Radio Rookies is a New York Public Radio initiative that provides teenagers with the tools and training to create radio stories about themselves, their communities and their world.
Since 1999, Radio Rookies has been conducting workshops across New York, in predominantly under-resourced neighborhoods, training young people to use words and sounds to tell true stories. Upon completion, the Rookies' documentaries air on WNYC - usually during Morning Edition (5am to 9am weekdays on WNYC 93.9 FM and online at wnyc.org)
Radio Rookies typically runs one or two workshops a year, each lasting anywhere from four to eight months. During the workshops, Rookie Reporters learn everything about radio journalism: from how to conduct an interview and develop a story to how to craft a script and digitally edit their audio. There is no fee, and the program provides all the equipment and instruction needed.
The Radio Rookies workshops are held at partnering community organizations in the city. Past workshops have been held at Make the Road by Walking Inc. in Bushwick, Brooklyn, The Point Community Development Center in Hunts Point, The Bronx, the YWCA in Flushing, Queens, the Seamen's Society for Children and Families in St. George, Staten Island, the Grand Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Council of Pakistan Organization (COPO) in Midwood, Brooklyn, The Cove (Community Organized with a Vision of Excellence) in the Mosholu section of Norwood in The Bronx, at SAYA! (South Asian Youth Action) in Queens, at Project Hospitality in Staten Island, at The Door in Manhattan, at the High School for Global Citizenship in Brooklyn and most recently at The Next Generation Center in The Bronx, the Flushing YMCA in Queens, at the Seamen’s Society for Children and Families on Staten Island and with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Coverage of youth in the media rarely represents what young people are truly facing, thinking and saying. By helping young people reach WNYC's audience of more than one million weekly listeners, WNYC's Radio Rookies has become an integral part of the station.
Radio Rookies is supported by Adobe Foundation, Axe-Houghton Foundation, Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, Bay and Paul Foundations, Fred L. Emerson Foundation, Geraldine Stutz Trust, Inc., John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Margaret Neubart Foundation, Marilyn and Bob Laurie Foundation, McCormick Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Robert and Jean L. Stern Foundation, Robert Bowne Foundation, Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.