Podcasting and Radio News

Episode 2 – Plural Love


AMBI: People talking, scene for potluck.

TRACK: I attended an end of the year holiday potluck. It was hosted by Open Love NY, a New York-based organization that serves the polyamorous community. It was at a local rented room in Midtown, Manhattan. Hardly anyone knew each other, and yet, within five minutes, people were talking to each other as if they had been friends for years. Many gushed over the array of foods set on the table: cheese and meat platters, cake, pulled pork, salads and pie. It was there that I met Leon Feingold, a very tall, welcoming polyamorist. We chatted and decided to meet for lunch.

TRACK: We met at a restaurant called Yum Yum in Midtown, Manhattan. Leon is a frequent visitor, and indulges in two courses of lunch specials. He is a competitive eater.

ACT: “I was in the US Open of competitive eating, I was featured in the Glutton Bowl, I was the second person the history to eat two three and half pound sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli here in New York. My mother doesn’t know whether or not to be proud of me.”

TRACK: When Leon isn’t competitive eating, he’s a lawyer, real estate broker, baseball pitching instructor and running several organizations. Though, Leon wears many hats, all paths lead him back to polyamorous advocacy. The reason behind this? A curious date that sparked his interest.

ACT: “I first realized I was polyamorous when I first went on a date with somebody from OKCupid. She described herself as smart, interesting and polyamorous. When we went on a date, she told me what that meant. In short, you can have people in your life and different relationships, have a boyfriend, have a husband, whatever – but continue to date. Continue to meet new people and have relationships with them. That was shocking to me. Not because it was against my moral beliefs, but because I didn’t know such a thing existed. I was amazed that polyamory existed. And even worse that no one knew about it. So, from that week on, I pretty much decided I was going to be a volunteer in the poly community.”

INTRO: This is Plural Love and I’m your host Melissa Bacian. (introduce yourself as host)

TRACK: Though, Leon was new to the polyamory community, he had always known this was who he was.

ACT: “Monogamy never felt natural to me. And I thought, maybe when I meet the right person, I’ll be happy and settle down and be monogamous. That’s the idea, that’s what society tells us. At least for me, the idea of monogamy just simply didn’t fit. It made sense that I should be able to meet new people at all times and explore connections with them in ways that made sense. So, even when I had an amazing partner, I never really felt like they were everything that I wanted. But I assumed that either meant that I needed to mature, or that I needed to meet somebody who was everything that I wanted. Unfortunately, I don’t think such a thing exists. It’s more the story we tell our self.”

TRACK: It’s difficult to know exactly how many polyamorists there are in the US. According to Elisabeth Sheff, an academic who researches polyamory and has written numerous books on the subject, she conducted a general study in 2017. Out of 8,700 US single adults, it was found that more than one in five engaged in consensual non-monogamy at some point intheir lives.

ACT: “I think the idea of non-monogamy is super, super common. Most people know about polyamory these days, which is way better than a decade ago when I started dating. I had to explain what polyamory was to everybody. Now, I have to explain what polyamory is to maybe a third of the people and I have to correct what people think what polyamory is to the other next third of the people. And I’d say the other third have the right idea about it.”

TRACK: Leon strives to educate the general public on polyamory. Though, the practice of dating multiple people has become more prevalent, it is still a new term for many.

ACT: “I was a guest on The View and Jenny McCarthy says, ‘Oh, I tried it in college and it didn’t work. So, I don’t believe in it.’ First off, you’re gonna tell me you had one threesome in college? You were like penthouse pet of the year. You really had one threesome in college. Okay, that’s one. Secondly, the idea that because you tried something and it didn’t work means that it can’t work for other people is ridiculous. And third, you know what, I have learned that even if something doesn’t work for me, I have no rights to judge other people if they believe it is what works for them. As long as whatever it is that they do, doesn’t hurt other anyone else and doesn’t hurt themselves, go for it. Do all the things, in fact, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the purpose of life. Do everything, try everything you possibly can. Without hurting yourself or anyone else, as long as you do that, I have no place to judge anyone.”

TRACK: Leon is the co-founder of Open Love NY. It’s an organization created by members of the polyamorous community, for the polyamorous community. They host both educational and social events for its members, and foster a public climate in which all forms of consensual adult relationship choices are respected and honored.

