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Posted by on Nov 24, 2020 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

From the Zombie Apocalypse to Election Day, an Audio Academy Fellow Reflects on Her Experience at KALW

By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Audience Supported Public Media and Liza Ramrayka, Audio Academy Fellow ‘21

Just wanted to get into a regular groove, sharing what’s going on at KALW. Here are some thoughts from Audio Academy fellow Liza Ramrayka:

When the Audio Academy class of 2021 first met up in person: September 9, 2020 — the eerie day when the Bay Area was clouded over by wildfire smoke.
Photo Credit: Marissa Ortega-Welch

What an unforgettable year to start at KALW’s Audio Academy. From pandemic to wildfires to the most consequential election of our times, the past two months (is it really only two months?) have been a whirlwind of Zoom rooms and Slack chats as we’ve embarked on this virtual learning journey. 

As a long form feature writer, I’ve had to completely rethink the way I present my story to get it to fit a one-minute spot. It’s been a challenge! But my patient editors [Ben Trefny and Angela Johnston] and mentor [Hana Baba] have been so generous with their time and advice, guiding me through how to make the story work while still keeping my ‘voice’. 

It’s been exciting to be part of KALW’s election coverage in recent weeks, from getting into the weeds of ballot measures to interviewing community leaders to find out what local voters really care about. A highlight so far has been going live for the station on election night — a little nerve-wracking but made so comfortable thanks to expert KALW coaching [from Marissa Ortega-Welch].   

Throughout all this, my fabulous and talented AA ’21 cohort have made this experience such a joy — from the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ night when we met to pick up recording equipment in San Francisco after a day of orange skies, to sharing stories with my newsroom partner, to offering ProTools help (definitely my nemesis at this point!).  Looking forward to what the next months will bring.

Liza Ramrayka (second from the left) as part of “the 2021 KALW Apocalypse Academy”
Photo Credit: Marissa Ortega-Welch

 

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