Open Mic Spotlight: Sue Zizza

NYF’s Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each Spotlight interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

Sue Zizza, Executive Producer/Director/Writer

2018 Grand Jury member, Sue Zizza is the owner of SueMedia Productions, a full-service audio production company based on Long Island in New York. She is an audio producer, director, writer, and sound designer as well as an adjunct member of the Tisch Film School. Sue is also the Program Chair  of the HEAR Now Festival, which helps to celebrate audio fiction productions annually in June. (www.hearnowfestival.org)

For more than 25 years she has been producing award-winning audio drama for public radio and audio-books as well as sound for other entertainment media. Her many productions have earned her numerous Audie, Gracie, Wilbur, Communicator, Ear Phone, NY International Radio, Golden Reel, and many other awards.

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Sue Zizza: I began my career as a freshman really, at then Hofstra College’s student station WVHC. Because of my freshman training, I was hired part-time by local Long Island radio stations. In particular my news work at WHLI really helped me hone my radio writing skills.

Working on air all through college at both student and commercial stations gave me a unique opportunity to study and practice my skills.

New York Festivals: Did you have a mentor, if so how did they help you achieve your career goals?

Sue Zizza: I did have a mentor who helped me as a student explore the many ways radio / audio can uniquely tell a story. From there I worked in a number of the jobs that used radio, but it wasn’t until I started working in public radio that I found my voice as a producer of audio fiction.

New York Festivals: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Sue Zizza: Try it. Give it your best shot. Have fun telling your tales.

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Sue Zizza: Technology in the studio and for the user. These changes led to podcasting which have led to more voices creating content.

New York Festivals: What three words describe you as a content creator?

Sue Zizza: Artistry, Innovation, Fun.

New York Festivals: What creative projects are next for you?

Sue Zizza: Taking a work of non-fiction, a memoir and producing the material in a “fictional” manner — special project and unique opportunity.

New York Festivals: What do you think are the hallmarks of award-winning work?

Sue Zizza: Serving the story being told while using the medium to its fullest to engage the listener.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Awards, please visit:http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ and for information on the 2018 NYF Radio Awards Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/main.php?p=2,7,15

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Open Mic Spotlight: Kim Fox

NYF’s Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each Spotlight interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

Kim Fox

2018 Grand Jury member, Kim Fox is Associate Professor of Practice, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy,The American University in Cairo.

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Kim Fox: In high school I was selected to participate in a program to volunteer once a week at the local radio reading service. I rolled tape on the reel to reel machines of pre-recorded programs and read some announcements.

 

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Kim Fox: Digitization; and it’s good to see terrestrial radio jumping in, but it’s even better to see the podcasting field grow and the opportunities for freelancers in radio to prosper.

New York Festivals: What is the responsibility of journalists in today’s world?

Kim Fox: Be vigilant despite the threats to press freedoms globally; The same tenets as always including seek the truth.

New York Festivals: What program do you wish you created?

Kim Fox: I’m mesmerized by the work of the team at “The Daily.” In particular, the speed at which they turn around the news of the day.

New York Festivals: What is your favorite program that you created and why?

Kim Fox: The Ehky Ya Masr Podcast. The podcast market is filled with talk shows and in some ways the field lacks diverse voices. So I’m making my contribution by creating a narrative nonfiction audio podcast about life in Egypt. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s adding some much needed diversity.

New York Festivals: Whose work do you admire the most?

Kim Fox: I admire the work of my friends who work in public radio both on the local and national level.

 

New York Festivals: What creative projects are next for you?

Kim Fox: Working on establishing an oral history archive for WIZF “The Wiz” to document the station’s 30+ year history because not much exists in terms of archives.

 

New York Festivals: What do you think are the hallmarks of award-winning work?

Kim Fox: For narrative nonfiction audio: The strength of the story, the structure of the narrative, the quality of the audio

New York Festivals: How has podcasting changed the way you create content and are you creating more of this on-demand content?

Kim Fox: It’s not just that podcasting has changed the game, but the technology that allows you to create a podcast from a mobile device in minutes makes the platform accessible for everyone. For me that means, constantly recording audio vignettes and editing on the fly.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream job?

