Announcing: Project Catapult’s Round 2 Cohort

Meet the selected stations and podcast ideas

Project Catapult is an innovative public media podcast accelerator developed by PRX. The training program, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB], helps public radio stations identify podcasting talent and increase their capacity to create content across platforms.

PRX launched the first cohort of Project Catapult in 2016, using design thinking with seven public media stations to develop and nurture new podcasts. Catapult round one produced breakout shows like Out of the Blocks, Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller, We Live Here, ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest?, Versify and Us & Them. WYPR-Baltimore’s Out of the Blocks won a 2018 National Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Project Catapult’s first cohort

In July, we were excited to announce funding from CPB to run two new cohorts. Stations from around the country applied to participate in our 20-week curriculum to develop new skills, including digital content development, cultivating diverse talent, audience engagement and monetization.

“CPB is committed to ensuring that public media is always innovating, connecting to and serving new, diverse audiences. CPB will continue to invest in initiatives such as Project Catapult, expanding the program to feature stories and voices from America’s western, southern and rural areas. The technology makes connection possible, but it is our content that makes it valuable.” — Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“PRX has had a front-row seat to the challenges public radio stations are facing as they develop podcasts. Through close collaboration, prototyping, iteration, and consistent real-time feedback, we will apply key learnings from the first Project Catapult to improve the program and expand its impact to the new cohort.” — Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX

PRX has selected five stations to take part in the second phase of Project Catapult. The project opens with a week-long boot camp at the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston next week.

Project Catapult 2 Participants

Colorado Public Media

Proposed Podcast: The Cannabis Tales

There is virtually no part of life in Colorado that has not been affected in some way by the legalization of recreational marijuana. For those who were awaiting legalization, the changes are all good: enjoying cannabis without fear of prosecution, a freer culture, a move away from alcohol. But there are those who still believe the effects are negative: the black market continues to thrive, some studies show an increase in use among students (others don’t), an increase in driving while high and a perceived breakdown of morals. Five years after the state voted to legalize marijuana, CPR, through the power of its 40-person newsroom, will tackle the pros and cons of legalization at home and across the country with enthusiasm and rigor — seeking out users, experts, opponents, officials and those who are just trying to figure out what that smell is. Five years in, we’re still learning lessons as legalization measures show up in every election cycle across the nation.

WUOL Louisville
Proposed Podcast: The Music Box

The Music Box is a podcast for children to play, explore, and learn about music. The podcast uses interaction similar to children’s television shows such as Dora the Explorer or Little Einsteins, where hosts and guests break the fourth wall to immerse listeners in music-making. Every episode explores two primary musical concepts through national core arts standards: creating, performing, responding, and connecting. We’ll dig into Louisville’s incredible and varied music scene to talk with musicians from all genres and disciplines. Each episode will also come with activities and curriculum for teachers. Co-hosted and produced by Jecorey Arthur and Tara Anderson, two classically-trained musicians who have a wide range of experience in teaching, performing, reporting, and producing.

KUER — Salt Lake City, Utah

Proposed Podcast: Churchy

Churchy is the show that explores how religion and faith influences everything around you, whether you’re a believer–or not. While lots of shows tiptoe around religious topics, Churchy will dive straight in. In a spirit of thoughtful irreverence, we’ll talk candidly about what can be odd, inspiring, confusing or even appalling about belief and the decisions that result from it.

WABE ATLANTA

Proposed Podcast: Vice Versa

Vice Versa is a conversation about race and the contemporary South through a hip-hop lens. Hosted by Dr. Regina Bradley and Christina Lee, Vice Versa explores the social implications and pop-culture relevancy of the hip-hop artists, music, and trends that are both shaped by and continue to influence the South. As self-described “hip-hop heads” who grew up with the culture, Bradley is a Georgia-bred writer and researcher of African American life, while Lee is an Atlanta-based music journalist; together they present a conversation full of passionate fandom, astute observations, and insider perspective of some of the most influential music in the world.

WFYI/Side Effects Public Media

Proposed Podcast: The Workaround

The Workaround describes the difficult–and risky–things people do when they hit roadblocks in the U.S. healthcare system. The podcast takes you into the homes, on the streets, and inside the facilities where these workarounds are changing the way many Americans get care.


Follow each team’s progress at catapult.prx.org, and on PRX’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.