La Escuela Radio Ambulante

I’m creating La Escuela Radio Ambulante, an online space in Spanish for learning how to tell, produce, and share audio stories, using available technologies. We aim to identify new talent, find new important stories and help these stories reach broader audiences.

Surprisingly, three years after having launched Radio Ambulante, we’re still the only narrative podcast in Spanish in the world. We understand the power of listening to important stories, and know that there’s a growing global audience for this content. We expect that by creating this online tool kit, more journalists will start telling their stories on audio. We hope to use this platform to identify new talent and help these stories reach broader audiences.

Status and next steps

We’re currently testing engagement with end users who will try the prototype this summer. We’re in the midst of designing the first module materials and defining the best platform to host the school. In addition, we’re refining a business model and creating partnerships with like-minded organizations.

The next step is to finish a prototype design and test it with more than 1,200 registered users from over a dozen countries. We’re going to focus on the first module, The Story, and make adjustments based on their feedback. We’re also partnering with the radio education website Transom.org, and will start translating some of their articles into Spanish to add content to our platform, as well as partnering with educational institutions in Latin America that would like to use the tool.

We have already over 1,200 people registered with low promotion, but the engagement with them has been high, which makes us very optimistic.

Takeaways

I’ve learned that you need to design for your user first. This may sound obvious, but before designing this online tool kit, I heard from many people who wanted to learn how to produce this kind of radio, and I was using my assumptions to create a prototype. Later, I started collaborating with Clara Gonzalez, a UX designer, and we changed the process, started using design thinking, and connected directly with the end user. Now I’m certain that our product will really connect with its audience, allowing her/him to learn some of the skills necessary to make great radio. Our goal is for the online school to be as useful and helpful as an in-person workshop. This is a high bar, but we’re prepared to work hard to reach it.

This is the result of Guerrero’s effort to address a challenge in journalism: How can we help Latin American journalists and storytellers produce long-form narrative radio journalism? Learn more about this challenge in the exploration and refinement phases of the process.