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Localore Labs

Localore Labs is AIR’s investment in research and development to problem-solve for long-standing industry practices and biases in need of change, build new spaces to feature stories by independents and model how to effectively engage with them. The Lab’s current portfolio includes the following programs:

Equity and Fair Practice

Our equity initiative centers our commitment to supporting fair compensation and contracts for independent contributors. Through the initiative we support regular review of our Code of Fair Practice and sample contracts, along with tracking legislation that will impact independent contractors and aggregating data about the current state of work in radio and podcasting. We also work to improve compensation for independent contractors doing professional work in radio and podcasting. Our work on equity and fair practice provides AIR members with the tools they need to advocate and negotiate for their own needs, while also improving practice across the industry.

New Public & Assignment

New Public is AIR’s working name for our publishing and licensing venture, designed to engage independents in markets large and small in the production of hyper-local news for national audiences. Our goal is to deliver hyper local features for national audiences at scale. To support effective collaboration between editors and producers, AIR is building Assignment, a content management, licensing, payment, and talent matchmaking platform  to complement New Public.


AIR partners with public radio stations to co-produce audio storytelling that features independent voices. Through direct investment and collaborative fundraising, new and locally produced content can yield new membership, underwriting and community impact to inform sustainable and replicable efforts. AIR’s investment is not in editorial control, but in designing show structures in which independents can succeed, providing courage, and helping speak to the public in need of being reached. 

Our collaborative co-productions build on the success of AIR’s Localore grants program, which brought independents into local stations to develop engaging and dynamic audio reporting and helped stations build deeper and stronger relationships with their own communities. 

In 2020, AIR partnered with KOSU and This Land Press to produce Imaginary Oklahoma, a podcast that translated written prose into audio stories. Imaginary Oklahoma: 46 acclaimed fiction writers envision life in the 46th state was published by This Land in 2013. Eight of those original 46 stories were adapted for the podcast, a collaboration between AIR, This Land Press and KOSU. The series is a terrific example of a local series that works for a local, regional and national audience. 

Contact Ken Ikeda to find out more about partnering with AIR on a co-production.

Sound Path

AIR is launching a platform for peer-inspired training and learning to help establish industry practices that are often elusive when craft and technical standards reflect art more closely than math. The platform is under development with active communication and outreach slated for January 2021.

Our work on Sound Path builds on our commitment to providing high quality training, professional development and business skills to our members and the field. In 2020 AIR launched a series of workshops and panels to bring the radio and podcasting community together to improve skills as storytellers and audio makers. In just six months we hosted dozens of workshops and networking events online, covering a wide range of topics and structures.

We develop training designed to meet the needs of the field at large, and we work with stations to develop custom training to meet unique local needs. For example, in January of 2020 we worked with a public radio station to offer a radio skills intensive to a select group of local journalists who were already providing reporting to print outlets but weren’t prepared to file high quality radio stories. The extensive dramatically expanded the breadth of potential stringers able to report for the station.

Contact Hannah Eaves for more information about audio school.