Earlier this year, Radiotopia launched Podquest, which was an open call for new podcast ideas. They wanted to diversify their network and reach new audiences. After sifting through the entries, the semifinalists, and the finalists, Radiotopia has revealed the winner of the Podquest contest.
When Radiotopia launched Podquest, they received submissions from 1,537 people from 54 countries. Topics included “everything under the sun”. Those submissions were narrowed down by Radiotopia executive producer Julie Shapiro, who led a committee of 11 PRX staff and Radiotopia producers. A total of 99 Radiotopia donors reviewed the top 50 entries.
In June, the entries were narrowed down to a total of 10 semifinalists (called the PQ10). From those ten, four finalists were selected.
The winner of Radiotopia’s Podquest is Ear Hustle. The podcast is a collaboration between Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, who are currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and Nigel Poor, a collaborator and artist living on the outside.
Ear Hustle unveils the hidden stories of life inside the prison, told and produced from the perspective of those who live it. The show includes stories of both the good and the bad.
Radiotopia will pick up the first 10-episode season of Ear Hustle and it will debut later in 2017. Ear Hustle will use the proceeds from their prize to create their show, and to significantly upgrade the equipment at the San Quentin media lab (where the podcast is recorded).