FAQ

Welcome to Next Generation Radio from NPR. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:

What is "Next Generation Radio"?

NPR's Next Generation Radio was established in 2000. It's is a week-long digital-first journalism training project targeting college students and early-career professionals. The program is designed to give competitively selected participants, who are interested in podcasting, radio reporting and visual journalism, the skills and opportunity to find and produce their own multimedia story. Each selected participant is paired with a professional journalist and together they find, report and produce a non-narrated audio podcast as well as use stills and video to fill out their story.

Some alumni of the program:

  • Nicole Beemsterboer, Senior Producer, Investigations Unit, NPR
  • Audie Cornish, Co-Host, All Things Considered, NPR
  • Nancy DeVille, Network Producer, Youth Radio, Oakland, CA
  • Phyllis Fletcher, Pacific NW Bureau Chief, NPR, Seattle, WA
  • Jason Fuller, Assistant Producer, Programming, NPR, Washington DC
  • Ericka Cruz Guevarra, Breaking News Reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland, OR
  • Celeste Headlee, Host and Executive Producer, "On Second Thought," Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta, GA
  • Lee Hill, Senior Editor, Digital, WNYC, New York City, NY
  • DaLyah Jones, Weekend Host/Reporter, KUT, Austin, TX
  • Carla Javier, Arts Education Reporter, KPCC, Pasadena, CA
  • Ben Payne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter, WVIK, Quad Cities, IA
  • Gabriela Saldivia, Producer, NPR ONE, NPR, Washington, DC
  • Evan Williams, Reporter, KUNM, Albuquerque, NM
Who is eligible?

Mostly, we work with college undergraduates and graduate students.  If you are no more than six months post graduation, you can apply.  We have had non-journalism majors in our projects.  We have had communications, public relations, strategic communications, business, history, English and science majors in our projects during the years.

We're looking for people who want to learn more about how record and produce stories for digital media and podcasting. We want people who want to know the art of audio production which means their approach to media encompasses a different style of journalistic reporting. If you are currently producing a podcast or want to learn how, this is a project for you. Deep experiences in "radio" are NOT required. But, you need to be someone who listens closely to what other people have to say and can recognize a good story when you hear one.  It is helpful if you have demonstrable storytelling experiences (broadcast or written)  and are eager to learn about or continue doing public media style journalism.

When can we apply?

We've changed the rules a bit.  Instead of waiting for an application window to open for a specific prject, you can now apply to any of our projects at any time.  In a sense, we've decided to go with "rolling" application windows. Ex:  If you are interested in our project in Seattle for early-career professionals and feel like you want to get it done, you can go ahead and apply, now. No waiting until we get closer to project date.  We will continue to close application windows on specific dates but you can apply to a specific project at any time.

Also, be sure to follow @nextgenradio on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as well as "like" the official "NPR Next Generation Radio" FB page for all the latest information. It is there where you can find deadlines for each program. Finally, the application is online only.

What's the time commitment?

Please make sure you are able to fully commit to the project.  Generally, the team arrives on a Sunday and the program ends on a Friday afternoon. That means you are willing and able to work all-day, each day and if you cannot do that, you shouldn't apply.

What is the cost?

There is NO fee for the program. And, for our national project only, successful applicants will have their round-trip airfare, hotel stay for length of the program and one meal per day funded.  Any other costs outside of what we just listed, are funded by the participant. However, most of our projects target students who are local to the sponsoring station/university.

Who is a successful applicant?
  • We have an expectation that the successful applicant will have qualitative experiences with digital media.  That is, she/he will have produced and/or reported  across various formats. Additionally, we want to further the development of future public media journalists who also have a pulse on their communities.  Can you recognize a good story?  Can you interview? Can you write a strong story about someone else?  Can you use various elements of digital media to tell a complete story?  Are you patient/diligent?
  • We have an expectation that the successful applicant will have demonstrable and qualitative experiences in uses of social media content and distribution platforms for journalism. Successful applicants will be active on social media and demonstrate a level of savvy in how to use it appropriately. Do you share original content?  Whom do you follow on social media and what do you learn from them?
  • We have an expectation that this project will be diverse. Next Generation Radio's professional teams are a reflection of America and hence we'll expect a diverse collection of participants too. Racial, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender and LGBTQ diversity matter to us. So does educational, economic and geographic diversity are areas we consider of high value during our mentor and student selection processes.  This is journalism project, not an advocacy project. If anything we are advocating for journalism and giving access to everyone who has a story to tell.
  • As we have become strong partners with public media stations, national media and journalism entities, we are looking to have our training projects represented by competitively selected participants and professional staff from communities that have not been historically represented in media and especially public media.
How should a successful applicant prepare for this project?

Alumni from this program have told us consistently that the Next Generation project had them thinking and working in a way they never had.  Each participant will be paired with a professional journalist throughout the project and will need to be ready to learn. And learning isn't solely about "tools" and technology.  You still have to talk to people and in person.  It's also about building relationships and a deeper understanding of how have someone tell you their story. We strongly suggest you spend time on our "Past Projects" page, reviewing the work of those who have been in the program. Also, if selected, you'll have a tremendous career building opportunity with mentors ready to help you that week and in the future.  Recognize this as a rare opportunity and prepare accordingly.

Also, we have the expectation that participants will conduct himself/herself as a professional journalist who is highly collaborative, is respectful and eager to learn. Moreover, we will not hesitate to remove anyone (student or mentor) from this project if her/his conduct is unprofessional.  Remember, public media is a small town with most of us two degrees of separation from each other.  Managing your reputation is very important and we work hard to maintain the reputation of this program.

What happens after you apply?

We work as quickly as possible to notify those selected for the program and do so within three or four days after the close of the application window.  Each applicant will get an email from us alerting them to our specific timeline.  We have heard for years that once one applies to a program, that they often don't have any idea when decisions are made.  We try to be as transparent about our selection process as possible.

Where can I find out more about this project and its history?

nextgenerationradio.org

Here are some background articles on the program:

IJNet.org about skill sets we seek

http://ijnet.org/en/blog/digital-skills-every-journalist-needs

Intentionally Accidental via Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/intentionally-accidental-nprs-next-gen-radio-doug-mitchell

Proof of Concept on Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/proofofconcept-nprs-next-generation-radio-2017-doug-mitchell/

 

 

We STRONGLY recommend you closely review our past projects BEFORE deciding to apply.

Finally, you can stay up with us by following #nextgenradio on Twitter and @nextgenradio on Instagram.

You can also watch this video for more information about what we’re looking for:

 

If you have additional questions, you can write us:

nextgenerationradio@gmail.com

Thank you for your interest in Next Generation Radio from NPR and NPR Member Stations.