From Pot Luck to Inner Thoughts – Dream Radio Stories from KALW Audio Academy Students
By Guest Blogger Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio
We’re a few weeks into our latest Audio Academy session, now. They’ve had weekly seminars on fact checking, sound gathering, and audio engineering, and they’ve been putting their work into practice by ensuring our Crosscurrents show scripts are accurate and also going out into the field to record voices of the Bay Area for the top of our shows.
We’ve also been getting to know our fellows much better, and to that end we held a potluck dinner Wednesday at KALW. More than 20 people came, including Audio Academy alums, summer volunteers in our department, staffers and members of the station administration. I was really pleased to see everybody engaging immediately in conversation. Once we’d all had a chance to visit and eat, we went around the room and shared what dream radio story we each would love to tell. Here are some examples:
– how one of the world’s deepest mines was transformed into one of the most important sites for physics experiments … Summer volunteer Meradith Hoddinott
– what innermost thoughts are shared through letters by people who know their own death is imminent … Audio Academy fellow Jeremy Jue
– what is the experience of a Guatemalan immigrant who leaves everybody he loves to sow the seeds of a better life for his family in the United States … Spiritual Edge director Judy Silber
– how does one of the world’s most skilled DJs make sampling choices and craft beats to create extraordinary new music … Audio Academy fellow Boawen Wang
– what are the background stories for every person on one block in one of San Francisco’s most diverse neighborhoods of immigrants and transplants … News Director Ben Trefny
Yes, that last one is me, and I really hope to tell that story one of these days; it’s the story of my own block! Certainly, during the course of this year, we hope to see what dream stories we can make into reality.
One more note: this was the last week of regular shifts for our summer volunteers. We had a delightful group of 10 trainees this year, and we’re really going to miss them. They made a lot of outstanding stories, helped us keep our digital operation on point, and then helped with the initial training of the incoming Audio Academy. Happily, several are still planning to work on stories with us, so we’ll have the chance to see them some more and help bring their work to the Bay Area and beyond.