Kim Fox: To travel the world sharing my knowledge about audio and radio and producing audio content along the way. I’m getting there.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Awards, please visit:

 

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Open Mic Spotlight: Lilliana Manna

NYF’s Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each Spotlight interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

Liliana Manna

2018 Grand Jury member, Liliana Manna is a journalist for Radio Rivadavia Argentina. She was the first woman in Argentina radio to be named a writer-broadcaster in the News Service of Radio Belgrano and served as producer on various radio and television programs. Her illustrious career spans 4 decades and Liliana has been honored as one of the 100 personalities of the decade from 1987 to 1997 in the category of Best Producer.

This year, she stepped up to the podium at the 2017 NYF Radio Awards gala to accept the Bronze trophy for “Street Violence: City of Lost Hearts” for Best Human-Interest Story. Throughout her illustrious carer she has earned more than 7 Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies at the New York Festivals International Radio Awards.

(Left to Right) 2017 NYF Radio Awards Bronze trophy winners Liliana Manna and Rosario Lufrano of Radio Rivadavia Argentina

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Liliana Manna: I started in 1974 as Editor-News anchor at LR3 Radio Belgrano in Buenos Aires

New York Festivals: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Liliana Manna: The best advice was given to me by the First Woman Journalist in Argentina who dedicated herself to the production of radio and TV programs. She was called Paloma Efrom (Blackie). She said that journalists should never lose their capacity for wonder and that journalism was a job of 25 hours a day.

Palamo Efrom “Blackie”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Liliana Manna: Undoubtedly digital technological advances have precipitated the media industry to look for new formats and new languages. And I believe that in that vortex imposed by these times, quality has been lost in the content offered. They force us to shortly; to think fast and without much analysis. I think that this aspect must be taken into account when evaluating new proposals.

New York Festivals: What three words describe you as a content creator?

Liliana Manna: Commitment. Knowledge. Creativity.

New York Festivals:What is your favorite program that you created and why?

Liliana Manna: My favorite works are the Documentaries that I produced for different radio stations in the last 20 years. All created with the aim of keeping alive the memory and to substantiate allegations of social problems that seriously affect my country (Corruption, femicide, trafficking in persons, labor slavery, etc).


 

New York Festivals: What do you think are the hallmarks of award-winning work?

Liliana Manna: What I hear, it has to cause the formation of images. And that is achieved with creativity when it comes to illustrating the content that is heard: it is essential that the Producer and the Editor agree on the objective.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream job?

Liliana Manna: Work at the BBC in London or at Cadena SER, in Spain producing documentaries.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Awards, please visit:http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/

 

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Open Mic Spotlight: Diego Cannizzaro

NYF’s Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each Spotlight interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

Diego Cannizzaro

2018 Grand Jury member Diego Cannizzaro is owner and director of DMC STUDIO. He is a multi-award-winning script writer, sound designer, composer and independent radio producer. Since 1995, he has worked at both radio stations and as a radio producer creating an unmistakable style through sound.

In 2017  Diego took home the New York Festivals Grand Trophy for his award-winning entry “Blackout” the story from the POV of a blind individual and his ability to move around the city and enjoy life through sound.

Throughout “Blackout” the hero of the story shares the sonorous beauty of Buenos Aires, something that not everyone can perceive.

 

New York Festivals: How did you get start in the radio industry?

Diego Cannizzaro: My story with the radio connects through my mother. In the year 1987 it was the first time that I get myself in a radio station. She was a producer of a rock radio called Rock and Pop. There on the radio … she spent hours and hours and so do I.

After so many years, between so much music, cassettes and the first Walkmans, the rock and the pop of end of the 80s, the arrival of vinyls from New York, the radios of the world, I decided to study music, sound and radio as well.

Then in the year 1997 approximately I started working as an air technician in different radio stations of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

New York Festivals: What was the turning point in your career?

Diego Cannizzaro: The point was without a doubt, when I decided to produce my own scripts, my own stories. Write them, record them, produce them and edit them and put them on the air.

It was a hard road, I became independent, and I tried to get well know radios to call me to produce the art of their identifying sound.

