AIRblast - from the Association of Independents in Radio


In This Issue:

Beyond 11%

As public media considers AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt's challenge to expand public media's reach to a broader and more diverse America, AIR turns to some of our bright and passionate up-and-coming producers for advice on how to make it easier for them to find a way into the system. In our latest feature story, New Voices scholar Stephanie Foo gives an insightful summary of her colleagues' fresh thinking and concrete steps for those ready to walk their talk.

Sam Schongalla,
AIRblast Publication Manager

Issue Archives


Our full directory is open to all at

Our list of upcoming awards, fellowships, and grants deadlines is now provided as a "Members Only" service.

View upcoming deadlines (members only)

Spread the Good Word! Join AIR

Say hello to our newest members:

Scott Bliss
Cathy Corman
Carman Dewees
Helen Engelhardt
Melissa Galvez
Adam Hirsch
J Holt
Andrew Linderman
Keith Ludden
Brett Myers
Adam Peindl
Eliza Ronalds-
Paul Ruest
Aaron Scott
Cintia Taylor
Stanzi Vaubel

Give the gift of AIR. What better gesture than to bring your trusted colleague or collaborator into the fold of AIR's strong community of producers and associates?

Learn more about the many benefits of AIR membership.

We've Got Talent
Peruse AIR's searchable
Producer Directory

Cool Tool: All Our Ideas

We've all been there. A project with no name. A story with no focus. All Our Ideas lets your listeners or followers vote on your ideas and also submit new ones. Everything is collected in your "idea marketplace," where members of your community can vote. Pretty cool, eh? The Washington Post and the Craigslist Foundation are fans. Will you be too?
Erin Mishkin

AIRmuse Audio

"What is the Sky?" (13:17)
Hosted by Tony Field. Produced by Brenda Hutchinson

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AIRmuse Archives

Let's Change Up Public Media
By Stephanie Foo

Stephanie Foo, one of AIR's 21 New Voices scholars, was asked by AIRblast to pose a question to some of her colleagues: "What do new pathways into public media look like?"

Read full essays from the New Voices here.

Public radio has a reputation for being old, elitist, and whitewashed. Many of my friends are minorities or come from low-income backgrounds. They think that Fresh Air is a kind of Febreze.

Until recently, most program directors at public radio stations were just fine with that. To even engage in competition with mainstream media and its flashing lights and screaming cacophony seemed to compromise the integrity of public media. The thought was, "We don't need the MTV audience."

Except increasingly, we do. Getting minorities and young people to tune in isn't as difficult as you may think. Forget the w-w-wacky ways of announcing your call sign. Here are five critical steps to diversifying public radio.

Read On . . .

To Do

International Communications Association Preconference
May 26
Boston, MA

NFCB Community Radio Conference
June 1–4
San Francisco, CA

Personal Democracy Forum conference
June 6–7
New York City, NY

Scribe Video Center Producers' Forum
in assocation with AIR

June 8
Philadelphia, PA

These gatherings bring together nationally and internationally acclaimed independent media artists to discuss projects that reflect current issues, concerns, and trends in community. Join us as award-winning producer Lu Olkowski presents her work.

The Flaherty Seminar: Sonic Truth
June 18–24
Colgate College/Hamilton, NY

The Flaherty is "a nonprofit organization dedicated to the proposition that independent media can illuminate the human spirit" with a mission to "foster exploration, dialogue, and introspection about the art and craft of all forms of the moving image." Its 2011 annual seminar, focused on sound, brings together a diverse group of filmmakers working in nonfiction and hybrid media to examine the sound and musical elements of their work. For more information, including registration details, go here.

June 20–26

Silver Spring, MD

PRPD Public Radio Programming Conference
September 20–23 Save the date!

Baltimore, MD

Online News Association Conference
Sept. 22–24

Boston, MA

Check out the sessions listing.

New Member Spotlight: Aaron Scott

Who? AIR's New Voices scholar, writer, and radio producer whose stories have appeared on This American Life, Radiolab, NPR, and in a number of magazines.

Joined AIR: March 2011

Creds: Graduated from Columbia University's School of Journalism in 2008. Interned at NPR's Science Desk and This American Life before landing his current producing gig on The Speakeasy out of Oregon Public Broadcasting.

More creds: His piece "The New Stu" about how the small, conservative town of Silverton, Oregon, elected the country's first transgender mayor aired on Radiolab in 2009 and won the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association's Excellence in Radio Award. Listen to it here.

Insight on new producers making it in public radio? "Perhaps the biggest barrier into the profession is the fact that it's so hard to gain the experience necessary to acquire a paying job without either first paying for a graduate degree or spending considerable time in mostly unpaid internships. To individuals without the financial resources to fund such programs, one of the only ways to gain experience is fellowships and grants. I've long known there were fellowships out there, but they seemed hidden and distant something one has to stumble across or spend considerable hours on the Internet searching. I think the AIRwiki is a brilliant tool to confront this problem."

Read the rest of Aaron's report and other essays from our New Voices scholars here.

Funding for AIR comes from our members and the generous support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Robert E. Davoli and Eileen McDonagh Charitable Foundation,, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Association of Independents in Radio
P.O. Box 220400
Boston, MA 02122
Phone: 617-825-4400

We want to hear what you think. E-mail us at

Sam Schongalla, Designer and Publication Manager
Erin Mishkin, Membership Director
Deb George, Spotlight Editor
Stevie Beck, AIRblast Copy Editor
AIR Board of Directors

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