AIRblast | October 2014
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Indie Economics:

Four Producers on How to Make a Living
by Jason deBruyn

Sally Herships took her first radio internship at the age of 30.

She had to work second jobs so she could make rent in New York while she was getting established, but Herships pitched and pitched, and began picking up work, eventually producing segments for “Radio Lab” at WNYC, the BBC World Service and “Studio 360.”

Eleven years after she began, Herships hosts public radio parties at her apartment in Brooklyn (complete with a vintage sound booth named Ermentrude), has signed a contract with “Marketplace” to be a regular contributor, and teaches radio production.

AIR has tracked producers’ income and professional activities in an annual survey since 2007. For Herships and other producers, the areas of greatest change are centered on income. Producers who used to work in public media and broadcast are seeking new revenue streams — at the same time that corporate media companies shift more resources into audio projects, like Mike Pesca’s podcast, “The Gist,” for Slate.

Here's how some of them make it work.

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Kiplinger Fellowship Program in Public Affairs Journalism
Deadline: Oct. 30
Details: Short-term fellowships to cover hands-on training in social media, video, and investigative training, including food and travel stipend, for 25 journalists from around the world.

Society of Environmental Journalists Fund
Deadline: Nov. 15
Details: SEJ's Fund for Environmental Journalism awards grants of up to $3,500 to underwrite environmental reporting projects and entrepreneurial ventures.

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