Tag Archives: NPR

NPR Won a Pulitzer for their No Compromise Investigative Podcast Series

NPR reported that they, and Member Stations KCUR and WABE, won a Pulitzer Prize for audio reporting. This is NPR’s first-ever Pulitzer.

NPR’s Pulitzer for audio reporting went to Lisa Hagen, Chris Haxel, Graham Smith, and Robert Little for their investigative reporting podcast series No Compromise about gun rights activists that illuminated the deepening schism between American conservatives.

The description of the No Compromise podcast is as follows:

Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting. Discover a social media empire with an unapologetic vision of gun rights – generating millions of likes, follows, and dollars. From Guns & America, reporters Lisa Hagen of WABE and Chris Haxel of KCUR expose how three brothers from the most uncompromising corner of the gun debate are turning hot-button issues into donations and controversy.

It was one of two NPR finalists in the category; the other was for what the Pulitzer committee described as “courageous, on-the-ground reporting on the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and its implications around the globe.”

In an emailed statement to the newsroom, Senior VP of News, Nancy Barns noted that this is the second year that the Pulitzer Prize has experimented with an audio category. “You may recall that NPR was a finalist last year for the White Lies podcast,” she wrote. “The recognition today underscores the investments we have made in deep reporting, longform storytelling, and collaboration across NPR and our Member stations.”

The No Compromise podcast was introduced in August of 2020. The first episode, “A World Where the NRA is Soft on Guns” was released on September 8, 2020. The most recent episode is titled: “A One-Man Propaganda Band” and was released on October 20, 2020.

NPR StoryCorps Podcast Launched New Season with New Host

NPR announced that listeners can once again hear intimate, emotional, conversations from StoryCorps in their podcast feed. The StoryCorps Podcast has kicked off its new season with a new host, Kamilah Kashanie. Over 12 episodes, the StoryCorps Podcast will share stories from people who have lived through great change – from historical moments to personal ones – as they try to glean some wisdom from the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Listen to the first episode of the season, out now, on NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever podcasts are available. New episodes will be available every Tuesday and excerpts air weekly on NPR’s Morning Edition on Fridays.

Taking over as host of StoryCorps Podcast is Kamilah Kashanie (she/her), a Production Assistant at StoryCorps. Kamilah’s love for radio is rooted in her desire to understand more about what makes us who we are. As a storyteller, she’s committed to starting conversations to make lasting changes in underserved communities, and to craft narratives that help give voice to individuals who would not have a platform to tell their stories. She’s also a graduate of the Transom Audio Story telling Workshop and the host of Feeling My Flo, a podcast about menstruation from PRX and Lantigua-Williams & Co.

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has brought more than 600,000 Americans together to record conversations about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. Until now, all of these interviews have taken place face-to-face.

StoryCorps Connect, a first-of-its-kind technology, makes it easy for people to continue participating in StoryCorps with loved ones while observing stay-at-home orders. It uses advanced online video-conferencing technology (built using the Vonage Video API) and wraparound instructional tools to give participants a free, high-quality platform to record StoryCorps conversations remotely. The conversations become instantly accessible and shareable through StoryCorps’ Online Archive and are preserved for future generations at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Some of them will be shared in this season’s podcast episodes.

NPR Announces Upcoming Podcasts

Over the next six months, NPR will launch three new enterprise storytelling podcasts and usher in a new era for a listener favorite.

These include NPR Music reporters’ examination of power, hip-hop, and the prison industrial complex; Member station KQED’s investigation into California police misconduct, and how police try and fail to police themselves; a public radio reporting collaborative series about gun rights advocates who believe that the National Rifle Association is too soft in their advocacy; and a new iteration of Invisibilia with two new hosts.

Three of these forthcoming podcasts – Unsealed, a podcast from NPR Music, and No Compromise – were developed with support from NPR’s Story Lab, a creative studio at the heart of NPR that cultivates new voices, new approaches to storytelling, and the evolving sound of public radio.

Untitled NPR Music Podcast – coming September 2020

This short-run narrative series ​traces the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. But is it coincidence or by design? We’ll delve into some of the biggest names and cases in hip-hop to reveal just how much the criminal justice system has impacted the culture. Hosted by Rodney Carmichael, NPR Music’s resident hip-hop critic, and Sidney Madden, NPR Music reporter and editor.

No Compromise — coming Fall 2020

An eight episode, limited-run investigative series that explores the world of Second Amendment advocates who believe that the National Rifle Association is ‘too soft’ on guns. The series looks at national and state-level organizations and reveals a world that is more complicated than it appears to outsiders. Reporters Chris Haxel (KCUR, Kansas City, MO) and Lisa Hagen (WABE, Atlanta, GA) have been investigating the story for more than six months as part of the public radio reporting collaborative Guns & America.

Unsealed — launching early 2021

A limited-run podcast that explores how police police themselves through an analysis of hundreds of police misconduct files, body camera footage and audio recordings of internal investigations that have been kept secret for decades. Unsealed will be hosted by KQED’s criminal justice reporter Sukey Lewis and produced by KQED’s race and equity reporter Sandhya Dirks.

Passing the torch at Invisibilia — coming winter 2021

When it launched at the top of the podcast charts five years ago, Invisibilia presented a strikingly original storytelling frame. Fresh, rigorous, layered, and disarmingly intimate, the show built a large and devoted audience drawn to its arresting exploration of the invisible forces that shape human behavior.

