford Foundation, the Center for Investigative Reporting has garnered $3.5 million in support to launch an investigative public radio show and podcast called “Reveal.”

CIR’s Lisa Cohen says the nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism outfit will co-produce the show with the Public Radio Exchange (PRX), highlighting some of CIR’s ongoing investigations, as well as the watchdog journalism of other initiatives, in their one-hour radio show. CIR and PRX also plan to create special digital video and animations and data interactives for their web properties, and host live events.

Right now, investigations on CIR include the current surveillance state, toxic waste in Silicon Valley, border issues, the American criminal justice system and more. I’m hoping to see continuing coverage of those topics on the air waves and wondering how they will be presented for radio.

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!

3 Lessons From NPR’s Decision to Cut “Tell Me More”

NPRNational Public Radio’s “Tell Me More” radio program will be cut Aug. 1 due to budget constraints, and 28 positions will be eliminated in the process, according to the New York TimesElizabeth Jensen. The show, focused on issues most relevant to minority listeners, has been on the air for seven years, and NPR was forced to cut it in overcoming a $6 million budget shortage.

It’s always sad to highlight layoffs in our industry — trust me, I do not enjoy it and acknowledge that it could easily be me (eight of the 28 positions aren’t currently filled, if that’s any consolation to the bad news at all). But we shouldn’t let a news organization’s failure come and go without taking the time to learn from its mistakes. Based on what I know about “Tell Me More” and how NPR is handling the aftermath of the program’s cut, here are a few lessons I feel can be learned from “Tell Me More”‘s plight:

1. Know your audience. Read more

The (Digital) Radio Star Lives: PRX Launches Podcast Network for Story-Driven Journalism

radiotopia finalThis week, PRX announced the launch of Radiotopia, a podast network for story-driven journalism, backed in part by a $200,000 grant from the Knight Foundation. Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX, likens Radiotopia to an independent music label:

The analogy works in two ways. We’re trying to create a collective around a particular sound and approach in style so these artists, essentially, share an affinity for story driven, high quality audio inspired by public radio but designed for digital listening. And then role that the label ends up playing is one of marketing, distribution, promotion, sponsorship… and experiment with editorial collaboration, crowdfunding and so forth.

PRX has built mobile apps for podcasts such as This American Life,  The Moth, among many others, and plans on using Radiotopia to continue to learn and implement some ideas gained from their experience. Says Shapiro:

We are very interested in creating a feedback loop that gains from those insights and data and help improve not only PRX’s own tools for distribution and tactics but also becomes information that producers can start to use about better serving their audience. Radio for decades has honed ways of producing a broadcast, but in the world of producing for mobile listeners, we are still in very early days.

It may be early days, but story-driven journalism is certainly having a moment on the radio and in podcast form. And, unlike in print or on television, it’s somehow easier to make investigative journalism entertaining for broader audiences. Shapiro says exploring that space is inherent in PRX’s mission:

There’s a spot between making sure that we’re doing informative, mission driven journalism but still aiming for a broad audience with something thats extremely engaging and high quality and entertaining and well produced…it’s about finding that spot.  Read more

At $170,000+, ‘99% Invisible’ Becomes Most Funded Kickstarter in Journalism

An update to our post last week: the pledges kept coming, and the most funded journalism project in Kickstarter’s history is now a small-staffed podcast about design.

If you didn’t read it, public radio’s Roman Mars started a crowdfunding campaign this summer with a goal of $42,000 to help fund extra help for its third season of 99% Invisible, his side project focusing on the “invisible” activity that shapes our lives. (It was a necessary gamble– most of the money was slotted to hire former intern Sam Greenspan and make production more manageable.) In the end the radio show distributed by Public Radio Exchange more than hit its goal, and more than doubled its goal, too—the project funded its goal 405 percent.

A total of 5,661 backers crowdfunded it to a whopping $170,477.

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How a ‘Tiny’ Radio Show Raises Over $147,000 on Kickstarter

The crew of the radio show and podcast 99% Invisible doesn’t compare to that of Morning Edition, This American Life, or most popular public radio strongholds. It’s only two people (and even that’s a recent addition.) But with the support of its distributor Public Radio Exchange, and numerous design-curious fans, it may be paving a new model for audio content that fits the purpose of public radio.

With four days to go in its fundraising campaign, the “tiny radio show about design, architecture and the 99 percent invisible activity that shapes our world” has raised over $147,000 through close to 5,000 supporters on Kickstarter, shattering its original goal of only $42,000.

(Notably, the number also already marks it as 1 of only 208 successfully funded projects on Kickstarter to raise over $100,000.)

If funds continue to flow in, the show’s host and producer Roman Mars will be able to do much, including bringing on former intern Sam Greenspan to help produce a strong third season.

This should catch the attention of both content creators and fundraisers. What began as a short one-minute segment on a KALW show is organically growing into a stellar success story of digital storytelling worth examining. So how’d it happen? Read more