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NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project is coming to Florida, offering college students and recent graduates an immersive experience in pitching, producing and publishing a multimedia story.
Next Generation Radio is a way to give competitively selected participants the opportunity to learn how to report, remotely, and produce their own non-narrated audio piece and multimedia story, said Doug Mitchell, founder and director of Next Generation Radio.
The handful of students chosen for the project get an intense dose of journalism, but are paired the entire time with a professional journalist who serves as their mentor, Mitchell said.
“This is a boot camp. This is where we throw you in, and we see what you can do. And you have to do it in five days,” he said.
In the past 20 years, NPR’s Next Generation has selected and trained 274 students, former students and early career professionals, of which 72% are women, and about 60% are women of color. Many are working as professional journalists – including many in public media.
Nelly Ontiveros was a student at Valencia College in Orlando when she was selected for a bootcamp in 2019. She had written some stories for a newspaper, but never tried audio storytelling before.
“I think it’s a great opportunity because it teaches you so many things that maybe you’re not open to because you have your mind already said that you want to do print, or maybe you want to do television,” she said. “But what are you to realize is that it opens the door for you.”
Ontiveros, now a journalism student at the UCF, said the experience was key in her getting an internship as a podcast producer.
“For future students are considering this program definitely apply. Because it’s something that you’re going to learn so much, not only about radio, but you learn about writing story concisely, you write a you learn about…pitching a story, you learn about working in a newsroom, working with editors,” she said.