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Jul. 8th, 2008

YouthCast has a New Home

YouthCast has packed its bags and moved to a new home: http://youthcast.org

Come visit!  You'll find even more news, links and fascinating stories from the world of youth-produced radio.


Jul. 2nd, 2008

A Unique Sound

What Intrigues YOU?

Jones Franzel sent me an email the other day; she wrote: "Wanted to send you this review of YouthCast on the Sound of Young America..."  I decided to check it out.  It's a post "Podthoughts" by Colin Marshall about podcasts offered on alt.NPR.  In the post, Colin talks about YouthCast.  Here's a quote: The neat thing is that the pieces are made by high-school- or college-age producers. The less neat thing is that I once again find myself having to break out the term "This American Life-y", which I apply to a regrettably high number of shows.

That made me think...how can we differentiate our style? I have much respect for Ira Glass, but I'm also an advocate for uniqueness. So, what do you think about our podcasts?

Please feel free to share your "Podthoughts!"

Telly (Chantel)

Jun. 27th, 2008

A Marriage of Convenience

Lauren FitzPatrick (Northwestern University) of NPR's Next Generation Radio reports that even if gay marriage becomes legal throughout the United States, not all couples will be able to rush down the aisle. Islam bans homosexual marriages, but some are finding ways around the ban.

(Listen to "Gay Muslims")

Jun. 18th, 2008


A couple days ago, I was looking through pictures of my high school graduation and I came across the speech I made. I quoted from Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go! That got me thinking - I wonder if any of my classmates remember that speech. What makes a speech memorable, interesting, challenging, life-changing?

What do you remember most about graduation - rehearsal, signing yearbooks on the last day, parties, speeches, or hearing that infamous question, "So, what's next?"

I'm curious. Post your thoughts!

Telly (Chantel)

Jun. 12th, 2008

"Did He Stay or Go (To the Prom)?"

An Interview with David Barber-Callaghan

Q:   So, did you end up going to the prom?
A:   Yes, I actually did get my act together and go to prom.

Q:   Did you enjoy yourself?
A:   I did enjoy my time at prom, although I was disappointed by the entire event.  I had prepared myself for some bad music, but the D.J.'s ineptitude exceeded my expectations.  The actual songs were not necessarily to my liking, but this was overshadowed by the D.J.'s tendency to play with the songs' tempos at random.  This made dancing really difficult.

Q:   What was the best part?
A:   The best of prom was spending time with some friends that I have made over the past four years at high school.  Reflecting on the experience as a whole, the strongest memories I have of the night are those of brief moments when I connected with friends.  I can remember teasing a friend and making her laugh, shaking a childhood friend's hand, dancing with my date, and other such interactions.  These are the portions of that evening that I will smile at when I recall them in years to come.

Q:   What was the worst?
A:   The worst part of prom was the definitely location.  The dance floor was minuscule!  It might have been thirty feet by twenty feet.  I think that about 200 kids showed up, so it was absolutely choked.  Of course, this can be blamed on my school's lack of initiative in booking a proper location, which nearly ruined the event.

Q:   What did you do the day of the prom?
A:   I left my house at 4:30, met my friends, went out for dinner (which was a blast!), arrived at 7:30, and left prom at 11:30.  So, I guess I was there for four hours.

Q:   Did you take a date?
A:   Yes, and I'm glad that I did. We went as "friends."  It was all very casual, but it was also really nice to be there with someone.  I asked her at lunch a few days beforehand, and, luckily, she wasn't spoken for!  If you listen carefully, you can hear her a few times in the piece.  She's the girl whose dress cost about $100.  This is the dress she's wearing in the photo.

Q:   Did you go to any after parties?
A:   Yes, I went to my date's after party.  It was extremely fun. Unbeknownst to me, it seems as though you don't have to go to prom to go to the after parties as one of the party-goers did not attend prom.  I was glad that she  was there though because she's a close friend.  All considered, I'm glad that I went to prom and got the opportunity to hang out with some of my best friends from high school.

Q:   If others are struggling with this decision, what would be your advice?
A:   My decision only became clear as I worked on this feature and tried to assess the reasons for my feelings towards prom.  Here's how I see it: if you're going to dance, hang out with your friends, or to just generally have fun, go!  As long as your friends are going to be with you, you will have fun.  If you just want to go because you are afraid of missing out on the "prom experience," don't worry.  If you boil away all of the pomp and circumstance, it's just a high school dance.  If this isn't your scene, throw an anti-prom party with your friends and you will never regret it.

Jun. 11th, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go (To the Prom)?

