Thursday, May 8, 2008

NPR's Next Generation Radio and Intern Edition

I just read about some cool stuff going on at NPR, where they are training (and learning from) young reporters. Some of this is happening in conjunction with college radio stations, including public radio affiliate KUT 90.5 FM (University of Texas, Austin). Here's the scoop from Mark Glaser on MediaShift:

"National Public Radio has two programs — Next Generation Radio (NextGen) and Intern Edition — aimed at training young folks to do quality radio reporting the NPR way. Not surprisingly, those twentysomethings have also pushed NPR further into the digital realm, creating an eye-catching blog and using Public Radio Exchange (PRX), an online marketplace for radio reports, to get wider distribution for their work."

I was interested in hearing about some of the edgier things they are covering. According to Glaser's article:

"Both training projects are run by NPR’s Doug Mitchell, a veteran at the public broadcaster of 21 years. With NextGen, Mitchell travels around the country, training college students to do radio reporting with intensive one-week courses...

For Intern Edition, Mitchell gives NPR interns a 10-week training course, in which they produce a half-hour show and various audio pieces — along with a project blog. That means that the interns do more than just report stories. They’re also shooting photos for the blog and uploading audio there...Not only does the site have a web comics feel to it, but there’s also a two-part story about Katsucon, a Japanese pop culture convention, and a story told through a comic strip. This is not your typical NPR blog."

You can listen to some of the NextGen pieces (including reports on SXSW, how people come up with band names, Muslim speed dating, and elderly gamblers) on the PRX website.

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