Home Stretch for KALW Audio Academy Class of 2021 and Their Big Futures
By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW and David Exumé, Audio Academy Fellow ’21
We’ve reached the home stretch for the Audio Academy class of 2021!
Our fellows are working on final stories and getting guidance about entering the next phase of their lives. Some are lining up new jobs, including David Exumé, who has a contract with the national show Snap Judgment starting in June!
David’s been busy with KALW work, lately. Here are the pieces he’s published in May
I asked David to share some thoughts, and here’s what he had to say:
Your job is to make your subjects comfortable,” was some advice David Boyer, my mentor, recently gave to me. I had finished up a story on health equity, which involved collecting tape at a vaccination site in Oakland. “Make your subjects comfortable,” I thought as my boom pole drew some wandering eyes. I decided to lean into it — crack jokes, point out my KALW tote bag, look available. As folks compared me to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Gandalf, they all got more comfortable with me. They knew I was there to represent them, to tell their story, and to listen. By the time the community’s pastor asked to speak to me, we were all in our comfort zone and ready to share.
This is a small example of the confidence and guidance KALW’s Audio Academy has given to me. I keep Boyer’s advice in mind in all my reporting, right down to the small things, like encouraging interviewees to pause to take a sip of water in the middle of our conversations. The Audio Academy isn’t all deadlines, reporting plans, and butcher-shop-esque edit sessions. It’s learning how to turn good tape into great tape. It’s learning to balance your list of interview questions with asking questions that fit the flow of the conversation. And, personally, it’s helped me figure out what professional roles in audio I’d like to shoot for.