Hi — I'm Marc Sophos (MSU-Telecom '83). I'm the executive producer of OutCasting and founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization that produces it, Media for the Public Good, Inc., based in New York. And no, that's not me in the photo above — it's OutCasting youth participant Andrew in our main studio in New York.
I'm thrilled that we've been able to team up with MSU to create an OutCasting bureau at Michigan State and offer you the opportunity to get involved. Straight allies, LGBTQ+, closeted or out — all are welcome.
OutCasting is public radio's LGBTQ youth program — a place where you can discuss issues of importance to your lives, talk with well-known experts, and tell your personal stories of being LGBTQ. The program is currently heard on more than 50 public radio stations around the U.S and one in Zurich, Switzerland, as well as online here at OutCastingMedia.org and in iTunes.
As I mentioned, OutCasters — our OutCasting youth participants — can be LGBTQ+ or straight allies. All are welcome. Straight allies have been an important part of OutCasting since the beginning of the show in 2011. All that's required is that you want to be part of the movement for LGBTQ equality. If you're LGBTQ+ but closeted (I was during my MSU years), that's OK, too; we can take steps to keep your identity private. If you prefer, you can work entirely behind the scenes. OutCasting is a safe space where you are not judged because of your sexuality or gender identity or expression.
Here's some information for you about OutCasting and how you can get involved. Our press release is below. Please start by watching this informational slideshow. Then scroll down to continue.
Look at some of these short videos to get an idea of what it means to OutCasters to work on the show, and then scroll down for more information. This first video has some fundraising info, but it also gives a pretty good picture of what it's like to work at OutCasting.
If you want more information about the show, you can read the following pages:
You'll be working with adult supervision and training, but all of the voices you hear on the air are OutCasters — our youth participants. You'll get experience in producing a nationally-distributed public radio program. You won't be doing menial tasks in an otherwise adult-run environment; OutCasters are the lifeblood of the program, developing stories, talking with well-known experts, writing scripts, creating documentaries, delving into complex issues facing the LGBTQ community and explaining them to a general public radio audience, creating social networking content (a big need for us!), and so forth. You'll learn professional communication techniques, writing and speaking for broadcast, interviewing techniques, and much more, not to mention gaining substantive knowledge on the issues we cover and being part of the movement for LGBTQ equality.
It's rare for people of your age to have substantive experience working on a nationally distributed public radio program, and that looks good on any job application!
Thanks. And here's the press release about the new bureau:
|OutCaster Sydney in our
home studio in NY
EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 2015 – Students at Michigan State University who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) and straight allies will soon be able to work on a nationally distributed public radio program. OutCasting, public radio's LGBTQ youth program, based in New York, is working with MSU to establish a new bureau based at the university.
The MSU Bureau, which is expected to open this fall, will enable LGBTQ students and allies to contribute stories and other material to OutCasting, which is heard online and on more than 45 public radio stations affiliated with the Pacifica Radio Network.
OutCasting was founded in 2011 by Marc Sophos (MSU '83), who also serves as the program's executive producer. Mr. Sophos supervises the program's home studio in Westchester County, New York, and its New York City Bureau, which is a joint venture between OutCasting and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a well-known New York City nonprofit that provides services to LGBTQ youth.
Deanna Hurlbert, the Director of the LBGT Resource Center at MSU, said, "This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to tell their stories and produce quality journalism on LGBTQ topics." She added that the alliance between MSU and OutCasting represents a rare opportunity for young people to gain practical experience working on a nationally distributed program.
OutCasting, produced by LGBTQ and allied students, reaches a general audience online and on public radio stations around the country, and thus contributes to the ongoing national discussion on LGBTQ issues, particularly as seen from a youth perspective. Topics the program has covered include bullying and suicide prevention, LGBTQ issues in religion and education, marriage equality, transgender identities and issues, healthy relationships, and more.
Mr. Sophos said, "We're very excited about this new alliance with Michigan State. This is our first expansion outside of the New York metropolitan area, and it's going to enable OutCasting to present a wider range of LGBTQ youth experiences and perspectives." He also said that the experience of establishing a bureau at MSU will provide OutCasting with a template that can be replicated at other colleges and universities around the country as the program seeks to expand the diversity of perspectives it presents.
In addition to telling stories, students will learn how to identify and research topics, interview guests, and create documentaries and other forms of programming. They will also gain substantive knowledge about the LGBTQ topics OutCasting covers.
Information for students interested in participating is available at OutCasting's web site, http://OutCastingMedia.org. Additional information can be requested by contacting OutCasting directly or through our Facebook page.