With effort and creativity, I managed to have my own studio that today finally became DMC STUDIO based in Argentina, where today, it is the production center of all the pieces that we do for local radios as well as for TV, cinema and social media.

New York Festivals: Did you have a mentor, if you so how did they help you achieve your career goals

Diego Cannizzaro: I do have. But in reality it is not just one person. Speaking chronologically, I think I should name Guillermo Garcia and Alberto Chinen, who were sources of inspiration in the early days or my career in the technical area as an air operator. They were the ones who pushed me and encouraged me to go further with just one tool: Sounds.

Then I met Santiago Pont Lezica, radio director who gave me the opportunity to become an artistic editor. Next with the texts and the voice of Jesus Quintero, unconsciously while I was doing a technical work, I developed without realizing a script style that developed and flourished some time later.

Mario Pergolini

Finally, I must name Mario Pergolini, one of the well know of the Argentine radio presenters from 1988 till this days , with whom I worked with him for more than 15 years in different projects mainly in radio, but also in TV, internet and cinema.

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Diego Cannizzaro: Undoubtedly, social networks have impacted on all the economic and creative aspects of all types of projects.

From DMC STUDIO, we adapt and our productions also do it. Producing for radio is not the same as for social media. That affects us in the duration, in the costs even technically, since some platforms reproduce sound in mono or depend on the streaming for the quality of the audio and video. So, we need to put an eye there.

This generates in us a challenge and drives us to create new content with the best possible quality for different social media, or conventional as Radio and TV.

New York Festivals: What three words describe you as a content creator?

Diego Cannizzaro: Dreamer. Obsessive. Sensitive.

New York Festivals: What program do you wish you created?

Diego Cannizzaro: Or the one that I am doing at that moment. Or at this time.
The show that I would like to create, is the one I did not do yet. The one that rests in my imagination. When I’m creating it either at the time of the script, or when I’m recording it, or when I’m composing their music or designing their sound, the show is that show, but once it’s finished, it’s the next one again.

It is a suffocating feeling, but at the same time it is an inner force that drives me to generate more content. I hope that that feeling never ceases to exist.

New York Festivals: What creative projects are next for you?

Diego Cannizzaro

Diego Cannizzaro: This year we are focused on DMC STUDIO, deepen sound production for radio, both technically and artistically.

Personally I have been in the market for several years and I urgently need the radio sound to change. That radically changes and generate a call for attention in each piece that we produce in my studio.

For this we have new equipment and a strict control of the way of seeing and saying things, that is, selecting new words, trying to synthesize ideas as best as possible, giving everything in a new way.

In parallel, I’m also preparing my new sound documentary-podcast, to premiere very soon. While I can not say much about what this new piece is about, what I can say is that I have decided to record in different places of the world for this opportunity.

I have decided to go in search of sounds now more than ever original, because with internet anyone can produce something. I think that at that point technology has made us very passive and lazy. Therefore, if the script that I am writing tells me that we need a sound from Italy, or from Colombia, then we have to go for it to capture it and invite it to be a part.

I continue to defend the originality and the quality of the sound pieces and so that we can have outstanding radio products worthy of being heard and rewarded.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream job?

Diego Cannizzaro: I think my dream job is this same one that I have. I’m lucky.

Every day I realize this and I feel grateful. It is very important for me to do what I do, to work on the radio, to manipulate sounds, to play with the words I find fascinating.

When I write a script, it seems like a dream and with it, I go back to my childhood, I dream again like when I was a kid and they read me stories when going to sleep. Now those stories, I keep telling them in a low voice, for me.

Although it turns out that later, those stories come true. They are played by an actor. Then they have real music and sounds, but of course, they are only real when we play them and listen to them.

I can also say, that I dream of some day working for a radio station, maybe in New York or in Europe or Asia. It would be very interesting for me to develop programs in another environment and culture.

For more information about New York Festivals Radio Program Awards, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/

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Open Mic Spotlight: Havoc Franklin

NYF’s Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

Havoc Franklin

2018 Grand Jury member Havoc Franklin is Radio Manager for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Canada, he brings over 30 years of radio industry experience to the judging panel. Previously he was  director of local program development for CBC Radio and working within the senior radio management group.

