%s1 / %s2

Playlist: News Station Picks for Jan. '10

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.sprixi.com/i/8822552653?link=direct&size=4">[BarZaN] Qtr [Boston]</a>
Image by: [BarZaN] Qtr [Boston] 
Curated Playlist

Here are January picks for news stations from PRX News Format Curator Naomi Starobin.

"This month, I've selected work by independent producers and reporters. These talents are not working for local stations or networks. There is some marvelous work out there. Take a listen. Whether being an independent frees you up to be more creative, or makes it more challenging (or maybe a bit of both), there is clearly a huge amount of energy and creativity on display. See below!"

More about what Naomi listens for in news programming.

Hairdressers of New York City

From Laura Spero | 03:07

This is a fun sound-rich portrait of NYC hairdressers. Meticulous sound editing makes this a lively feature that would pair nicely in a segment with something about jobs, entrepreneurs, etc.
Laura Spero is the producer. She lives in Manhattan and is also the founder of a charity in Nepal. She did some work with StoryCorps, and clearly became good at listening for bites that grab the ear.

Default-piece-image-1 "She was an extremist. She was into extreme sports, and she liked to wear extreme hair." In this unnarrated montage of voices from behind the chair, New York City hairdressers talk about their strangest customers, most challenging and embarrassing moments, false expectations, and learning on the job.

Owners of a Purple Heart

From Hillary Frank | 05:25

This comes from freelance writer and radio producer Hilary Frank from Philadelphia. Solid production and surprising comments from veterans who have earned a Purple Heart, about their mixed feelings.
Caution: this aired on Weekend America, and Frank's soc-out identifies it that way.

Jones_cropped_small In 1932, General MacArthur changed the fabric Purple Heart badge to a medal. And at the last minute, he also changed the meaning: it went from a merit award to recognition of any soldier who had been injured in battle. But some soldiers aren't all that excited about getting a Purple Heart. To them, it's an award for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Hillary Frank talks with some Philadelphia veterans who are ambivalent about the honor.

The Body Secrets Project

From Ross Chambless | 06:13

Although this is coming from Utah, there are universal messages about body image and eating disorders. Nice riff off of anonymous personal comments left by people at a museum exhibit called "Body Worlds 3," then we hear experts weigh in on eating disorders. Nice to hear men are included in the description of eating disorders.

A couple of notes about the style of the piece: there are music beds here and there, and some of the script is in first person. The piece ends on an up note, with quotes from those same messages left by museum-goers, this time the optimistic and encouraging ones.

"The Body Secrets Project" is produced by Ross Chambless out of Salt Lake City.

Body_secrets_small When the Body Worlds 3 exhibition came to Salt Lake City in late 2008 I managed an unusual project at The Leonardo museum. I began collecting private and anonymous revelations, written by museum visitors on colorful index cards, and taped them to the inside of windows on the building’s ground floor.  As this project progressed some curious things were revealed about people living in Utah and how they see their own bodies.  

Seating Mr. Pacino

From Eric Winick | 07:21

This first person piece has a "The Moth" feel, unfolding a personal, true drama. It's by Eric Winick, independent reporter/producer out of Brooklyn. He does a nice job of using music beds to accompany the drama and provide little recesses from it. This would work nicely in a Morning Edition E segment, or an ATC D segment.

That's when the embarrassing incident occurs, one which the house manager must clean up -- quickly, quietly, and literally -- putting every one of his newfound skills to the test.

Story by John Morogiello, from the files of Yarn AudioWorks

John Morogiello is a Playwright in Residence with the Maryland State Arts Council.  For more on his work, click here.


From Lu Olkowski | 08:47

This piece is difficult to listen to but very sweet overall. Beautifully done and sensitive to the subject: the death of a grandfather and the documentation of it. A twist midway through makes this one stand out.

Independent reporter/producer Lu Olkowski of Brooklyn produced this piece. She's done work for Studio 360 and other shows.

Lu Olkowski

Ascherjer31arm_small How do we deal with dying? Most of us look away. But in the case of the Zagar family, they look closer. A father and son have a contest to take the best photos of their dying grandpa, and the result is an up-close portrait of death.   Winner of a Bronze Award at the 2007 Third Coast Festivals Competition.  Judges at Third Coast called the piece, “tense, loving, risky, provocative and profound. The pacing, story craft and character development make this a truly moving and memorable story."

Deep In Our Hearts

From Sandra Sleight-Brennan | 58:57

There's just something about this hour-long documentary. These four women weren't out to be heroines, weren't born to become active in the civil rights movement. Each with their own set of reasons, carefully and nicely laid out in the piece, they became involved. Very nice pacing. An hour your listeners will enjoy and be enriched by. The story of these women contains the history of the women reflecting back on their original motivation for getting involved, as archival tape.

It's done by Sandra Sleight-Brennan, an independent producer from Stewart, Ohio, who has been in the biz for a while, and it shows.

Joansm_small Deep In Our Hearts is an award winning hour-long documentary about four white women who defied the color line to work in the southern Civil Rights Movement. But it's more than that, it's a story of how acting on your ideals can shape your life and effect society as a whole. This special takes us into the lives of four women who came of age during the civil rights movement, participated actively in it, and were transformed by it. Their strong voices contradict the simple one-dimensional profile often presented of whites in the movement. They came from different backgrounds; one grew up in poverty, others in the affluence, some were raised to treat blacks as subordinates, while another saw her family work for social justice. Why did they defy the color line to join the Southern Freedom Movement? These voices aren't often heard. By sharing them, Deep in Our Hearts not only explores the events of the 1960s, it illuminates how people can choose to live their ideals. Created by award winning producer Sandra Sleight-Brennan and based on the book of the same name, Deep in Our Hearts brings those turbulent times to life. In doing so, it affirms the enduring significance of the moral conviction that shaped the lives of these four courageous women. Winner of a 2005 Clarion Award, 2005Press Club of Cleveland, 2005 Gracie Award, 2005 National Headliner Award.