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It seeks to develop new radio programming for Latino audiences. Photo: Pixabay.

“Oye”, a new lab for Latino content creators

This new initiative to support Latino creatives is the result of the merger between NPR and LAist Studios in California.

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National Public Radio (NPR), in partnership with LAist Studios, joined forces to launch “Oye: The Lab for Latinx Creators,” a talent accelerator that will serve as a bridge to connect fresh ideas of this population with important audio firms.

“Over the course of this six-week, virtual lab, NPR and LAist Studios will work with a small cohort of finalists from across the country to develop new programming for Latinx + Latino/a/e communities and beyond. We’re aiming to kick off the lab in mid-July 2022,” it is pointed out in the initiative description.

What does “Oye” offer?

The attendees of this creative laboratory will have access to training sessions and resources to develop pilot presentations aimed at a small audience, as well as financial support to cover the production of the project and the time dedicated to it.

“Oye and our partnership with LAist Studios will allow us to elevate Latinx voices by providing resources and offering training to early-career creators. We're thrilled to have this new programming join Alt Latino and Radio Ambulante and increase our offering for Latinx audiences,” said Yolanda Sangweni, Senior Director of Programming at NPR.

From “Oye” these three structural axes of the laboratory stand out:

  • Training: Sessions will be held with leaders from NPR and LAist Studios on podcasting and audio reporting. Finalists will also be mentored on how to refine their pitch, distill it into a clear and compelling overview of the season, and brainstorm story ideas for future episodes.
  • Resources: Production and editing support will be provided by the creative team at NPR and LAist Studios, as well as access to recording equipment and monetary support for $2,500 to cover individual time spent producing the pilot.
  • Opportunity: The commitment to collaborate with at least one creator is highlighted for further development opportunities after the completion of the lab.

“Good ideas need space and tools so they can get produced -- that is exactly what Oye is for. Oye will be the place to go from blueprint to launch, with the full support of the best professionals in audio storytelling,” noted Antonia Cerejido, Executive Producer at LAist Studios. 

Ceredijo also pointed:

LAist Studios pledged that 100% of our shows will be either hosted/produced and/or staffed by creators of underrepresented communities. We have a track record of successful shows with Latinx creators like California Love, Wild, Yeah No I'm not ok, Norco 80 and the upcoming Lost Revolutionary and Human/Nature.

Who can apply?

This refreshing project is especially geared toward creators, storytellers, and subject matter experts in the Latino community who have identified a tone for an audio project that “will resonate with Latinx listeners and beyond.” 

The invitation is for everyone who has the skills to identify a brilliant idea, create good stories and maintain fluid conversations, to be part of this initiative that offers more and better original content to Hispanic communities.

“Through Oye, we aim to bring together Latinx creatives who can reflect their lived experience and their communities in a way that feels authentic to them,” highlighted Lauren Gonzalez, Senior Manager of Content Development at NPR.

About NPR

National Public Radio is a network of award-winning journalists with 17 international bureaus. Its mission is based on offering, through its local member stations, a deeper understanding of events, ideas and cultures.

NPR is also one of the top podcast publishers as ranked by Podtrac, with five shows on their top 20 list.

About Southern California Public Radio (SCPR)

Southern California Public Radio is a multi-platform public media organization that has earned more than 500 journalistic honors since 1999. Recognized as a national leader in public service journalism and civic engagement, SCPR's flagship radio station, 89.3 KPCC-FM, comes to over 900,000 listeners each week as the most listened  public radio news service in all of Southern California.

For its part, LAist is a digital news site with detailed information about life in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Its award-winning work reaches more than seven million people per month, and in 2019, the brand grew to include LAist Studios, a studio dedicated to the development and production of podcasts.

“The Latinx community is the heart and soul of Southern California, and the backbone of LAist Studios content creation and audience engagement strategy. As a Latino I’m proud to lead an organization that’s so committed to telling the stories of us and support Latinx creators at every stage of their career,” underlined Herb Scannell, CEO and President of Southern California Public Radio.

For more information about this program and access registration click here.

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