NPR awards $10,000 to audio projects

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NPR is providing financial and editorial support to two pilots of audio projects developed by outside producers through an incubation initiative.

The two projects were chosen from the Story Lab Workshop, which brings 10 teams of producers to NPR headquarters for three days to develop ideas for audio projects. The two teams chosen will each receive $10,000 and further assistance from NPR on developing their projects.

A team from Alaska Public Radio is one of the recipients for its podcast Midnight Oil. The podcast explores how the Trans-Alaska pipeline has affected the state. It is produced by Elizabeth Harball, Rashah McChesney and Rachel Waldholz, who work on the CPB-funded collaborative Alaska’s Energy Desk. The podcast’s first episode will be released Tuesday.

The second project, “Inter(Nation)al,” is described by NPR as a “multiplatform series” in early stages of development that will tell “the story of America’s past and present through the lens of treaties between Native Americans and the U.S. government,” according to a press release. It is being developed by the independent production team of Allison Herrera, Josephine Holtzman and Isaac Kestenbaum.

The two teams are working with NPR Story Lab Senior Producer Michael May to get their content on NPR’s newsmagazines.

NPR has now funded five projects — and found a new underwriting voice — through the Story Lab Workshop. It funded three podcasts last year after its first Story Lab Workshop.

“We’re thrilled to be supporting talented storytellers and journalists in creating original work that will benefit local communities and also contribute important stories to our national news programs,” Anya Grundmann, NPR VP for programming and audience development, said in the release.

NPR plans to hold a third Story Lab Workshop next spring.