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PRA is Indie of the Year!

The PRA has won two Golds at the 2017 Audio Production Awards, including being named Indie of the Year.

We were also incredibly proud to win Gold in the Grassroots Production category for National Prison Radio.

The independent audio production sector supplies content for BBC Radio, along with other organisations who love to use audio and other media to communicate with their audiences.

PRA Productions specialises in telling stories from people whose voices don’t usually get heard in mainstream media. We work with criminal justice charities, statutory organisations and government bodies, and we also produce documentaries for the BBC. Unusually for an Indie, PRA Productions relies on the BBC for only a small fraction of its business – less than 20%. We’re proud to work with organisations like the National Literacy Trust, Ministry of Justice, Public Health England, Samaritans, Shannon Trust, Prison Reform Trust and dozens of others to create life-changing audio. This year we have also moved into the visualised content arena – creating animations and video to augment our audio productions.

Indie of the Year is the biggest prize in the independent production sector, hotly contested by major content suppliers. It recognises and celebrates a company’s success across the year, both in creative excellence, tackling business challenges and in the breadth of content created. It celebrates those who have pushed creative boundaries, as well as a forward-thinking approach to their company.

PRA Productions was up against 7digital, CTVC, Reduced Listening Company, TBI Media and Whistledown.

The judges said:

“In a strong field this flourishing Indie was a clear winner. The judges were in awe of the sheer range, imagination nd ambition of the output, bringing remarkable, challenging stories to air through drama, live events, music shows, factual entertainment, documentary and debate. Judges were impressed with the Indie’s knack for accessing a range of voices and stories that are rarely heard on air. The judges were clearly able to see how their content is changing lives. This indie has grown 54% in the past year and is producing some of the most creative and diverse audio on the planet, making them solid gold.”

The Grassroots category celebrates an individual, production company, radio station or community-based organisation that has shown extraordinary achievement in identifying, nurturing or mentoring new and diverse talent to the audio industry.

National Prison Radio was up against the Community Radio Network, Guy Bellamy, the Podium.Me Production Team, Reform Radio and Resonance FM.

Awarding Gold, the judges said:

This is a radio station that finds talent from its own audience, many of whom clearly gain their confidence and experience through this station. It was a real showcase of high-standard talent, capable of wider possibilities and opportunities in the wider audio industry. A diverse range of examples which are very real, connected, and very professionally delivered. An inspiring listen, with a clear acknowledgement from the judges that the work highlighted in this entry demonstrates it being extraordinary in identifying nurturing and mentoring new talent.”

Podium.Me won the Silver award, whilst Reform Radio won the Bronze.

Other winners on the night included Ed Miliband and Tony Blackburn, who was given a gold award for his incredible 50 year-long radio career which continues to this day. Phil Critchlow was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the BBC and then as the creative force behind TBI Media.

A report from Enders Analysis in 2015, commissioned by the Radio Independents Group who host the Audio Production Awards, found the independent audio production sector to be worth almost £40m per year. Since then, the rise of new platforms such as Audible means the sector is growing fast.

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