Kaari Pitkin is the Senior Producer of Radio Rookies, WNYC's Peabody award-winning youth journalism program that teaches high school student to report and produce radio documentaries inspired by their own experiences.
Since assuming the role of Senior Producer in 2006, Pitkin has worked to expand the scope and impact of the program to include multi-media storytelling and training educators how to use youth-produced content in the classroom. Radio Rookies also continues to work with teenagers across New York City in small workshops designed to teach them how to report stories in their own lives and communities. The program is known for its highly produced and sound rich portraits of life for teenagers in NYC today and, under Pitkin's leadership, has been recognized by the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Journalism, the National Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Society for Professional Journalists and the Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Awards. Pitkin is responsible for overseeing the program, including fundraising efforts, new initiatives, and partnerships.
Before moving to Radio Rookies, Pitkin worked as a producer in WNYC's newsroom for eight years, where she played an integral part of the station's efforts to cover September 11th, 2001. In advance of the ten year anniversary, she produced an hour-long documentary "Our 9/11" by Radio Rookies whose lives had been changed by the attacks. Pitkin is passionate about both producing interesting and compelling content, as well as helping the Radio Rookies develop as young people. She lives in New Haven, CT with her husband and two small children.
Kaari Pitkin appears in the following:
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Three generations of Syrian women settle into life in the United States, only after President Trump's first travel ban was blocked in court.
Thursday, March 02, 2017
Sisters Sonia and Sara Martinez and their friend Yesica Balderrama talk about how they and their immigrant families have felt and reacted to President Trump's immigration policies.
Monday, January 30, 2017
A refugee resettlement agency in New Haven was set to find a home for a Syrian grandmother, mother and teen-aged daughter. Now, it's uncertain whether they'll ever make it here.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Radio Rookie Cheyenne Nelson thought by choosing a school that focuses on the arts, high school would peaceful. But after seeing several fights, she's learned to keep her head down.
Monday, November 14, 2016
For kids growing up in fast-changing neighborhoods, the change can be destabilizing. Rookie reporter Corinne Bobb-Semple shares what the changes in Bed-Stuy have meant to her.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
The patrol officers in the Starrett City housing complex in East New York have built a positive relationship with my community. I wish the NYPD would do the same in every neighborhood.
Friday, November 04, 2016
It’s frustrating that so few students know there are differences between predominantly black and white schools. My older sisters and I know. We lived them.
Thursday, November 03, 2016
“If my parents hadn’t been deported maybe I wouldn’t be who I am today -- so determined and self-driven.” Listen to Wayner's story.
Monday, August 08, 2016
A little known program in Chelsea is producing Olympians while single handedly diversifying fencing.
Friday, May 06, 2016
Jared Marcelle had enough negative interactions with the NYPD that he’d come to mistrust police. His views of policing are complex now, especially since his sister joined the force.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Destiny Mabry had a lot in common with her older sister: a love of dance, a bright smile, and excellent jump rope skills. They also both had experience with abusive relationships.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Rainy wanted to understand why she stayed with an older boyfriend who humiliated and physically abused her. So she spent two years reporting from inside the relationship.
Monday, September 14, 2015
When 18-year-old Radio Rookie Mari Santos recognized that her older sister Alison was in abusive relationship, the hardest part was figuring out how to talk to her about it.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
In some ways, being feminine made life harder for Dakota than his sexuality.
Friday, April 24, 2015
The radio story Keith Tingman reported when he was just 15 has helped young people with parents in jail. That is part of Keith's legacy, in a life that ended too soon.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
It’s with deep sadness I’m writing this post. Radio Rookies has lost a valued member of our community. Former Rookie Reporter Keith Tingman died on February 12. We remember him here.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Fresh grass. Freedom. Success. That was the sensation Edward Munoz experienced every time he walked onto a soccer field. But in school, he felt like he wasn’t meant to be there.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Cece Rodriguez may be tiny at 5 ’4”, 100 lbs, but she’s physically strong. Despite her family’s concerns, she dreams of testing her toughness by enlisting in the U.S. Marines.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Jairo Gomez's nine-person family lives in a one-bedroom apartment. He knows education is the way out of poverty, but sometimes being poor makes it difficult to make good choices.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Danielle Motindabeka has overcome incredible odds to succeed in the United States - she has learned English, made a home here and is trying very hard to graduate high school.