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AIRblast - from the Association of Independents in Radio


In This Issue:

Forever: Afterword

Put on your headphones for the AIRmuse as Shea Shackelford and Virginia Millington bring you the afterword to their story "This can go on forever," the 2010 bronze medal winner for best documentary at the Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Our Spotlight article is another "don't miss" — NPR's first director of programming, Bill Siemering, reflects on public radio's history and its path to the future. Speaking of the future, have you ever heard of QR codes? You'll want to check it out.

Sam Schongalla,
AIRblast Publication Manager

Issue Archives


Two dozen upcoming award opportunities listed this issue!

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Colm Coyne
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AIRmuse Audio

"Shackelford and Millington's Forever: Afterword" (17:28)

Shea Shackelford and Virginia Millington share their award-winning story along with reflections from the subjects themselves, Carol and Joel, about the impact that the making-of had on their lives.

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AIRmuse Archives

A Short History of Threads in Transitions
By Bill Siemering

As a member of the founding board of directors of NPR, Bill Siemering wrote the original mission and goals for NPR and was then hired to implement them as the first director of programming in 1970. With the staff, he created All Things Considered and later, in 1987 at WHYY-FM, developed Fresh Air with Terry Gross from a local to a national program. Today he is the president of Developing Radio Partners, an organization that strengthens the quality of radio stations and programming in developing countries. In this essay, Siemering reflects upon some of public radio's history and its path to the future.

Read On . . .


AIR/ITVS Independent Journalism Scan
Closing date: December 31 at 11 p.m. ET

AIR teams up for the first time with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to conduct a comprehensive online survey of independent public media journalists. The survey, to be widely distributed across radio and television, will help paint a clearer picture of the economy for independent contributors — which programs or organizations commission the most work — and provide a glimpse at what revenue streams outside public media dominate. If you are an independent radio or television journalist and haven't yet taken the survey, please contact to learn more.

Media That Matters Conference: Storytelling Across Platforms
Save the dates! February 10–11, 2011
Washington, DC

American University's Center for Social Media and Arts Engine, Inc. join forces for this gathering of media producers and organizations to focus on today's evolving media world. Details will be posted on AU's website as they emerge.

AIR Board of Directors
February 17, 2011
Quarterly meeting

Integrated Media Conference (IMA)
March 10–11, 2011
Austin, TX

This gathering of public media professionals returns after a brief hiatus. Agenda is shaping up, and a "limited number of discounted tickets are available" if you are an IMA member. Details as they emerge on the conference are available here.

Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound
The broadcast … coming soon!

AIR presents a one-hour special based on the collection of essays by AIRster John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth. This celebration of public media makers and the art of storytelling is produced by Atlantic Public Media. The Kitchen Sisters, Jay Allison, and Ira Glass give us a roundup of personal stories and insight into how they got their respective grooves. Launch date on PRX is TBD. Stay tuned!

Block of Time: O'Farrell Street
Guest blog post by Krissy Clark

My latest adventure in what I've come to call "location-based storytelling" was featured earlier this month in a San Francisco festival of "locative media urban community" called City Centered, sponsored by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts and KQED.

My installation, "Block of Time," was a site-specific radio documentary/cell phone tour/super-hyper-local-journalism experiment, on the 900 block of O'Farrell Street between Polk and Van Ness. So what happened?

Read On at . . .

See where this QR code takes you. Use your phone to scan this image. Find out how.

Cool Tool: QR Codes

We have seen the future and it's called QR. "Quick Responses" are square-shaped codes that are readable by any phone with a camera and free downloadable QR app. AIR recently harnessed the power of QR at the D.C. pubcamp by encoding a QR that took shooters to Other journalist-focused uses might be: place a QR at a location to lead people to tweets, blog posts and news coverage on what's going on at that spot; create a city tour by placing codes at various locations that users have to find, scavenger-hunt style, and invite them to share stories, news tips, or opinions. A popular use of QR is to "add value" to business cards so that folks are directed to a URL with just a click of their phone. Give it a try with AIR's QR code and generate your own QR.

Erin Mishkin

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