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Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

From Hip Hop to Black Bears, Summer Was Hot for KALW Reporters

By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio

The Audio Academy class of 2018. From left to right: Atemu Aton, Zeina Nasr, Lilia Vega, Marisol Medina-Cadena, Asal Ehsanipour, Christine Nguyen, Amber Miles, and Bo Walsh.

I’ll start with a heartfelt welcome to the incoming Audio Academy class! Last week, they received a two-day orientation to our news team and station, and it’s just the beginning of what we expect to be a great journey!

Also, a huge thank you to our summer reporting trainees! They’ve become a vital part of our news department and are hugely appreciated! Keep reading and see what terrific work they’ve been up to!

KALW’s high school summer interns join a listening party to hear their work with their instructors. From left to right: Holly J. McDede, Ellie Herbert, Susanna Luo, Jeremy Dalmas, Allison Ajpop-Perez, and Kasey Chen.

Lots of great features to highlight over the last three weeks:

– Summer reporter Laura Wenus‘ insightful story about pollution in Oakland, calling attention to how air quality block by block can be dramatically different, particularly when it comes to high traffic areas like the Port of Oakland

– Summer reporter Sonja Hutson‘s story about UC Berkeley’s new chancellor looks upon the hope of a fresh start to a school year while calling attention the myriad challenges the campus faces

– Summer reporter Ariel Plotnick‘s Audiograph about a bird hotel was a delightful exploration of a fascinating place with a very insightful twist about how people can become confined by their passions

– Summer reporter Andy Bosselman‘s investigation into how police are (intentionally or not) causing drug addicts to feel intimidated about going to harm reduction centers .

– 2014 Audio Academy graduate Angela Johnston‘s feature about an earthquake early warning system provided a harrowing story of survival mixed with need-to-know information about how the Bay Area stacks up with temblor-sensing technology

– 2017 Audio Academy graduate Cari Spivack produced a really fun interview I conducted with Bruce Lee‘s biographer and one of his school’s former students about the legendary fighter and the history of Bay Area martial arts

– 2017 Audio Academy graduate Boawen Wang produced an entire Crosscurrents show about the evolution of Bay Area hip hop and some of its most interesting and innovative practitioners

– San Quentin Radio’s Luke Colondres aired his first story ever about prison barbers.

– And our high school summer interns came through with four features showcasing their interests and personalities, including Susanna Luo‘s story about boba tea , Kasey Chen‘s story about black bears, Allison Ajpop-Perez‘s story about K-Pop, and Ellie Herbert‘s story about cosplay.

The Audio Academy class of 2018 (in a more relaxed frame of mind.)

What an amazing collection of pieces showcasing different communities from all over the Bay Area! As Audio Academy class of 2015 graduate Hannah Kingsley-Ma said while listening as line producer last week, “We’re making good shows.”


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