NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge is Back

NPR announced that their Student Podcast Challenge is back. It is a chance for students to compete with young people all over the country for the grand prize: their story appearing on NPR’s Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

Last school year, we received nearly 6,000 entries from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with more than 25,000 students participating. The contest was a big success – we heard from so many teachers about how much fun they had and how their students got fired up by the project.

This year’s contest will follow the same basic parameters: Beginning in January, teachers or qualified educators can submit student entries in two basic categories: grades 5-8 and grades 9-12. Entries can be as short as 3 minutes and as long as 12 minutes.

NPR says that they are still finalizing and updating the rules for this year and will post them soon. As before, they have guidance on who can enter, how to submit your entry, and updated information about their no-music policy and other key rules. You can find them on the NPR Student Podcast Challenge website.

In Year Two (which NPR is calling SPC2), their goal is to build in more support for teachers and students, based on feedback from teachers and the lessons NPR drew from listening to all those podcasts. NPR will have more training materials and advice on audio reporting, writing, and sound editing production.

NPR Student Podcast Challenge Returns!

The NPR Student Podcast Challenge is back! The contest is for teachers with students between fifth and twelfth grade. Each podcast should be between three and twelve minutes long. 

We are inviting students around the country to create a podcast, then – with the help of a teacher – compete for a chance to win our grand prize and have your work appear on NPR.

Submissions are open now through March 31, 2019. Teachers and students may want to read the official rules before starting this project. One thing to keep in mind is that submitted podcasts may not include music.

The winners will be publicly announced on or about April 23, 2019. Winning podcast submissions will be featured in segments on Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

NPR has put together a curriculum guide for educators called Teaching Podcasting. The guide can be downloaded. Lessons are broken into stages and each has an estimated amount of time that it takes. 

NPR also has a starting guide for students who are new to podcasting. It includes answers to frequently asked questions about podcasting, information about things that should make up their toolbox, and more.

Judges will follow criteria to narrow down and choose the winners in two age groups – middle (fifth grade through eight grade) and high school (ninth grade through twelfth grade). 

NPR Says Remote Audio Data is Here

NPR stated that after a year in development, RAD is being deployed for podcast listening measurement. RAD stands for Remote Audio Data.

Collaborative minds and leaders from across the media industry have worked closely with NPR to develop and launch a new podcast analytics technology: Remote Audio Data (RAD), a method for sharing listening metrics from podcast applications straight back to publishers, with extreme care and respect for user privacy.

NPR worked with a cross-section of nearly 30 companies to develop and test this new, parallel metric. NPR is excited to announce its open source release and launch in NPR One.

The industry leaders that are joining NPR in committing to implement RAD in their products in 2019 include: Acast, AdsWizz, ART 19, Awesound, Blubrry Podcasting, Panoply, Omny Studios, Podtrac, PRI/PRX, RadioPublic, Triton Digital, WideOrbit, and Whooshkaa.

The following companies support and have participated in pushing RAD forward: Cadence13, Edison Research, ESPN, Google, iHeartMedia, Libsyn, The New York Times, New York Public Radio, Voxnest and Wondery.

How does RAD work? Podcasters mark within their audio files certain points (quartile or some time markers, interview spots, sponsorship or advertising messages, etc.) with RAD tags (ID tags) and indicate an analytics URL. A mobile app is configured to read these RAD tags, and when listeners hit those locations in the file, bundle and send anonymized information to that analytics URL.

The publisher can then use that data, from all devices, to get holistic listening statistics.

NPR has a website where you can learn more about Remote Audio Data.

NPR’s Latino USA Seeks Senior Editor

The Futuro Media Group is seeking a Senior Editor for NPR’s Latino USA. It is an award-winning public radio program and podcast that focuses on Latinos and the Latino experience. 

The Senior Editor supervises the editorial and production process of the show, edits individual stories, and is responsible for overseeing the tone and content of the program, adhering to rigorous journalistic standards as well as consistently bringing cutting-edge storytelling to the show.

The Senior Editor, along with the Senior Producer and the Production Manager form the three-part Latino USA  leadership team. 

This is a full-time position based on Harlem, New York City, that reports to Futuro Media’s Executive Director, and works closely with Host & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa and all other departments at Futuro Media.

Qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • Eight plus years of radio reporting or production experience
  • Proven editing experience either on audio or in print
  • Significant experience making long form or narrative audio
  • Experience as a manager and/or in a leadership position
  • Self-starter and creative thinker
  • Strong experience working with editorial standards and processes
  • Understanding of current trends in audio storytelling and production
  • Some Spanish-language proficiency required, native-speaker or fully fluent a big plus

For full details, visit the Futuro Media job listing to learn about the duties and responsibilities of this position and the application process.

NPR Launches the Student Podcast Challenge

NPR has launched the first-ever NPR Student Podcast Challenge. They are inviting students around the country to create a podcast, then – with the help of a teacher – compete for a chance to win the grand prize and have their work appear on NPR.

The contest is a chance for teachers and students in grades five through twelve across the country to turn your classrooms into production studios, your assignments into scripts, and your ideas into sound.

Here’s how it works: A student – with the help of a teacher – produces a podcast that is three to 12 minutes long. NPR says: “Have something to say? Now is your chance.”

Students do not need a lot of fancy equipment or a studio in order to enter the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. NPR states that students should be able to do this with just a smartphone and a computer, with easily available software.

Students also do not have to be an expert in radio production. NPR is offering lots of help for students and teachers. It’s a good idea to read through it before you begin creating a podcast. One important thing to know is that your podcast cannot include music.

