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Playlist: News Station Picks for October

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/stitch/">Jimmy Hilario</a>
Image by: Jimmy Hilario 
Curated Playlist

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

A note from Naomi about this month's picks:

"This month's picks have a theme: words. 'Words?!' you say? I'm talking about pieces about words...the funny sounding ones, the curses, the ones we heard as a kid but still don't understand, the challenges in translating, and how culture defines the words we use."

Learn about what Naomi listens for in news programming or nominate a piece for Naomi to consider.

Stuck on a Word

From Patricia Priest | 03:31

This commentary comes from independent producer Patricia Priest of Athens, Georgia. A perfectly polite sounding woman, Priest is a self-described "good Southern girl," but can't seem to stop herself from cursing, literally, at the ills of society. Your listeners are asked to share her outrage by cursing along with her. Could be whiny, but it's a little too fun for that.

Default-piece-image-2 This humorous essay addresses the pleasures of cursing that counterbalance the helplessness felt when the news is increasingly infuriating and enervating. This unusual essay incorporates an interactive component as the commentator asks listeners to curse along with her in a kind of shared litany when various culprits in the news are discussed. The curse word is bleeped out and so is never revealed, allowing each person to uniquely express themselves in a light-hearted way. This piece aired on the local NPR affiliate in Athens, Georgia in January 2004.

He'll Always Get the Last Word In

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 05:31

Paul DiMatteo is the last in a long line of gravestone carvers. This is about the words and images he puts on gravestones. It's mostly his reflection on what he does, and the narrator describing the details. The feel is intimate. It would fit nicely in a magazine segment, paired with something related or standing on its own.

This comes from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, by producer Dan Gordon.

P.S. Gotta love the name of this piece: "He'll Always Get the Last Word In."

Default-piece-image-0 In 1919 his grandfather founded Maine Memorial Company in South Portland and the business has been in the family ever since.  Paul used to be a banker, and both he and his father never had any desire for him to take over the business.  But eventually Paul decided he needed a change and left the banking world behind to pick up his tools and begin carving.  Today he sees himself as an artist, transforming people’s memories of their loved ones into portraits on stone. 

The "N" Word: It Represents Hatred

From Radio Rookies | 06:28

Wow...an inside look at why the "N" word is used and not used, from a teen Rookie Reporter Veralyn Williams. It's thoughtful and brings in the voices of a few people around her. She's got good access to the varying opinions in her community. And Williams herself is open about her reaction to the opinions she gathers. Really nice piece by a young reporter.

This one of the many great pieces coming out of Radio Rookies in New York City.

Veralynwilliamseditsmall_small The racist tirade by comedian and "Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards has once again sparked a debate over the N-word, especially among black people. Reverend Jesse Jackson is calling for a complete ban of the word. Comedian Damon Wayans was fined several hundred dollars after using the word more than 15 times in a recent performance. He told the audience "I'll be damned if the white man uses that word last." Rookie Reporter Veralyn Williams first began questioning the use of the N-word when she started studying African American history in college. She filed this report?but first a language note for listeners: the N-word is said several times throughout the story:

THE PLEASURES OF INTERPRETING: An interview with Thupten Jinpa, translator for the Dalai Lama

From The Tibet Connection | 14:41

Thupten Jinpa is the Dalai Lama's translator. What comes through in this profile is his thoughtfulness and eloquence, as well as some insider anecdotes that are amusing and illuminating. For instance, Jinpa talks about the time the Dalai Lama switched from speaking in Tibetan to English, and Jinpa kept going with his translation, from English to English!

This comes from The Tibetan Connection, and is produced by Julie Adler. Adler steps back in the piece, and we predominantly hear from Jinpa.

Sound quality alert: There are occasional plosives coming from the reporter and the subject.

Thubtenjinpa Thupten Jinpa has been the primary translator for the Dalai Lama for over 20 years now. He translates during teachings and public talks and also during interviews. At a recent teaching in San Francisco, producer Julie Adler turned the microphone on him to talk about the pleasures and pressures of interpreting the speeches of man whose audience often clings to every word.

Oxford, UK & Oxford, GA: Divided by a Common Tongue

From David Barasoain | 03:39

Great idea here...comparing accents from Oxford, England and Oxford, Georgia. Listeners are taken back and forth between the US and England, and we meet some colorful and funny characters who have a lot to say about how they talk!

David Barasoain is the reporter. He's an independent reporter/producer out of Atlanta, Georgia. He himself has a great voice and a solid editing touch.

This would fit nicely in the four-minute slot in ME or ATC.

Oxfordsmall_small It's been nearly 230 years since the US declared its independence from Great Britain. And while both countries speak English, in their own fashion, there are some interesting differences in the language that go beyond just the words 'tomato' (to-may-tow)and 'tomato' (to-maah-toe). Recently David Barasoain (BEAR-es-wayne) visited both Oxford, England and Oxford, Georgia.