All posts in 2020

Your Move, 2021

Two things are coming to an end: the year 2020 and this season of AudioFiles. In our final episode, we hear updates from small seasonal businesses and tips for solo holiday celebrations. Later, an infectious disease specialist helps us understand the latest developments on the COVID-19 vaccines and what to expect when the vaccines are finally available.

Also in this episode:
Holly DeMuth takes a peek at how a Netflix series is causing chessboard sales to skyrocket in New York.
Erika Wheless brings us the story of how a yoga studio owner in Queens has adapted her business during the pandemic.

Managing Editor: Jackie Harris
Host: Valen Iricibar
Lead Producer: Ashley Rodriguez
Associate Producer: Megan Burney
Reporting by Erika Wheless, Ali McPherson, Jackie Harris
Engineer: Chad Bernhard
Guest: Dr. Megan Coffee
Editors: Kalli Anderson and Maggie Freleng

Music credits: Doug Maxwell, Charlotte Muller, Albrecht Ihlenburg, Gras Young and Cheel

Answers to the 2020 sounds: Animal Crossing (music and sound effects), Among Us, Cardi B, Tiger King (Carole Baskin and “Tiger Saw Man” by Joe Exotic), Ben Shapiro and “Imagine” as sung by celebrities.

Surviving the Holidays Solo

Public officials are advising US residents to hunker down this winter and not travel. For the people heeding that advice, however, many will be spending holidays without family for the first time. Jackie Harris speaks with clinical psychologist Dr. Marsha Brown about taking care of yourself during an unusual, and potentially lonely holiday season.

Music credit: Cheel
Reporting by Jackie Harris

Midtown Holiday Vendors Struggle to Earn a Living

This holiday season is like no other. Many holiday traditions are on pause, as COVID cases continue to rise in New York. Every year crowds flock to holiday markets like the ones at Union Square, Columbus Circle and Bryant Park. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is one of the only markets open for business, however, vendors are struggling to make ends meet. Reporter Ali McPherson traveled to Midtown to check in with vendors and see how they are holding up.

Music Credit: Holiday Brass Ensemble by Doug Maxwell/ Media Right Productions
Reporting by: Ali McPherson

Ohm Online: How One Yoga Studio Went Virtual In The Pandemic

The pandemic has forced many of us to change the way we exercise. Gyms and fitness studios are closed across the country. And many have started offering virtual classes to pay the bills. Reporter Erika Wheless brings us the story of how a yoga studio owner in Queens has adapted to moving her business online.

Music credit: Gras Young
Reporting by Erika Wheless

Chess Parlor Sees An Uptick in Popularity After Queen’s Gambit

Small businesses in the city are suffering under the COVID slump. But one New York shop is seeing a bit of a boom. Holly DeMuth reports that a Greenwich Village chess parlor is getting a surge of new customers these days thanks in part to the Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit.

Music: Albrecht Ihlenburg
Reporting by Holly DeMuth

Newmark J-School Audio Journalism Trans Day of Remembrance — an Intergenerational Interview

Friday November 20th was Trans Day of Remembrance, a moment to honor the memory of transgender people who lost their lives due to anti-trans prejudice. At least 34 transgender and gender non-conforming people were killed in the US this year for just being who they are. Worldwide, that number is 350. But Trans Day of Remembrance is also about looking at the big picture and celebrating the community. Valen Iricibar brought together two generations — Kai Farr from the GenderCool project and Tanya Walker from Equality New York — to talk about what Trans Day of Remembrance means to them.

Music by Kai Farr

Turkey Farmers Adapt to Low Turkey Demand This Thanksgiving

Governor Cuomo recently announced that indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people in a home will be banned in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19. That 10 person limit could make Thanksgiving a challenge this year – and that could leave folks with a lot of leftover turkey. If they even buy a turkey at all. Reporter Erika Wheless looked into what happens when low turkey demand meets big turkey supply.

For Native Americans, Changing the Narrative Around Thanksgiving is Personal

As thanksgiving creeps around the corner, millions of American schoolchildren are being taught about the first Thanksgiving. You know, when pilgrims arrived in Plymouth and shared a meal with Native Americans. But for many Native American children and their families, hearing this story year after year is a painful reminder of how their history has been erased.

Reporter Ashley Rodriguez spoke to Susan Fairchild, a member of the Coharie nation and Professor of Education and Director of the School of Education at Colorado State University, Shea Vassar, a member of the Cherokee nation, and a journalist and graduate student of legal studies and indigenous peoples law at the university of Oklahoma, and Amanda Funk, a member of the Potawatomi nation the executive director of Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge, about how they’re trying to change the narrative around Thanksgiving.

A Thanksgiving in 2020 Like No Other

Thanksgiving is creeping around the corner, and Ashley Rodriguez reports on how Native Americans across the country are pushing back against the way Thanksgiving is taught in American schools. Also, a turkey farmer who is struggling to sell turkeys on Thanksgiving now that COVID-19 has forced people to downsize their family gatherings. And producer Megan Burney asks an epidemiologist’s advice on staying safe with family during the holidays.

Also in this episode:

We observe Transgender Day of Rememberance, a time to honor the memory of transgender and non-binary people who lost their lives to anti-trans violence. Reporter Valen Iricibar brings two generations of trans folks together to talk about what it means to be trans right now and the road ahead.

Tre’vell Anderson, a gender non-conforming journalist and advocate for Black trans people, on the presidential election and what work needs to be done to ensure that all trans folks are able to live, survive and thrive no matter who is in office.

Managing Editor: Jackie Harris
Host/Lead Producer: Holly DeMuth
Associate Producer: Ali McPherson
Reporting by Valen Iricibar, Megan Burney, and Erika Wheless.
Engineer: Chad Bernhard
Guest: Tre’vell Anderson
Editors: Kalli Anderson and Maggie Freleng

Music credits: Dan Lebowitz, Jason Chaw, and Kai Farr.

For more info on AudioFiles:

#ENDSARS Gains Ground in NYC

#ENDSARS is more than a hashtag, it is a social justice movement. Young people in Nigeria say the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS has been terrorizing citizens for far too long. SARS has since been disbanded but protesters are now fighting for better governance and are seeking justice after the Lekki Massacre. Ayoinmotion who self-identifies as an “Artivist,” a combination of an activist, and artist, co-founded ENDSARSNYC to bring awareness to what is going on in Nigeria. Brooklyn-based photographer APM is using his lens to stand in solidarity. Reporter Ali McPherson speaks with Ayoinmotion and Photographer APM about the importance of these demonstrations happening right here and right now.

Protest Audio footage provided by APM Worldwide
Music credit: The Westerlies on Youtube Audio Library.
Photo credit: APM Worldwide
Reporting by Ali McPherson