 

New York Festivals: What was the turning point in your career?

Havoc Franklin: The turning point in my career happened during the second week in my first job. I was asked to direct the live news/current affairs morning show at my station (having never directed a live show before or for that matter any show before). It was during that week that I realized what I wanted to do and what I felt I could contribute to society. That excitement, that desire to explore, that access to all levels of society and being part of that live entity had and still has an irresistible draw and purpose.

New York Festivals: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Havoc Franklin: Be open to ideas.

New York Festivals: What is the responsibility of journalists in today’s world?

Havoc Franklin: I think that the responsibility of a journalist today is essentially the same as the responsibility of a journalist 50 years ago. True treatments, platforms, complexities, speed, revenue models have changed but at the heart of all good journalism is research, integrity, drive to find out and ability to communicate so that it connects and resonates with audiences. The role and responsibility of a journalist in a democratic society is just as significant today as it was before. That independence, that freedom to ask without fear of repercussion or death is still at the heart of a journalist’s role.

New York Festivals: How has podcasting changed the way you create content and are you creating more of this on-demand content?

Havoc Franklin: Audiences, individuals still have a strong desire to connect to the human voice and ideas, so in that sense podcasting has not changed the underlying intent. What podcasting has changed is opening up treatments, potential to reach niche communities, and access.

The treatments are heard closer to the ear and therefore can open up an even richer audio experience. The content can be heard at any time and reheard with ease and individual choice. The platform has catapulted the relationship of the host, interviewer, speaker to the individual listening to new levels and authenticity.

In the past year or so we have spent more time and effort looking at podcasts for local communities so that has changed how we connect with communities we don’t necessarily connect with in our terrestrial or streaming programming.

I think because of these new podcast treatments and influences of other treatments on line (video)  it has pushed presentation values on our live programming.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream job?

Havoc Franklin: I am in my dream job. I am involved in the work that early in my career I imagined, if I was lucky, I would be a part of.  I work in program and content development for existing and new programs for a public broadcaster. It is positive and forward looking.  I learn from my colleague every day and enjoy the shared atmosphere of intent and collaboration.  The work has challenge, variety and you can see success.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Program Awards, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/

 

 

 

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Open Mic Spotlight: Jeff Kirkwood

Open Mic Spotlight spends a few minutes each week with prominent Grand Jury members from around the globe, each interview shares the insights of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today.

2018 Grand Jury member, Jeff Kirkwood is production manager for BELL Media (formerly CHUM) since July 2002 and is now managing a total of 7 stations including 104.5 CHUMFM, 999fm-Virgin Radio, Newstalk1010, TSN 1050/Country105/Energy997/919 BOBFM.

Jeff started his tenure at CHUM in Toronto on October 12, 1985 as an on-air producer. By March of 1989 he was promoted to commercial producer.

Throughout his career he has racked up numerous major awards including a total of 14 from New York Festivals (including 2 Gold and 2 Grand Awards), 2 IBA awards (including 1 Gold) and a Gold Award from the Crystal Awards here in Canada.

 

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Jeff Kirkwood: I started in radio while in grade 12 in 1982. I took a co-op course that placed students at different “agencies” around town based on the student’s top 3 selections from available placements. I really wanted to be a TV cameraman, so I applied at the local cable station. My second choice was the local radio station and I honestly don’t remember my third choice. The TV station was only accepting 2 students and 13 applied.  I was told in my interview I “wasn’t the media type”. I still don’t know what that means, and she couldn’t give me an answer “I know it when I see it and you aren’t it” I was told. What a great confidence boost to a 17-year-old (there’s that sarcasm again). When I interviewed at the radio station I was one of only 2 students that applied, and I got the “gig” because I had a car and the other student didn’t. The concern was the nearest bus stop was a considerable distance and they needed to know for sure that the student would show up every day. My first day was October 1, 1982 and was actually hired as a paid employee in January of 1983.

New York Festivals: What was the turning point in your career?