It was the first chart-topping narrative podcast in the industry created by women. Alix Spiegel, with Lulu Miller and editor Anne Gudenkauf built the first season after incubating the idea on the NPR Science desk. More than 100 million downloads and five innovative seasons later, the current hosts, Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin have decided to pass the torch to a new generation.

They will be handing off the show to their enormously talented team, led by Yowei Shaw. Over the last four years, Shaw has been the creative and editorial force behind many episodes of Invisibilia, including the critically-acclaimed “A Very Offensive Rom Com.” Shaw and producer Kia Miakka Natisse will co-host the new Invisibilia.

They will reinvent the show with the help of key staffers Abby Wendle, Liana Simstrom and Deb George. We are tremendously grateful to Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin for their unforgettable storytelling and contributions to NPR. We’re also grateful that they have given producers and storytellers whom they have mentored an opportunity to meet this cultural moment in a fresh new way.

NPR Announced Winners of the 2020 Student Podcast Challenge

NPR has announced the 2020 winners of the NPR Student Podcast Challenge. The challenge 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.

Our judges chose these two winners from more than 2,200 entries overall – ones that came from 46 states and Washington, D.C. There were podcasts about science, sports, siblings and natural wonders, about historical events and books and, in many cases, about the shutdown and the pandemic. In addition to the grand prize winners, we’ve recognized 25 finalists and 25 honorable mentions.

Many students recorded, produced, and edited their podcasts from home, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NPR says that this year they saw a notable increase in quality, which made the judging all the more difficult.

The winner for grades 5-8 is “Masked Kids”. It was done by sixth-graders Leo Yu, Angelo Chen, Becky Liu, Si Chen Xu, Joyce Jiang, Zoe Jiang, Nichole Cheng, and Amanda Chen, at PS 126/Manhattan Academy of Technology in New York City.

In their podcast, the students interviewed high schoolers about the harassment they felt as the coronavirus hit New York City. Along the way, the students taught listeners relevant words such as mask, sneeze and face in Mandarin.

The entry was submitted by Karin Patterson, who teaches English as a new language and runs the Dragon Kids Podcast Club after school.

The winner for grades 9-12 is “The Flossy Podcast: Climate Change & Environmental Racism”. It was done by seniors Jaheim Birch Gentles, Jamar Thompson, Joshua Bovell, Brianna Johnson, Kamari Murdock, Isaiah Dupuy, with music by Iezan McKinney at The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media in New York City.

After attending a climate march in Manhattan, the seniors began asking tough questions about why they didn’t see many black protesters. “Climate change is racial injustice,” the students concluded in their podcast. They interviewed protesters, cited research and discussed their own observations about how global warming disproportionately affects black communities.

The work was submitted by Mischaël Cetoute, a restorative justice coordinator who helps run the Men in Color after-school program at the school.

NPR Seeks a Production Assistant for Pop Culture Happy Hour

NPR is seeking a Production Assistant for the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Those who are interested can apply for the position on the website where the NPR want ad is located.

Pop Culture Happy Hour is one of the best and most popular entertainment podcasts around. Its cast of panelists get together to review the latest in television, film, and more – through a lively, engaging format – all for an incredibly loyal audience. The podcast is ramping up to being published five days a week, and we are expanding our production team.

NPR is looking for a creative and versatile Production Assistant with a passion for pop culture news and analysis to help produce the podcasts. They are a small and agile team based in Washington, DC. The production assistant will be required to occasionally work weekends and evenings for award shows and other events, and must have a willingness to be flexible about scheduling.

Qualifications include:

Education: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience

Required Skills:

  •  At least one year of radio production experience on broadcast digital audio workstations (MTE/DAVID, Dalet, ProTools or similar)
  •  At least one year of experience working with daily deadlines
  •  Experience with journalism-related research and demonstrated ability to collect, organize and disseminate information
  •  Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously under stringent timeframes and changing priorities/conditions
  •  Ability to work independently but also work well as part of a team
  •  Ability to work a flexible schedule

Preferred Skills:

  •  Knowledge and interest in arts and entertainment news

Those who want to know about the responsibilities of the position, or who wish to apply for the job, can do so on the website where the NPR want ad is posted.

NPR will Consolidate its Two Apps into One

Current reported that NPR will focus on promoting a single app for its content beginning in 2020 with a new app powered by NPR One’s technology. It appears that the reason for this change is because some people were confused about the two NPR apps. NPR hopes to start testing versions of the app by May of 2020.

NPR now offers two apps: the audio-focused NPR One, which merges national and local newscasts, news segments, and podcasts into a personalized stream; and the eponymous NPR app, which presents written news stories along with a live station stream and on-demand audio.

Both of those apps are going to merge together using the NPR One technology that combines local and national content. NPR said it aims to simplify the experience for users searching for their digital apps.

The app could include station podcasts and livestreams, and NPR is looking into creating “enhanced editorial tools” that could give stations more control over the app’s content. Other possible features include “pre-localization”, with the station-branded content and livestream already loaded on the app based on the user’s location.

This situation can serve as a lesson for podcasters who have created apps that go along with their podcast. If you are going to make one, it is important to ensure that your current listeners – and potential new ones – will immediately know that they located the right app. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason for podcasters to make two apps when one will do quite nicely.

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.