"Are you going to go to prom?"


David Barber-Callaghan of Blunt Youth Radio Project wrestles with the question.
 We're trying to catch up with him to find out his decision. We'll post the interview soon.  We also want to know your thoughts about prom.  Did you go?  Are you planning to?  Why or why not? 
Post your comments!

(Listen to "Should I Stay or Should I Go (To the Prom)?")

( intro & outro music: "Life of the Party" by Jackson 5)

Jun. 4th, 2008

Political Running Mates

Image by dcJohn

Okay, I’m switching the gears to Politics this week. Just in case you’ve been out of the loop: last night Sen. Barack Obama won the Democratic presidential nomination. Now it’s back to the talk of the town, will there be an Obama-Clinton ticket? In a conference call with the New York congressional delegation, Sen. Hilary Clinton said she was “open to it.” 

I don’t know about you, but I’m just not feeling an O-C ticket. For a while I’ve been talking about an O-E ticket, Obama & Sen. John Edwards for the Democratic Party. And who will be Sen. John McCain’s running mate for the Republican Party?

What do you think? Post your thoughts!

Telly (Chantel)

May. 29th, 2008

Into A Million Pieces

                "How does a parent cope with losing a child?"


Rebecca Starr of Youth Radio Vermont interviews John Halligan about how he copes with the loss of his son.

(Listen to "Into A Million Pieces")

May. 28th, 2008

A Conversation With Producer Rebecca Starr


I have learned to embrace curiosity, never be afraid to ask a question, but most of all to listen, because everyone, no matter how young or old, has some story, some incredible story that belongs to only them. And only through asking, through being overly curious, can you truly listen, and learn.

Q.   How did you get involved in radio, and are you still producing?
I got involved in radio because Erica Heilman came and presented at our school. She showed us some really cool samples and it seemed like a new, fun thing to do. I still produce on and off. I just finished a piece for my Hebrew school, where 10-12 year olds collected an oral history of senior members of the Jewish community- it was pretty cool!

Q.   What motivated you to do an interview with John Halligan?
A.   I had heard John Halligan speak at my school, and was extremely moved, not only by his words and the story of his son, but by the incredible strength he showed in talking about such an enormous pain in his life.  Walking away from his presentation, I became extremely driven to know more about him, about his experiences as a father.
Q.   How did you prepare?
A.   I worked very closely with my friend and mentor Erica Heilman to create good, strong questions that would inspire meaningful answers. Together, we went through several practice interviews to get more into the flow of an interview.

Q.   Where did you interview Mr. Halligan?
A.   I interviewed John in Erica's living room, in a calm, quiet space where both of us were comfortable, and not distracted.
Q.   Had you met him previously?
A.   No, I had only seen John from his presentation and read about the story of his son in the local paper.

Q.   What were the challenges you faced when doing this interview?
A.   The topic that I was dealing with was very emotional, and heavy, and, (luckily) having never experienced such pain, I was really stepping into unknown territory. Similarly, also never having dealt with loss I had no clue what to ask: what would be overstepping the line, what would be insensitive, if there would be something about his son I would mention that would be too much.

Q.   Are there any questions you wished you had asked?
A.   I actually think I covered the bases pretty well, but there are always one, two, or twenty questions I could've asked to extend his answers. It would be interesting to ask him what he thought his son would be like now, but that question could lead in a trillion places, and inspire even more questions!
Q.   Would you like to share anything you learned from this experience?
A.   KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS! I have learned to embrace curiosity, never be afraid to ask a question, but most of all to listen, because everyone, no matter how young or old, has some story, some incredible story that belongs to only them. And only through asking, through being overly curious, can you truly listen, and learn.
On a more personal, and particular note, I have learned infinite amounts from John Halligan. I have learned the true meaning of strength, and what it truly means to lose. I hope everyone that listens to this piece, will take the time to hear John's words, and learn from his, and Ryan's story.

To learn more about Ryan's story, please visit: http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org

May. 22nd, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is coming up....How do you spend the day? Do you pause for a moment of silence? Spend time with family? Volunteer? Rest? 

I'm on my way to NJ this weekend to visit family. My dad, who served in the Navy, will sometimes recount stories of his days in the service, as we grill outside. During the day, I usually take a moment of silence and say a prayer for those who served and are serving in the military. This Monday, not only will I do that, but I will reflect on the ways in which I can better serve my country, starting with my community. 

Any suggestions? Feel free to post comments! 

And listen to Memorial Day pieces on PRX at:

Telly (Chantel)

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