"Dip in the Pool and a Sip of Cool": an audio cocktail of sounds from MQ2 (4:28)
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Producers "Actually Doing It"
...weaving a new public media web between stations, networks, and diverse local communities
By Julie Drizin
A few years back, a clever display ad in the Washington City Paper caught my eye and captured my imagination, so much so that I felt compelled to rip it out and post it on the
daily story board in our production suite at WETA-FM. The ad was for an improv theater group and the fancy-fonted copy proclaimed, "Classically Trained in the Fine Art of Making
Sh*t Up." This little phrase would soon become our staff mantra.
I had been hired at WETA-FM to launch a daily hybrid program that would blend news and talk, online and on-air, and create a sense of place and common ground for the diverse
communities of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia that make up the Washington metropolitan area. We called it The Intersection. At the time, without a model to imitate, we had to mold
and chisel it ourselves. And each day, our diverse team of producers invented a new show guided by local news events, but ultimately about whatever sparked our own liveliest
conversations. And so, we considered ourselves, indeed, to be specialists in this business of making sh*t up.
That seems to be the essence of independent production: a blend of vision, imagination, and gumption. You create something where there once was nothing. You've read about MQ2
in this column before. I come to it with a fresh lens and great excitement because this is what the Public Radio Makers Quest grantees are all about, with their DIY spirit
invigorating public radio and birthing new forms in an emerging "public media."
Calling all AIRsters to PRPD
September 15–18, 2009
Join AIR and Third Coast in Cleveland at the PRPD where we're mashing up PDs and producers in new and we hope surprising ways. AIR members are entitled to PRPD
member rates. There are other financial discounts to make it easier to get to Cleveland
and get around town. Stay tuned to the AIRdaily for information on sessions. meet-ups, and on announcements for other ways to help offset the cost of travel.
Check out some of the latest stuff churned out by MQ2 producers: Shout out for
CyberFrequencies on BBC's Radio 4 blog
The Corner opens its phone lines: 877-723-8646
Mapping Main Street is poised to go public
Open Sounds New Orleans fine tunes its sound map
NPR's Scott Simon digs Place + Memory
Beyond the Odds launches video
Subscribe to our MQ2 blog
MQ2 playlist on PRX
Subscribe to NPR's MQ2 showcase
Cool Tool: Very Short List
Just when you thought e-mail was becoming unmanageable, you went and loaded on layers of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Are you out of your mind? The last thing you need is
more e-mail or another time waster that has you spending even more hours gaga in front of your computer screen. But heck, its summertime and the livin' is easy, and that's
just what we're giving you. Very Short List is not even a tool, but delivers up one "must-see gem a day" from the annals of entertainment and media, the brainchild of Studio
360 host Kurt Anderson and media mogul Barry Diller. It's how I first listened to The Walkmen and saw some of the first color photographs ever taken (1908–1930), and even
linked through to an archive of misspelled tattoos. We dare you to subscribe.
— Sue Schardt