NPR will open up the contest to entries on January 1, 2019, and close them on March 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Then, NPR’s panel of judges will pick two winners: one from grades five through eight, and one from grades nine through 12.

The winning podcasts will be featured in segments on NPR programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered later in the spring of 2019.

NPR is Hiring a Producer for Planet Money

NPR, a thriving, mission-driven multimedia organization that produces award-winning news, information and music programming in partnership with hundreds of independent public raido stations across the nation, is looking for a producer for their Planet Money podcast. Full details can be found at NPR Jobs.

Planet Money is a tight-knit, highly collaborative team producing one of the best and most popular podcasts around. We tell audio and web stories that explain complicated topics – in fun, creative ways. We’re expanding and trying some new things.

NPR is looking for a producer “who can do it all”: book big name and no name guests alike, mix a podcast fast, pitch smart angles nobody else has thought of, and hone in on the best fact hiding in an NBER working paper. They want someone who naturally enjoys thinking and talking about economics and business, and who has ambitious ideas for stories (and needs somewhere to try them).

Some responsibilities include:

  • Find and produce original story ideas on a tight deadline
  • Suggest and book guests for Hosts/Reporters to interview
  • Prepare questions and approaches to interviews, maybe do them yourself
  • Report stories for publication on podcast, web and broadcast
  • Mix podcast episodes using digital audio editing software
  • Write web and social media posts
  • Reply to listener questions and social media comments
  • Think strategically about audience development and execute the strategy down to the smallest detail

Some requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • At least 4 years of production experience
  • Audio editing experience in Pro Tools or equivalent program
  • Ability and willingness to relocate
  • Ability and willingness to work varied shifts

What’s Good with Stretch and Bobbito Premiered on NPR

NPR added to its podcast lineup when it premiered What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito in July of 2017. The podcast is described as: “Your source for untold stories and undiscovered truths.”

The hosts of What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito are Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Garcia. They are featured in the film “Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives” from Saboteur Media. The film was released in 2015. Bobbito Garcia was the director, writer, and co-producer of the film. Music supervision was done by DJ Stretch Armstrong.

During the 1990s, Stretch and Bobbito introduced the world to an unsigned Nas, Biggie, Wu-Tang, and Big Pun, as well as an unknown Jay Z, Eminem, and the Fugees. The total record sales for all the artists that premiered on their show exceed 300 million. The late-night program had a cult following in the art/fashion world and prison population as well. All would loyally tune in for the offbeat humor just as much as the exclusive tunes. Stretch and Bobbito brought a unique audience together, and created a platform that changed music forever.

In the What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito podcast, hosts Stretch and Bobbito interview cultural influencers, bring their warmth, humor, and a fresh perspective. They discuss art, music, politics, sports, and what’s good.

The first episode features comedians Dave Chappelle and Donnell Rawlings., who preview their month long residency at Radio City Music Hall. Episode two features Oscar winning Mahershala Ali, who talks about his process for getting into character and how faith informs his work. The most recent episode (at time of writing) is Episode three, which features best-selling author Eddie Huang.

NPR Seeks Sponsorship Audio Producer

NPR is seeking a Sponsorship Audio Producer for National Public Media (NPM), which is the corporate sponsorship subsidiary of NPR.  National Public Media is hiring a full-time audio producer to own the production of their new custom audio sponsorship format, Brand Soundscapes. These sponsorship messages will be featured in NPR and NPR digital platforms.

The successful candidate will be a creative, collaborative producer and interviewer who can successfully work with corporate sponsors to generate content that creates brand value while respecting NPR’s sponsorship storytelling aesthetic and guidelines. We are looking for someone who can bring fresh ideas to the world of audio sponsorship that will excite brands and engage with the audience. This position is an opportunity to build a new model for public media audio sponsorship.

NPR wants a candidate who has a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. They require candidates to have at least five years in experience in:

  • Radio production experience on broadcast digital audio workstations
  • Conducting interview and voicing creative
  • Working with daily deadlines
  • Copywriting experience

There is a long list of other skills and abilities that they would like to see in people who apply for the Sponsorship Audio Producer.

Essential duties include: produces audio creative for NPR sponsors, and manages production process for freelance producers. The ad states that NPR “offers a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package, including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and work/life balance programs, as well as opportunities for growth and development.”

Wow in the World is for Curious Kids and Their Grown-Ups

Wow in the World is a new way for families to connect, look up, and discover the wonders in the world around them. It’s the first program produced by Tinkercast, which focuses on family friendly content. Wow in the World is distributed by NPR and will mark the first children’s program the public radio network has launched in its 47-year history.

Wow in the World will launch on May 15, 2017. It is hosted by Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas. For nearly three years, Guy and Mindy co-hosted a Friday news segment on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live channel called Breakfast Blast Newscast. The segment went on to win the International New York Festivals Award for best children’s program in 2016.

Guy Raz is the award-winning host, co-creator, and editorial director of two of NPR’s most popular programs: TED Radio Hour and How I Built This. Both shows are heard by more than 14 million people each month around the world. Mindy Thomas is the Gracie Award winning host of the national, interactive Absolutely Mindy Show, heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live Channel.

Wow in the World will take kids (and their grown-ups) on a journey into the most incredible science and kid-friendly news stories of the week. Each episode begins with a series of questions that lead to an explanation about a new amazing scientific discovery or finding. Episodes will highlight some of the most exciting new research about space, dinosaurs, animals, technology, and human origins.