Jeff Kirkwood: After 3 years at the small radio station I started at and applying to bigger stations for 2 ½ of those years, I was hired at 1050 CHUM in Toronto. That started my career path to becoming a real producer. CHUM knew my goal was to work on commercials (and eventually promos and station imaging) and they pointed my duties in that direction. I was promoted to commercial producer in 1989 and never looked back. In 1997 I was made Imaging Producer for CHUMFM and eventually Production Manager in 2002.

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Jeff Kirkwood: The single biggest change I’ve seen has been the changes in CRTC regulation allowing multiple ownership in individual markets. Put it this way: in 1985 I was hired to work at 1 radio station, 1050CHUM. When I became a commercial producer, I worked for 2 stations, 1050CHUM and CHUMFM. I’m now the Production Manager of 7 stations and 3 of them are in markets 2 hours away. And that may very well change within the next little while to include as many as 4 additional stations.

New York Festivals: What do you think are the hallmarks of award-winning work?

Jeff Kirkwood: To win awards, first and foremost the work must be relatable to the audience. If they don’t get it or don’t care, then it’s over. Obviously, it must be well-produced, well-written, well edited, top-notch voice talent, make smart music choices and it must be memorable. If listeners don’t remember the message, then what’s the point. Using studio gimmicks for the sake of using them makes no sense to me. As a producer your job is to ensure you are serving the client or program to the best of your ability.

For more information on New York Festivals Radio Program Awards, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/.

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Open Mic Spotlight: Rania Adam Awada

 

Each week Open Mic Spotlight taps into the minds of content creators from the wonderful world of radio.

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today. This week Open Mic shares the insights of Grand Jury member and 2017 NYF Radio Award winner Rania Adam Awada, Journalist/Broadcaster with Radio Sawa.

Rani Adam Awada

Rania earned a Gold Trophy in June 2017 at the New York Festivals Radio Gala for her program “Syrian Woman Resists ISIS” which told the story of women in Deir Ezzor who stood up to ISIS and fought for the children after their city was invaded. The Gold trophy-winning report “Syrian Women Resist ISIS” was named the best Information/Documentary report in the category honoring heroes.

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Rania Adam Awada: Twenty years ago, I started as an intern in local radio in Lebanon, where I learned the basics and gained experience. I enhanced my expertise when I moved to Dubai to work as a News room deputy director until I came to the US in 2008 to join Radio Sawa. At Sawa, I was able to make significant interviews and stories one of which won us the Gold at The New York Festivals in 2017. And now, I am honored to serve as a Juror at the same festival that recognized my work as a creative journalist.

Rania Adam Awada

New York Festivals: What was the turning point in your career?

Rania Adam Awada: Joining Radio Sawa was a major turning point in my life. I was exposed to a new life: socially and in professionally. Working in a diverse, open and free environment with people from all over the world enriched and still does my experience and knowledge to no end.

New York Festivals: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Rania Adam Awada: “Words have power”..a quote I read once and guided me in my journalistic endeavors. Choosing simple but meaningful words reaches audiences. “Words” possess a powerful force that can leave a mark on listeners: Good or Bad. But the best advice I received and guided my work: “don’t be biased and above all keep ethics in the practice of Journalism.

New York Festivals: What is your favorite program that you created and why?

Rania Adam Awada: “Sawa Magazine”, was the best show I have ever worked on. I was lucky to join the team whose work gave voice to the voiceless from all over the Arab world as we told their stories of suffering, and the yearning deep down inside all of us to succeed and achieve. We cover many fields, but our main mission is to reach the young, a neglected group of people in the Middle East, and their humanitarian needs.

Stay tuned, New York Festivals will soon announce the 2018 Radio Awards Finalists, for more information, or to enter please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/

 

 

 

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Open Mic Spotlight: Abhishek Sharma

New York Festivals International Radio Awards Open Mic Spotlight Interview offers insights into the brilliant careers of radio content creators from around the globe.

NYF’s Grand Jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content heard on radio today. This esteemed jury of prominent execs will determine 2018’s World’s Best Radio Programs.

