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Imperfect Paradise, from LAist Studios, reveals new slate of long-form narrative stories

Imperfect Paradise, from LAist Studios, reveals new slate of long-form narrative stories

Press Release · Pasadena, CA, USA ·

Imperfect Paradise, the award-winning weekly podcast from LAist Studios, today announced the first part of its 2024 story slate, kicking off with a story about a group of dancers working to unionize one North Hollywood strip club and the pitfalls they faced along the way. Hosted by Antonia Cereijido, other upcoming four-part stories will focus on topics including: the negotiations over the Colorado River water crisis; complex and often contradictory experiences with US-Mexican immigration; a major metropolitan area like Los Angeles’ relationship with deadly predators; and progressive district attorneys, like LA’s George Gascón, now facing re-election challenges.

Shana Naomi Krochmal, VP of Podcasting, LAist Studios commented, “After relaunching ‘Imperfect Paradise’ last year with a new format and weekly cadence, we have seen the show’s audience grow dramatically and received positive feedback from our listeners, the ones who matter the most. ‘Imperfect Paradise’ has established itself as an always-on, weekly flagship program for LAist Studios. Not only are we finding story ideas that resonate with a national audience, ‘Imperfect Paradise’ remains a longform narrative platform that allows us to illuminate nuanced perspectives on smart, sometimes uncomfortable stories that speak most to our audience, and the show’s success is telling us we made the right decision.”

The slate of stories planned for 2024 includes:

  • The Strippers Union - Running Now: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the service industry were forced to take a pause. Some started to reimagine what work could be like, leading to what some consider an unprecedented ‘union boom,’ with workers from industries that were not traditionally unionized getting curious about organizing - including one strip club in North Hollywood that tried to create a new labor model for stripping. LAist Studios producer Emma Alabaster explores the struggle for progress in the movement as a group of strippers fights back against club owners and examines who gets left behind when workers unionize.
  • California’s Gen Z Savior of the Colorado River (w/t) - Premieres May 2024: JB Hanby grew up in the Imperial Valley, a desert corner of California that, thanks to copious Colorado River water, grows nearly all of the nation’s winter vegetables. He’s a farm boy and a conservative Christian, but he’s also a Stanford grad and a Gen Zer for whom climate change is not some abstract existential threat. He’s 26, and he’s California’s lead negotiator on the Colorado River during the worst water crisis in recorded history. Along with representatives from six other bordering states, JB has to come up with a long-term plan for how to manage the river in a hotter, drier future. They have until March 2024 to do it. Correspondent Emily Guerin reports.
  • Return to Mexico (w/t) - Premieres June 2024: Daniel Zamora fell asleep on a road trip in 2011. He awoke to find that his boyfriend had taken a detour, curious to look at the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and that they were surrounded by Border Patrol. This is Daniel’s story - from the years he spent as a young teenager without parents in Río Blanco after they migrated to Los Angeles, to his life after he followed them to the U.S. and went to college in Iowa, and through his “voluntary” deportation process to his current situation, living happily in Ciudad Juárez. The series interrogates the idea of deportation as failure, explores generational differences in the “American Dream,” and considered the alternative realities and selves immigrants must often leave behind and construct anew. Freelance journalist Lorena Ríos Treviño reports.
  • Encroaching Predators: Lions, Coyotes & Bears (w/t) - Premieres July 2024: Los Angeles has the longest wild edge of any city in the U.S. - almost 700 miles of border where suburban homes butt up against rugged canyons and hillsides. That means people live here with wildlife, including large predators, whether we like it or not. Mountain lions, black bears, and coyotes have adapted to living among people over the course of LA’s history. This is the story of our evolving relationship with the three predators with whom humans in Southern California have the most conflict and how attitudes towards them have changed. Reported by LAist’s Emily Guerin, Jill Replogle and Erin Stone.
  • The District Attorney: George Gascón - Premieres September 2024: LA justice is at a crossroads. In his first term, District Attorney George Gascón dramatically reduced prison sentences and increased prosecution of police officers involved in shootings. Now, he’s asking voters for another four years to continue what he claims is a wholesale transformation of the nation’s largest local prosecutors office. But like other progressive district attorneys elected in recent years around the country, he faces criticism from almost every corner: an internal revolt by his own old-school deputies, an onslaught from rightwing media, and skepticism from a public wary of crime. We go inside the political race at the epicenter of the nation’s reckoning with its justice system. Reported by LAist’s Frank Stolze.
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“Imperfect Paradise” has just been honored with a Best Reporting nomination for the 2024 Ambies, and was previously recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and a Radio and Television News Association Golden Mike Award. The show has also been nominated for an additional Gold Mike Award, an Online Journalism Award, National Ruben Salazar Journalism Award, International Documentary Association Documentary Award, and multiple Ambies. Listeners can subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One and all other podcast platforms and to new episodes on LAist 89.3 every Sunday at 7:00pm.


Imperfect Paradise
LAist Studios

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