ACT: “We provide at least three or four events in and around New York every month. Sometimes it’s a discussion group, sometimes its social events. But sometimes there’s, you know, there’s fun things like board game nights. There’s also a group called spiritual polyamory, which is a group of people that decide that their polyamory, their version of it, or whatever appeals to them, is in touch with their spirituality and whatever that means. While that’s not something that I’m personally interested in, I love the fact that it’s not polyamory, like an on and off switch, there’s so many different variants, like colors of a rainbow that when you look at the entire prism of the polyamorous experience it’s not just, ‘Oh, you’re poly, you must be into all these things.’

TRACK: Leon is a widower whose wife was also poly. He now currently has two partners. One he’s dated for almost four years and the second one for almost two years. he describes the two relationships being vastly different from each other. With that said, jealousy can still arise from time to time.

ACT: “The one I’ve dated for almost four years somebody, she’s polyamorous. She is somebody who has been with me since before Yuanyuan, my late wife. Before she got sick, before we got engaged, we were all seeing each other at the same time and there was a little bit of jealousy in that situation. And I think it’s because nor my current partner or my late wife have ever been in poly situations before. However, both of them took to it extremely well. We are heavily socialized in our relationships. So, even though jealousy is a natural, completely normal emotion, we’re taught to fear it. We’re taught to avoid it. But I think with enough communication and teamwork we were all able to make things work. In fact, we could not have done it when Yuanyuan got sick, without the support of her partners and my partners coming together in a community that worked together to provide support both to her when she was sick and to the rest of us who were taking care of her.”

TRACK: Leon hopes to continue his work as a polyamorous advocate in the community.In May 2014 he helped launch New York’s first openly polyamorous residence as its spokesperson, broker, and attorney. He gave a TED Talk on polyamory at TEDxBushwick on March 21, 2015.

ACT: “It’s my personality. When I believe in something, I want to pursue it. I want to tell others about it. I’m not gonna push polyamory on anyone. My goal is not make people polyamorous, my goal is to educate them about polyamory and help them make the decision for themselves.”

TRACK: Leon has a monthly polyamorous relationship advice column, “Poly Wanna Answer?” He’s also writing a book set to come out next year.

AMBI: Does anyone ever call it Baruch College and then you get really offended and you’re like no asshole, it’s Baruch. Baruch Ata Adonai, which means uh, actually, it means Baruch, how are you? So, Baruch Ata Adonai, nice to meet you all. Actually, wait, Baruch Ata Adonai means blessed are you God, so Baruch means blessed, so, Baruch you are God, like millennials need more ego stroking. I’ll be here all week, try the pad Thai.

TRACK: This has been another episode of Plural Love, I am your host Melissa Bacian, signing off.

Plural Love – Episode 1

HOST INTRO: Dinner tables set for two. Couples with their hands intertwined, strolling through Central Park. Two newlyweds celebrating outside of City Hall. Though, our society had legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, the notion that a relationship could involve more than two people has still stayed a taboo topic in today’s modern world.

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing.)

TRACK: I’m here at a local bar in Flushing, Queens. It’s a relaxed Tuesday night. Jessica Garcia, 26, and her current partner, Denis Ramos, 29, frequent here often as a means to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. She met her current partner on OKCupid two years ago.

ACT: “He first told me he was polyamorous on our first date.”

TRACK: This is Plural Love.

TRACK: “We were hanging out and I told him that I was dating multiple people, and he said that’s fine, I’m polyamorous. And I kind of had a sense of what he meant when he said the word ‘poly,’ which means more than one. And I didn’t understand the full concept of it, but I understood that’s he dating or seeing multiple people as well.”

TRACK: According to a study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in April 2016, 21 percent of people have had a non-monogamous relationship. So, what does this mean? To be polyamorous, is by definition, the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. The data that was gathered from almost 9,000 respondents in the annual Singles in America survey shows that polyamory is more common than people might realize. However, even though it might be common, that doesn’t mean it’s also straightforward. And, that’s partly because every polyamorous relationship is different.

AMBI: (Denis and Jessica interacting. Jessica laughing, Denis saying “Can’t have a bad first meeting when you pick up a girl on a motorcycle.”)

ACT: “So, we texted immediately and he told me that he had a motorcycle. To me, that comes across as someone that is adventurous, a risk tasker. So, that’s attractive. And, I think he knows that, he’s aware of that. He had a helmet for me, a jacket for me. So, I rode in the motorcycle with him and it was really thrilling, it was really great. He set the bar there already, for sure. Then we both had pupusas because we’re both El Salvadorian.”

