Playlist: News Station Picks for July
Compiled By: PRX Curators
Here are the July picks for news stations from new PRX News Format Curator Naomi Starobin.
Naomi is the news director at WSHU Public Radio in Connecticut and a board member of PRNDI. Public radio is her second career — she came armed with experience in environmental science and engineering, and teaching. There was also a stint as a ranger with the National Park Service. She has an MS in journalism from Columbia University. Just after graduating, she was a factchecker at Consumer Reports, which has forever made her love the truth.
What Naomi listens for in a piece:
"It can be about anything, it can be short or long or in between, it can have one voice or many. It will not be...Show full description
From Rachel Dornhelm | 03:53
Here's a twist on an idea that's popped up now and then on public radio...microloans. But reporter Rachel Dornhelm brings us the story stateside, looking at what microloans are doing for US entrepreneurs. This would stand alone nicely or pair well in a longer segment with another economy story, or with an interview with someone in your listening area who is taking advantage of a microloan. 00:03:53
Microfinance is a big focus in the international development world. It means getting small loans and financial services to the poor and underserved, generally in the developing world. But as the credit markets in the US freeze, interest in microloans in the United States is on the rise. People who were previously bankable are turning to these comunity institutions that lend on average $7,000.
Now, one of the high profile websites that helps individual Internet users loan to microentrepreneurs from Kenya to Cambodia is getting involved in the US. The site Kiva.org has started posting the profiles of US small business owners, to raise capital for their loans. Even the owner of Kiva says he's unsure how this social experiment will play out.
What fun! Here's a narration-less sound-rich piece showing us how musicians warm up. Producer David Schulman has great access to musicians and brings us their very personal methods for getting ready for performances. Listen for the singer imitating seagulls and the funny description of a bluegrass singer warming up.
David Schulman is creator and producer of Musicians in their Own Words, a series of first-person radio portraits.
Caution: The voices end at 3:30, followed by an entire minute of cello music. So the piece could be faded out well before 4:30, if you get Schulman's permission.
What do YOU do to warm up? That's a question producer David Schulman likes to ask when he interviews performers for the Musicians in their own words series. He's posed the question to Brazilian jazz singers , concert pianists, and Tuvan throat singers. And the answers can be as distinct as the music they make ...
This feature comes from reporter Brian Bull, and it's part of the We Shall Remain series of Native Public Media.
Whether or not you have Native American tribes in your listening area, listeners will enjoy how this piece takes a look at Indian stereotypes in the media (Tonto, for instance) and how a Native American comedian uses humor to call out the stereotypes.
Bull does a nice job of pointing out some painful cultural scars without any bloodletting. 00:04:58
After Geronimo was finally defeated, he quickly transformed from public enemy no. 1 to celebrated symbol of America’s wild past, an object of nostalgia. Icons will examine how Native artists and performers are trying to take control of these iconic images and stereotypes that have defined American Indians.
Oneida Comedian Charlie Hill says, “When I first started I was backstage and another comic said to me, “An Indian comedian, what a gimmick, what a gimmick!” I responded, “I can’ help it, my parents are gimmicks!” It seems that he images of American Indians is so strongly burned into the global psyche that people visiting reservations and national Indian organizations often don’t see the Native Americans standing before them. Centuries of books, movies, and television icons are hard to combat. Even renowned Native filmmaker Chris Eyre, when working on the American Experience We Shall Remain series commented on how he felt while “working with icons”. In this segment we’ll take a light hearted look at what it means to be confronted by these images in your everyday life. We’ll talk to a wide-ranging group of Native people and find out what it’s like to “walk a mile in their moccasins.”
Comedian Charlie Hill
NMAI Cultural Specialist: George Horse Capture, former curator at the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum
Writer: Joy Harjo
Director: Chris Eyre
Oneida Comedian Charlie Hill says, “When I first started I was backstage and another comic said to me, “An Indian comedian, what a gimmick, what a gimmick!” I responded, “I can’ help it, my parents are gimmicks!”
It seems that he images of American Indians is so strongly burned into the global psyche that people visiting reservations and national Indian organizations often don’t see the Native Americans standing before them. Centuries of books, movies, and television icons are hard to combat. Even renowned Native filmmaker Chris Eyre, when working on the American Experience We Shall Remain series commented on how he felt while “working with icons”.
In this segment we’ll take a light hearted look at what it means to be confronted by these images in your everyday life. We’ll talk to a wide-ranging group of Native people and find out what it’s like to “walk a mile in their moccasins.”
From Curie Youth Radio | 02:41
This vox pop has many voices but answers one question, right from the source: why do teens drive drunk? We've heard the PSAs and commercials about why not to not drive drunk; this is the flip side. Producers at Curie Youth Radio at Curie High School on Chicago's Southwest side got the raw truth out of these teens.
Reviewer Martin Burch sums up the tone nicely: "Like a song with sad lyrics but an upbeat tune."
Although this could work as a standalone, it begs for response. It would pair well with a feature or interview about drunk driving, or about how teens perceive danger. 00:02:41
Curie Youth Radio interviews a range of teenagers and listens to excuses, justifications, and denials about how and why we continue to mix alcohol and driving. Curie Youth Radio is a writing and radio production class at Curie High School on Chicago?s Southwest side. Here, students create their own stories: fresh takes on everything from snowball fights to gang warfare. They see their stories as a way for teenagers in one Chicago high school to reach out to the rest of the world.
I'm generally not a fan of single voice essays on science topics. But here's one that I think listeners will perk up for. It asks and answers the question "why do people eat hot peppers?" Most surprising perhaps is how psychology professor Christopher Moyer dispels commonly held beliefs: that people eat them because they taste good, and that the heat accentuates the flavor of other foods. Moyer explains a newer idea: that peppers stimulate the body's endorphins, making us feel happy.
Moyer is Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Stout. He produces the series PsychRadio. 00:03:08
From Inside Out Documentaries | 59:00
175 million people visit zoos in the U.S. every year...chances are you've got listeners who want to hear more about what zoos are all about these days. Does all that education offered at zoos really change how much people care about animal conservation? Why not just watch Animal Planet? Is animal conservation improved because of zoos, or are we just spending money conserving zoos themselves? And the entire final segment is devoted to elephants, the animal that draws equally passionate advocates for keeping them in and keeping them out of zoos.
Your listeners get some answers, and get to hear from the people who are responsible for making sure zoos are doing a good job.
It's got relevant (read "zoo-themed") interstitial music to keep it hopping between segments, and we travel across the US talking with animal experts and comparing zoos.
This comes to us from Inside Out, the radio documentary unit at WBUR in Boston. Reporters Christina Russo and Diane Toomey do a nice job at finding compelling experts and addressing the issues that we're all curious about.
From Cages to Conservation has been licensed from PRX by WCAI/WNAN, WRVO and KWGS. 00:59:00