PRX is excited to announce Project Catapult: an extensive podcast training program for five public media stations. We are accepting station applications solely through this website. With funding from CPB, these five stations will work with PRX to increase their capacity to provide high-quality content across multiple platforms.
**Please read the details, guidelines, and FAQ below before applying. We have also started an additional FAQ sheet (click here). Applications are accepted until 11:59 p.m. PT on Nov. 2, 2016.**
Five stations will be selected to participate in a 20-week curriculum that will
include content development, cultivating diverse talent, building community around content, audience engagement and monetization. PRX will also provide technical training in the key areas where broadcast and podcast distribution strategies diverge. We will guide stations through the complexity of podcast metrics and third party distribution opportunities.
The teams will meet at PRX's Podcast Garage in Boston for trainings, then return to their home stations to produce content under the project’s guidance and support.
PRX and CPB are committed to diversifying the sound and the people creating public media podcasts, addressing challenges that public media faces: identifying, nurturing, and developing diverse talent and doing so in a way that supports a new generation of public media with the intention of sustainability.
Podcasting offers a powerful way to share voices, creativity, thoughts, music and a wide range of information, narrative, and experience in an intimate way that parallels radio.
Unlike radio, podcasts can be an ‘easier lift.’ The barrier to entry is relatively low, with many free editing tools, affordable software, and equipment. With literally hundreds of thousands of existing podcasts and new ones launching every day, stations, general managers, program directors, hosts, and donors are struggling with how to leverage and advance this incredible opportunity.
What do you mean by diversity?
We are consciously looking to develop diverse talent who range in background, ethnicity, gender, experience, voice and style. We encourage any station looking to develop diverse talent or reach an expanded audience – whether this is related to race, ethnicity, religion, economic background, age, sexual orientation, physical abilities or other – to submit an application. We are interested in your mission.
Where are we going with this?
PRX and the five stations will develop at least five podcasts which will be co-productions between the stations and PRX. Following the training curriculum, each station will be expected to create at least 20 podcast episodes during the following 12 months.
We will improve station content creation capacity by developing a strong curriculum to teach skills and best practices in show creation, production, distribution and monetization.
Identify and or support a talent pool of diverse producers/hosts and aspirants who want to stay within public media.
- Create a support network for talent to thrive inside the public media system and attract a new generation of public media makers and consumers.
What do I need beyond an idea?
A demonstrated interest or record in attracting a diverse audience.
Support of station leadership and demonstrated commitment to the project.
Evidence of taking initial steps at identifying locally diverse talent or evidence of doing so with existing staff/volunteers/interns.
Experience developing a show (local or other).
A mature, well-thought out idea for a podcast (ex: initial business plan; pitch to a board, funders or local collaborators; attempts at a pilot.)
A committed leadership team and an existing diverse production team.
Articulated audience goals for a podcast and demonstrated efforts with local community engagement.
- A strategic plan that includes attracting and building a diverse production staff.
How will my project be judged?
Originality and strength of podcast idea.
Diversity of producers or host: background, voice, age, geography.
Production quality and/or potential demonstrated by your audio clip.
Sustainability of your idea.
Sparkle factor - how/why does your idea stand out?
Relevance and uniqueness to your station.
When can I apply?
PRX will accept proposals online on this site (see form below) between Sept. 21 - Nov. 2 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
What do I need to have ready to apply?
An idea and a description for a station-produced podcast including its content and format.
List of team members involved in the podcast who will travel to Boston for the workshops.
Examples of a past production and engagement initiatives.
A description of the audience you hope to attract.
An audio sample (like a trailer) of the proposed podcast or a past project. If your idea is new, record your team discussing the idea. Audio samples should be 2 minutes or less.
A line item budget for a full year of direct costs. Direct station costs that will be considered for reimbursement include: personnel related to show production and oversight, studio time, office space, tape syncs, field recording, equipment, audio editing software, supporting website, music clearance and other expenses in support of show production.
When do things get rolling?
Bootcamp at the PRX Podcast Garage, Boston: Jan. 23 - Jan. 28, 2017
Creative review 1: Feb. 27 - 28, 2017
Creative review 2: March 27-28, 2017
Creative review 3: April 27 - 28, 2017
Creative review 4: May 23, 2017
Showcase at the PRX Podcast Garage: May 24, 2017
This sounds like a big commitment; will my station receive funding to develop our project?
Beyond an awesome and successful podcast each station team will be awarded funding to offset staff costs. Stations will be expected to keep meticulous records of expenditures. PRX will cover travel and meal expenses for the teams to travel back and forth to the PRX Garage.
Can we attend the bootcamp but skip the other weeks?
No. PRX has developed a comprehensive curriculum with an intended cadence and flow.
Should I bother entering if our station has no experience in podcasting?
If you’re totally new to podcasting but have a stellar idea and the drive and motivation to bring it to life, we will consider your pitch. This training is intended to help stations who have some experience and want to take it to the next level.
My station already produces a podcast. Can I submit that?
Yes. If your podcast is in its early stages or has been around for some time but you have clear ideas about continuing to evolve it, and your ideas are strong, go for it.
- Entries must come from CPB CSG-qualified public radio or television stations. Public or community stations are welcome, as long as they have a CSG.
Entrants may submit one idea only.
Proposals will be reviewed by CPB, PRX staff, and others.
Applicants are responsible for all rights clearances for any content included in their audio clip submissions and show.
Stations retain ownership rights to all base content including but not limited to research, raw material, interviews, images and written material.
Stations must be prepared support the production teams with basic equipment: computer, recording kit, etc., and be prepared to support the podcasts for at least three years.