In October Turnstyle interviewed author Daniel Alarcón as he added “Executive Producer’ to his impressive resume with the launch of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language podcast telling Latin American stories. Daniel is working with a seasoned team of journalists and radio producers including editor Annie Correal. She gives us an update on Radio Ambulante in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign designed to raise funds for the group’s first podcast’s this April.
Turnstyle: What has the feedback been to Radio Ambulante thus far? Any surprising reactions?
Annie Correal: We’ve been thrilled by the response: people from all over the U.S. and Latin America have heard about it, thanks in large part to Twitter and our Kickstarter Campaign. They get it and they’re really excited. These are people of all ages and many nationalities. But the project is different things to different people. Latin America has a thriving literary and journalistic scene and for some Radio Ambulante is offering a new form of storytelling that doesn’t exist yet: there’s nothing like This American Life or Snap Judgment or The Moth Radio Hour in Spanish, as far as we know. For others, in the U.S., Radio Ambulante is a way to connect with their roots, with other immigrant communities. I think it comes at an important time because Latinos in this country need an authentic voice. People in our community are really rooting for us.
Turnstyle: How is the fundraiser on Kickstarter going? Are you near your goal?
Correal: We’re really happy with how it’s going so far. We’ve raised over $12,000 — but our goal is to reach $40,000 by March 25th. We’re confident that we can do it, but there’s still a ways to go. These funds will help us launch our first three episodes and secure long-term funding, so they’re critical. There’s something I should note: we are paying our contributors for their work. This should go without saying, but many new projects rely on the goodwill of their contributors. We felt it was very important, ethically, to pay. So people’s contributions to our Kickstarter Campaign will be going back into the communities where our reporters live, and this will help them to continue doing their ground-breaking work there.
Turnstyle: Describe the submissions process as far as the number of submissions and work involved to choose which stories will make the cut.
Correal: Well, we received over 50 submissions from more than a dozen countries when we sent out our first call for pitches. We each read every pitch and once we had narrowed it down to a dozen or so, we had a very long meeting and decided which stories we were interested in pursuing. We plan to send out our next call for pitches, with new themes, in the next few months. Stay tuned! We anticipate getting a lot more proposals this time around, since people know who we are and have heard some of the stories we’ve produced.
Turnstyle: Have you been approached by any stations yet in regards to carrying the show?
Correal: We’re grateful to be able to use the studios of KALW in San Francisco. But no — while we have been in talks with radio stations in the US and Latin America, we haven’t yet made plans to go on the air with any of these stations. Eventually we hope to be carried not only in the U.S. but around Latin America, by large national stations as well as community radio stations, because we love the idea of Peruvians listening to stories about Dominicans in New York, and vice versa.
Turnstyle: When will the program be available via podcast or broadcast?
Correal: Our first podcast will be available April 15, and the theme is “Moving,” or “Mudanzas.”
To learn more about Radio Ambulante or contribute to their Kickstarter Campaign go to http://radioambulante.org/