Radio Rookies


Airs weekdays during Morning Edition, throughout the year.

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

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 Axe-Houghton Foundation, The Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, Bay and Paul Foundations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Fred L. Emerson Foundation, HASTAC Digital Media and Learning Competition, Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust, The Mozilla Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Margaret Neubart Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Newman's Own Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, The Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation, The W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Produced by
Show Archive

Show Staff

  • Sanda Htyte - Associate Producer

    Sanda Htyte is Radio Rookies Associate Producer. She has been with Radio Rookies since interning at the Elmhurst workshop in summer of 2005. She is also a freelance video producer, director, editor and a CUNY Professor. While interning at Radio Rookies, Sanda was completing her MFA in documentary producing. Having studied both video and radio production at her Alma Mater, Brooklyn College, CUNY, she was asked to teach introduction to radio production as Adjunct Professor in Fall of 2006 as well as Spring 2007.

  • Kaari Pitkin - Senior Producer, Radio Rookies

    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.

  • Courtney Stein - Associate Producer

    Courtney began working with young people in Minneapolis, where she started a youth-run restaurant in the park across the street from her apartment. She moved to New York to study social work, then went to Maine to learn to produce radio documentaries. In 2007 Courtney combined her radio and youth work backgrounds and joined Radio Rookies as a producer. Now she assists in teaching radio and multimedia workshops and works alongside Rookie Reporters to produce stories for WNYC and NPR.

  • Veralyn Williams

    is a Radio Rookies' graduate. Her first story, "Legal Status" was apart of the Mosholu workshop, which was recognized with a George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast excellence in 2005. Since then she has gone on to produce other stories for Rookies, and worked as a Rookies Producer to teach new rookies to do the same.Veralyn has also worked with various departments at WNYC Radio, including News and Culture, and produces independent work for her website, She is currently works to build power in Central Brooklyn as Communications Organizer at Brooklyn Movement Center, a membership-led, direct-action, community organizing group. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten in the media.