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Playlist: News Station Picks for April

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/38917708@N00/448177571/">miyukiutada</a>
Image by: miyukiutada 
Curated Playlist

Here are the April picks for news stations from new PRX News Format Curator Naomi Starobin.

Naomi is the news director at WSHU Public Radio in Connecticut and a board member of PRNDI. Public radio is her second career — she came armed with experience in environmental science and engineering, and teaching. There was also a stint as a ranger with the National Park Service. She has an MS in journalism from Columbia University. Just after graduating, she was a factchecker at Consumer Reports, which has forever made her love the truth.

What Naomi listens for in a piece:

"It can be about anything, it can be short or long or in between, it can have one voice or many. It will not be boring or repetitive. It will slice through, right to the ears and the brain, in terms of both audio and ideas. Take me somewhere I can’t get to on my own...into someone’s world, into an understanding that surprises me."

Nominate a piece for Naomi to consider.

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Here are the April picks for news stations from new PRX News Format Curator Naomi Starobin.

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Teacher Crush Vox

From Curie Youth Radio | 02:17

The students at Curie Youth Radio, a workshop at Curie High School on Chicago's Southwest Side, put together this refreshing little collection. No heavy interpretation, just the raw thoughts of students about their teacher crushes

It would go nicely with a more structured or serious newsy feature to fill out a Morning Edition or All Things Considered segment.

Images_small A vox that works for National Teacher Day, Valentine's Day, or maybe a day close to graduation.  This is a light hearted collection of student voices waxing poetic about teacher crushes. 

Worldwide, Girls' Soccer Goes Beyond the Field

From Lisa Matuska | 03:28

This piece, from Chicago Public Radio freelancer Lisa Matuska, captures one girl's dreams about playing soccer, but also illuminates what many Americans take for granted — that girls have lots of opportunities to play.

Like most public radio sports stories, it's about more than the game, of course. Run it when you want something about youth leadership, progress in less-developed countries, female empowerment. Or, simply, at the beginning of kids' soccer season!

Img_0247_small Usually summer is a down time for youth soccer but out in Oak Brook recently, a sports icon held an intense soccer camp. About 60 teen girls attended Julie Foudy's Sports Leadership Academy. Many of these girls want to become pros but that's not what the camp's about. It's about carrying the sport they love-soccer-and the skills they gain from it, throughout their lives. But a few young women came to the camp from Morocco and Afghanistan where they have little chance of even continuing to play soccer as adults. Lisa Matuska spent some time at the camp to see how one Moroccan girl is challenging the conventional idea of women's soccer in her country.  

Hope Spot

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 05:45

This piece about a female wrestler is beautifully produced and delves into her thoughts and motivation while bringing us the sounds from the dramatic matches. Notice the contrast between her very thoughtful descriptions of what her wrestling identity means to her and the grunts and thuds from the ring.

It comes from the fine and talented students of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Students from around the world spend 15 weeks there working on documentaries..."responsible storytelling," as the school puts it.

Default-piece-image-0 It won't make her famous, but it's something that helps her become the person she wants to be.

Writing, War and Fictitious Creatures

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 06:27

A first-person piece that reveals how writing helps this veteran deal with his feelings. His thoughts unfold slowly and carefully.

A few sentences will be hard for your listeners to forget: "I was a normal person exposed to abnormal conditions," "I'm a thinker, not a feeler," and "you have to trust this 18-year-old kid to shoot over your head versus shoot the back of the head."

This was produced by Sarah Wilson while she was at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Default-piece-image-2 Brad returned to Maine after serving as a Marine in Okinawa and Iraq.  He tells the story of why he writes psychological thrillers and horror.

The Bakers of Butter Lane

From Eric Winick | 08:20

A look at how the entrepreneurial vision of three women worked, in "this economy." It's light in tone, smart, informative and New-Yorky. Lots of lessons for your listeners about making dreams come true and seizing the moment.

The feature is by independent reporter/producer Eric Winick, founder of Yarn AudioWorks. He mingles in some Django Reinhardt and Pink Martini to make it all quite...delicious.

Three vets of the corporate world are banking on the cupcake as today's luxury item of choice, and that the secret to building a better confection lies somewhere between traditional Southern baking and the stylish sophistication all New Yorkers secretly crave.

Featuring the voices of Maria Baugh, Linda Lea, and Pamela Nelson. 

Butter Lane is located at 123 East 7th Street in New York's East Village.  For more information, click here.

From the files of Yarn AudioWorks.

Growing the Green Collar Economy

From A World of Possibilities | 55:00

Double interview with the optimistic theme of growing the green economy as a "win-win." These two people are worth getting to know:

Environmental activist Majora Carter's energy and enthusiasm come through nicely, as she takes the listener through her childhood, where the seeds of her environmentalism started, to her adult professional activities.

Van Jones is founding president of Green For All and a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress. And he's the author of "The Green Collar Economy." His take on the green economy is thoughtful and approachable, and there's a warm tone in his answers.

This piece is current and your listeners will come away from it educated, buoyed, and maybe even delighted that they can hear about environmental concerns without a doomsday sort of overtone.

Green_collar_small In hard times most of us are grateful for any job, but as we face increasing unemployment, poverty, and climate change, the Obama administration proposes to put thousands of Americans to work insulating homes and public buildings, installing solar panels, and reclaiming industrial wastelands. Majora Carter and Van Jones have helped place green collar jobs near the top of the national agenda.