TRACK: Jessica shares that even in the beginning stages of their relationship, she knew she wanted to be with him.

ACT: “I knew really early on that I really liked him. I knew early on that no – he makes my heart pitter patter. We became official after two months. I felt like we were already feeling that beforehand, though. We definitely liked hanging out with each other.”

ACT: DENIS: “At first we had our bumpy moments. You know, just getting used to the different dynamic and trying not to always be keeping score between all the different people, because that’s not always productive. But yeah, she learned fast.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Jess: “I wasn’t the only keeping score.”)

ACT: “I think, I really started identifying as polyamorous when I was dating multiple people. I had to balance what it was like dating multiple people that I respected, and whose feelings I cared about. And I had to balance their schedules and my schedules. And, especially when it gets the point where you like each other, and then it’s like oh shit, I have to, you know, balance two people that I really like and really care about or multiple people.”

TRACK: Jessica had explained that because she was new to the polyamory family, she needed to do some research first. Like many curious individuals, it can be confusing to differentiate what it means to be polyamorous and what it means to be in an open relationship.

ACT: “ As a Christmas present, I got a book that was called More Than Two, that is basically a book that is explaining polyamory. It’s still a new coined term. It only was invented in the 90’s, basically. To me, polyamorous means multiple loves or multiple relationships. And those relationships can be sexual, emotional, romantic, romantic and sexual. To me, an open relationship means that you have maybe one partner and you both see other people, and that can be mostly sexual. For polyamorous you can be in multiple serious relationships.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Denis and Jessica interacting.)

TRACK: Once Jessica began her relationship to Denis, then came the question: How will her friends and family react?

ACT: “Depending on the friend I think there was apprehensiveness towards it. I think the first thing they thought was: Is he going to hurt her? Maybe they didn’t take it too seriously or something because, you know, we were raised that monogamy is the main goal. I think eventually my friends got used to it, even though it was confusing for them to understand, I think they understood that it was what I was comfortable with and what I was happy with. As far as my family, I just told my parents, I think my parents are still a little confused. But they were accepting about it. I loved the quote my dad gave me. I came out as everything. I came out as bisexual to them as well. I came out as dating multiple people. ‘I don’t care if you’re dating twenty boys or twenty girls, as long as you’re coming home safe.’”

TRACK: Jessica and Denis have been in a relationship for two years. However, since that time, Jessica has been seeing multiple people. She recently just came out of a one-year relationship with her second partner.

ACT: “Right now, my partner and I like to say that we’re single, because we’re only seeing each other right now. But just because we’re seeing each other, doesn’t mean we’re monogamous. We’re still polyamorous because we still have the option to date other people, as long as we’re communicating with each other what’s going on. It’s constant communication. It is, what’s going on. I got this person’s number, things are going good with this person, things are not going good with this person, things are happening next with this person. If its consent, everyone is consenting and aware to be in this situation, that’s polyamory.”

TRACK: Aside from balancing her dating life, Jessica is currently completing her teaching program during the day, and at night, she works as a hostess full-time.

ACT: “Its hard. You think being in one relationship is enough, its hard being in two. Even with both my partners, we got to a point where we got comfortable and hung out at home a lot. We watched TV and cooked food.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Denis and Jessica interacting.)

ACT: DENIS: “We talk a lot; we text a lot. We’re always communicating. We’re always putting in in the effort to spend time together when we can.”

TRACK: Now that Jessica has been in several polyamorous committed relationships; she feels as though she can never go back.

ACT: “I don’t think I can ever be monogamous now. Only because, there is this very known notion about it. It’s a complex answer. There’s this very freeing notion about it. It’s wonderful to feel this free notion that, if you want to, you can get somebody’s number, if you want to you can kiss another person, as long as you’re communicating. At the same time, am I searching for stability? Yes. At the same time, do I believe in that other half? Yes. That’s sort of embedded in us. We’re habitual creatures my nature. Just because I have stability, it doesn’t mean I can’t also have my freedom at the same time. If you’re a person that wants to be monogamous and only your partner that its consensual, that’s beautiful and that’s wonderful. The whole point is that it’s a choice. That you choose to be monogamous and you can choose to be with this person. Meanwhile, you can choose to be polyamorous and have multiple people that you want to see and fall in love with. And still I think you can still have stability and freedom, and have multiple people that give you richness in your life.”

TRACK: For years, evolutionary psychologists have questioned whether or not humans are meant to be in monogamous relationships. Some scientists look at both social and sexual monogamy in humans as more of a societal structure instead of a natural state. Jessica shares her thoughts.