Abhishek Sharma

Grand Jury member Abhishek Sharma is Program Director for India’s Radio City
91.1 FM. His audio career spans over a decade with experience working with popular Indian radio brands like  Radio City and Radio Mantra. Abhishek’s work for radio has been recognized and awarded by the most prestigious awards forums in India and abroad. His work has been awarded at numerous award competitions including New York Festivals, India Radio Forum, Golden Mikes, ACEF and Radio Duniya awards.

Throughout his career Abhishek has hosted and executed campaigns including Shukriya Soldier which was broadcast in USA, India, New Zealand, Australia and UAE and Dil Deke Dekho, one of the most appreciated and awarded campaigns of 2015-2016.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Abhishek Sharma: Radio is under a transformation phase even right now, or rather I should say that it has moved ahead from being just about radio. With the rise of social media, its impact on the target group of each broadcaster has grown massively. Fortunately broadcasters around the globe have realized its potential and today radio content is processed in such a manner that it can be podcasted with a semi professional video on social media as well. Radio stations have verified twitter, insta and FB handles with fans requesting their music, chatting with the RJs and participating in polls. The RJs have moved on from being just “pleasant chatters on radio” to self opinionated superstars on digital media. Needless to say bringing about a revolution in terms of content, music is much easier than it was ever.

New York Festivals: Is there a revolution going on today in radio content?

Abhishek Sharma: As far Indian radio is concerned I think we do need a content revolution. On comparing radio storytelling with cinema we see that new avenues/ genres are seldom tried via broadcasters. 90% of radio content in India still relies upon humor. I would not say that we don’t do meaning full radio but the core or route generally remains humour. Whereas cinema on the other hand has always been experimenting genres like action, politics, war, drama, sex, even disgust. I think with more and more exposure to the world media and internet broadcasters will actively do stuff that is revolutionary in nature.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

Abhishek Sharma: I would love to be a part of a show that influences people not just in India but across the globe. A show that knows no boundaries, can helps people connect with loved ones in different corners of the world, take music and cultures from one part of the world to another.

New York Festivals:Audio landscapes, theatre of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Abhishek Sharma: Imagination and theater of mind do differentiate/ provide an edge to radio from all other mediums like television or even films. The pictures built are more beautiful and relevant. A war scene is as deadlier that a budgeted set for a TV series of film, it’s relevant to me because it’s a zone that I had created as per my imagination. A drama series on radio is more like reading a book where the story unfolds layer by layer but the edge remains the audio landscape that makes it more and more believable and relevant.

For more information New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards, please visit:http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio

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Open Mic Spotlight: Judith Kampfner

New York Festivals International Radio Awards Open Mic Spotlight Interview offers insights into the brilliant careers of radio content creators from around the globe. NYF’s Grand Jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content heard on radio today.

Grand Jury member, Judith Kampfner is Director of Corporation for Independent Media in New York. She has been making dramas and documentaries solely for the BBC since 2005. Before that Judith was senior arts producer at WNYC and involved in establishing the pilot era of Studio 360. She is currently working on several podcast projects simultaneously while making 3 contemporary audio plays for the BBC as well as music and archive programs. In the last 5 years she’s been writing radio plays and loves working with new writers and radio makers.

New York Festivals: What was the turning point in your career?

Judith Kampfner: I was living in NY and working at WNYC as an arts producer. I saw a brilliant man doing a one -person show in a theater and asked if I could bring him into the studio to adapt it for radio. The station didn’t broadcast it because they felt that 60 minutes was too long. So I sent it on a whim to the Commissioner of Drama at BBC Radio 4. I got a call back saying they had a sudden hole in the schedule and wanted to put it on. After that they encouraged me to form my own independent company. I went back to London for 5 years to learn about all the administrative labyrinthine processes of registering with them as an indie and learning about how to pitch, deal with constant rejections, lobbying with the Radio Independents Group and delivering programs – dramas and documentaries. It was a kind of bureaucracy that ironically was also very freeing. Once a show is commissioned it is yours to develop. And thinking up the ideas is something I find takes me down fascinating rabbit holes.

New York Festivals: Did you have a mentor, if so how did they help you achieve your career goals?

