BY BTL STAFF
EAST LANSING – Students at Michigan State University who are 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 now partnering with MSU to establish a new bureau based at the university.
Opened in February, the MSU Bureau will soon begin production this fall. LGBTQ students and allies are asked 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, a 1983 graduate of MSU, who also serves as the program’s executive producer. Sophos supervises the program’s home studio in Westchester County, New York, and its New York City Bureau.
“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,” Saphos said.
Saphos 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 across the country as the program seeks to expand the diversity of perspectives it presents.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to tell their stories and produce quality journalism on LGBTQ topics,” Deanna Hurlbert, director of the LBGT Resource Center at MSU said. 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.
The program has covered topics from bullying and suicide prevention, LGBTQ issues in religion and education, marriage equality, transgender identities and issues to healthy relationships, and more.
OutCasting has had the pleasure of working with nationally known guests such as: Olympian Greg Louganis, Huffington Post columnist Michelangelo Signorile, Brian Healey of Athlete Ally, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, writer/activist Dan Savage, transgender athlete Chris Mosier, and many more.
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.
OutCasting is currently working to increase its production schedule and the number of stations carrying the show so that its reach and influence can cover a wider diversity of voices and perspectives.
On the program’s website, Saphos says that OutCasting is also a space for closeted LGBTQ and the program will take steps to maintain confidentiality for those individuals who have the opportunity to work behind the scenes.
Information for students interested in participating is available at OutCasting’s web site http://OutCastingMedia.org/msu. Additional information can be requested through the web site or through the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/outcastingmedia.