ACT: If you look at nature, all the species, there’s only maybe two animal species that are monogamous. I think it’s more of a social construct. I should say marriage upholds this idea of monogamy because you’re basically vowing yourself to this one person. The important thing is that you educate yourself on all the options available to you. If you happen to be very lucky and explore, find something that fits you. If it makes you happy, then it makes you happy, at the end of the day.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Denis and Jessica interacting.)

ACT: “Just because you happen to have multiple relationships, or you’re in an open relationship right now, that doesn’t devalue your relationship than being in a monogamous relationship. I think people usually think those relationships are not serious, because they consider marriage serious, and marriage equal monogamy. So, they consider monogamy serious. So, anything that is not monogamy, is not serious or not valued enough. You can have multiple relationships and they are serious, and people grow and learn from each other, and that doesn’t mean that relationship holds any less value than a monogamous relationship.”

ACT: If you can have multiple partners, why not. Take it slow, have a lot of conversations. Communication, conversations.

TRACK: Jessica and Denis are still going strong, and hope to grow and spend many years together, and explore other partners as well.

TRACK: This is Melissa Bacian, for Baruch College, signing off.

Final Narrative Podcast Pitch – Being Polyamorous

For years, evolutionary psychologists have questioned whether or not humans are meant to be in monogamous relationships. Some scientists look at both social and sexual monogamy in humans as more of a societal structure instead of a natural state.

For my final podcast, I wanted to create a character driven documentary-style series led by an individual who is polyamorous. Polyamorous is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.”

In episode one, I would base my podcast around her. She discovered she was polyamorous after finding her now (first) partner on Tinder, who is also poly.

In episode two, I would base my podcast around her relationship and the dynamic of it. (Hopefully) I will interview her partners. One of her partners wasn’t poly prior to their relationship, while her second partner has been poly for quite some time now.

SUBMERGE: Saving the Hudson

HOST INTRO: In recent weeks, the movement to combat climate change has made headlines around the world with major speeches addressing the topic at the United Nations General Assembly and protests by the Extinction Rebellion causing disruption in major cities from New York to London. One of the common denominators in this movement is that it is largely led by young people who have the most at stake. Here in New York, one conservation group is trying to empower the next generation to be the environmental leaders of tomorrow. Reporter Melissa Bacian has the story.

AMBI: (natural sound, “volunteer showing the kids marine life.”)

TRACK: On September 28th, at Pier 40, TRP presented “SUBMERGE,” a marine science festival that provided hands-on activities and marine life, in hopes of educating young children in the importance of preserving the Hudson River.

TRACK: I’m here at Pier 40 on the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan with Lorraine Sanchez, a volunteer for the River Project. It’s an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the ecosystem of the Hudson River Estuary through scientific research and education programs. It’s a warm and windy day in late September and Sanchez is showing horseshoe crabs and other marine life to a group of wide-eyed kids.

AMBI: (Run the clip of interaction with kids.)

TRACK: This is SUBMERGE, a marine science festival aimed at educating young children about the importance of preserving the Hudson river.

ACT: (soundbite) Sanchez: I think what’s really unique about this part of the river is that it’s an estuary. It’s where the river meets the ocean, so it’s really ecologically active. A lot of animals that live upriver, and also a lot of animals that live in the oceans, start their lives here in the estuary.

TRACK: Each booth I walked past displayed teams from different programs, each demonstrating remotely operated underwater vehicles, marine specimens, and research stations. SUBMERGE really was a free celebration of the park’s estuary, a rich ecosystem where freshwater and saltwater meet.

AMBI: (natural sound, “festival singing “this land is your land.”)

TRACK: The River Project has been running a fish ecology survey for 30 years to track trends in the lower section of the Hudson River, and since 1988 it has discovered nearly 60 species. Sanchez says that thanks to the project’s efforts, the Hudson River has improved tremendously.

ACT: (soundbite) Sanchez: The river has gotten so much healthier after the clean water act. Ever since the 70’s, you have just seen an increase in population and better water quality. Then there’s keystone species. Certain animals like oysters are coming back as well. We worked to help restore oyster populations as well as other organizations like Billion Oyster Project or Hudson River Park. There’s lots of efforts by great community groups.

AMBI: (natural sound, “volunteer showing the kids marine life.”)

