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Where to find mentors in audio
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I was fortunate to benefit from a couple of mentoring schemes over the past year. It was especially helpful at this stage in my career, shortly after making the transition from print/online journalism into audio. My mentors encouraged me to think differently about characters, interviewing for audio, gathering scene tape and plenty, plenty more. (I made this piece for Ochenta Stories about being on the other side of the mentor/mentee relationship).
But where to find yourself a brilliant, supportive mentor? This week I’ve put together a list of resources on different mentoring programs across audio, podcasting and media.
🌌 AIR recently revamped its long-running mentor program to now offer one-on-one, à la carte sessions with a selection of mentors. Talented producers, artists and award-winning journalists on the roster include Roifield Brown, Jeff Emtman, Traci Tong, Ann Marie Awad, Rob Byers, Mable Chan, Sam Greenspan, Ruxandra Guidi, Frances Harlow, Sheeba Joseph, Shia Levitt, Karen Michel, Sarah Montague, James Morrison, Kyle Norris, Steve Rowland, and Ari Saperstein. Rates for a one-hour session range from $35 to $210. You can access the program through SoundPath, and AIR members benefit from a discount.
🌌 The Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program, founded by Andrea González-Ramírez, aims to connect students and journalists of all levels with mentors. You can choose a mentor from their directory and book a free 30-minute initial coaching session. Their site also has a helpful list of dos and don’ts for mentees.
🌌 One benefit of joining The Podcast Academy is its Mentorship Work Groups, where you’ll be connected to a knowledgeable volunteer mentor who will guide a group of mentees (no larger than six) in best practices for branding, monetization, scripting, production and other topics.
🌌 The Media Mentors program has a huge roster of mentors who offer free, half-hour one-on-one sessions for advice, guidance or general questions about navigating the media industry.
🌌 If you identify as a woman or nonbinary, check out the Public Media Women in Leadership program, which offers two tiers depending on where you are in your career. There’s also the Digital Women Leaders program, which provides one-on-one coaching for women and nonbinary folks in journalism. You can browse all their mentors, or find one by topic. (Note: DWL has also made their project open-source, so you can copy their model for your own mentoring initiatives. Here’s their step-by-step process.)
🌌 Producer Myke Hurley is offering a Podcast Mentorship to people who are “under-represented in the tech-focussed podcast world”. As he puts it: “This programme is intended to assist people who are not like me. If you are a straight, white man — please do not apply. You are over-represented in this industry.” The first cohort has been filled, so applications will now be considered as spots open in future.
🌌 Another one to keep an eye on for the future: last year Gimlet offered free mentorship for BIPOC podcast creators. Mentors gave advice on resumes, pitches, story structure and more.
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What I’m listening to
🎧 I got a lot from Rob’s interview with producer Megan Tan on a recent episode of How Sound -- she thinks about the blurry lines between fact and fiction in a really interesting way.
And I’m gonna be honest with you here, I haven’t listened to much else since I started binging the new Sally Rooney novel…