Judith Kampfner: I had a mentor at BBC World Service. The first time he was my editor/producer was terrifying. I showed him my script, played the tape and then there was silence. He broke the silence with the cryptic  “What was all that about then?” I was devastated as I had been to Prague and collected difficult material and thought my premise  – linking Czech politics after the Velvet Revolution to the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas was original. He made me go back and do fresh interviews but then he really put time and effort and enthusiasm into reworking it with me. His tough perfectionism was something I internalized. He still corresponds with me and listens to my work and is my fiercest critic but he listens more carefully than anyone I know!

Velvet Revolution

New York Festivals: Whose work do you admire the most?

Judith Kampfner: I admire foreign correspondents. They have so much energy and bold resolve as they go again and again into new territories, new situations, try to cover news that hasn’t been covered, wear protective gear in dangerous situations and manage to sound calm. They have a to go bag permanently packed; they build up wonderful relationships with fixers and interpreters. I admire them but could not do it.

New York Festivals: What creative projects are next for you?

Judith Kampfner: I am developing podcast projects with different teams – fiction and non-fiction and it is hugely exciting. There’s so much to learn about this industry, which already is very adept at monetizing, marketing and recruiting new talent. I’ve been told there are 45,000 podcasts out there but only 4,500 get regularly listened to. That’s a huge challenge. It’s so different from working within the culture of one broadcaster. But I think having had my own company helps. It’s a different kind of pitching but the principle is the same and I feel that having being trained by great people is a plus though I am eager to learn new attitudes, approaches and work much more with American teams now.

For more information New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards, please visit:http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio

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Open Mic Spotlight: Angie Man

 

New York Festivals International Radio Awards jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative content on radio today. Each week Open Mic Spotlight taps into the minds of content creators from the wonderful world of radio. Who better to share their insiders view of radio then the Radio Awards Grand Jury?

Angie Man

Angie Man is a Multimedia Editor of Radio 3, Radio Television Hong Kong. Previously she was a journalist for local Chinese newspapers and worked for different online platforms. In 2008, she joined RTHK and has worked as producer and web content editor.  Angie also has managed several RTHK online projects like Bookmarks, Teen Time, Hong Kong’s Top Story etc.

New York Festivals: How did you get your start in the radio industry?

Angie Man: Originally, I was a journalist for Chinese newspapers. But in 1990s I was so attracted by the blooming development of internet world so I changed my job as a web editor. In 2008, there was an opening for a multimedia editor of Radio 3, RTHK. Though I had no experiences in radio, I gave it a go as I wanted to see how my profession on web content development and traditional newspaper experiences could adapt and be helpful to radio industry and audio content. I was lucky to get the job and have been finding the job very challenging and interesting every day from then on.

New York Festivals: What was the turning point in your career?

Angie Man: Definitely was the career change from working traditional media (i.e. Newspaper) to online media(web). From then on, the stories telling or projects would not have been delivered just one to one, as there are interactions with your readers and users; not only locally but globally as it can be more accessible via the internet; and  without time limit as stories can be posted whenever they are available. And it’s amazing to find that the stories can be presented not just in text and pictures, but audio, video with production of info graphics, animations and special design.

New York Festivals: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Angie Man: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to

change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. By Reinhold Niebuhr

New York Festivals: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry?

Angie Man: Yes, there are. First of all, the importance of social media; secondly, the new trend of “Radio on the move”. Radio industry is not old-fashioned. It has evolved with social media. Broadcasters use Facebook, twitter, Instagram and weibo to interact with our users, engage them and at the end publicize our works on different social media platforms. It has really become important part of our radio presenters/producers’ routines to work on social media platforms. It’s important for us to keep on active and engaging in those social media as because they are where current and potential audiences are. Secondly, the latest trend – “Radio on the movie” is largely due to the popularity of smartphones. Radio audiences are now turning to mobile devices to access to radio when they want it and where they want it.  We must continue to adapt to be like“liquid”, which means more flexible and adaptable to change. To begin with, we need to ask ourselves where our audiences are. We all should keep learning and look for trends, and value staff who see the big picture.

What three words describe you as a content creator?

Angie Man: Authentic, Flexible and Creative.

For more information New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards, please visit:http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio

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