TRACK: The SUBMERGE festival aims to inspire audiences of all ages and make marine science and STEM accessible and engaging for everyone. It’s interactive experiments and kid-approved science entertainment have raised public awareness and allowed children to understand our local waterways. But, why children? Recently, Sweden teenager Greta Thunberg has made international headlines. She is an environmental activist on climate change and has called for stronger action against global warming. Jenna Moore, a staff member at the Climate Museum, says she has the right idea.

ACT: (soundbite): Moore: The youth are trying to point out that the older generation has failed them on this huge issue. The young people are the ones that are going to have to deal with climate change in the future. Some people are unfortunately already having to deal with it right now. They’re trying to step up, we’re sacrificing their childhood to fight this thing that you guys have made us deal with. We shouldn’t be in this situation because something should have been done about this a long time ago.

TRACK: Moore points to a recent lawsuit where 21 youths sues the federal government over climate change and has since gained supporters, including 30,000 youths who have signed onto a legal brief asking the long delayed court case to go to trial.

ACT: (soundbite): There are lawsuits now of children suing the U.S. Well, I shouldn’t say children because they’re acting like adults. They’re totally in the right and covering a ground that hasn’t been covered before.

AMBI: (natural sound, “festival singing “this land is your land.”)

TRACK: Climate change is a fight that will continue to be an uphill battle against political leaders. However, Moore is hopeful a slow, but sure change is occurring globally, largely because of the youth leading the way.

ACT: (soundbite): Moore: People underestimate these students because they assume, they don’t see what’s happening. But they know. And they come at you with such powerful messages, really raw anger and totally intelligent points and it moves you into action.”

TRACK: It’s because of festivals like SUBMERGE that families can celebrate marine science and raise awareness on the importance of climate change.

TRACK: For Baruch College, this is Melissa Bacian in New York City.

Podcast #2 – Pitch for Radio News Story

For my second podcast, I would like to cover the global climate strike. Climate change has been on the forefront for many this past week, with NYC’s Climate Strike occurring last Friday.

I would like to continue the conservation, and base my next podcast on Climate Emergency: No More Business As Usual. Rise and Resist, and many other climate activists, are gathering in front of the Plaza Hotel, where corporate leaders and public policy makers will discuss solutions to the climate crisis. Rise and Resist will join in a nonviolent demonstration to welcome the arriving attendees with their own demands.

Podcast Pitch

For my podcast, I am going to interview a local volunteer who assists families in New York that are escaping gang violence and persecution in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  They have ventured a treacherous journey to pursue safety in the United States.

Considering immigration reform is currently a very heated debate, it is important that the public is aware that those entering the U.S. border can ask for asylum without being criminalized. My target audience would be immigrants, or families of immigrants. However, everyone is welcomed to listen.

Podcast: Today in True Crime

Murder stories have always intrigued me. Therefore, I was naturally drawn to the podcast: Today in True Crime. However, I am not an avid podcast listener. I enjoy watching visuals, and I was apprehensive I would not thoroughly enjoy simply listening to a podcast as I would watching a documentary, show, etc.

The about goes as follows: “Crime never takes a day off, and neither do we. Every day, we flip back the calendar and examine a true crime event from the same date years ago. It might be the anniversary of an important case being solved, the end of a landmark trail, or a serial killer’s birthday — whatever the date, there’s no ordinary day in true crime history. In each daily episode, we present a short true crime story, then analyze the impact on that historic day’s events.” 

This podcast is intended for those who enjoy a good break down of a crime event that occurred at some point in history. TITC (Today in True Crime) takes each murder and does a play by play (so to speak,) of what occurred that day. The style and/or format the podcast is done in is scripted. In addition, what makes this podcast different from other podcasts, is the length of each podcast. Some podcasts can be up to an hour long. However, because this podcast is done everyday, each episode is a little under fifteen minutes. Personally, I enjoy this. It gives me an opportunity to truly tune in, rather than spacing out from time to time and/or having to stop in the middle of a podcast.

Currently, TITC is distributed via Spotify, iTunes and Parcast. Though, because of the growing popularity with true crime podcasts, I do not think this is as well known as others. I did not see any advertising on it, however, it seems as though this podcast is fairly new – just having started in August 2019. A good episode to start with would be August 21st 2019: Mona Lisa Stolen. This was the episode that had me craving to hear more. It is wonderfully descriptive and the host examines a crime that has oddly bewildered me. (I had no idea the Mona Lisa was stolen?). The host did a fantastic job in setting the scene and allowing the listener to believe they are there with them.