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Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in ACE Learning Center, ACE Partners, Continuing Education | 0 comments

Join KALW Audio Academy, Learn to Tell Stories That Change Things, PRX Broadcasts Those Stories on Remix, and The World Hears You. BAM!

By Guest Blogger Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio

Been a very busy couple of weeks! I was away at a health care journalism conference, we’ve been setting up some special projects for 2015/2016, and our KALW softball team just had its first few games. Go Mashers!

We’ve also, of course, been making Crosscurrents!

Monday’s show had a really cool progression. Former Academy member, and now full employee, Angela Johnston‘s story about a charitable space to help homeless people was followed by a really moving StoryCorps about hospice care and then Academy fellow Jeremy Dalmas‘ fascinating story about a museum for death culture called The Body Appropriate.

Angela’s piece got some great response. The program itself wrote us to say how the piece was really sensitively and thoughtfully made and they were happy to have word out there. If it resulted in just one person volunteering to help the homeless through their program, it would be a great gift, they said.

Then I got this email from a friend:

I listened to the program on the Gubbio Project on Crosscurrents. Really nice piece. I loved how the sound amplified, approximated the experience of being there. I cried when they talked about taking care of people’s feet. I really felt the tenderness of the work. (Oh, and I’m a crazy crier.)

I was wondering if I could try to work on volunteering as a class at Gubbio, maybe even on something of a regular basis.

So how about that?!

Tuesday, we featured a very timely story about tipless restaurants from former Academy member Liz Pfeffer.

And Thursday, Academy fellow Todd Whitney traveled to the San Pablo Reservoir to see the impact of the drought firsthand.

Our reputation is clearly spreading. PRX recognized us, recently, with its annual Zeitfunk Award for landing the most stories on their Remix programming. It’s a collection of great audio pieces nationally syndicated and broadcast on XM Satellite Radio. That means KALW’s work – much of it made by Audio Academy members – is being heard all over the country, and even the world. Our audio engineers, Chris Hoff and Seth Samuel, put together a typically sound-rich (and silly) acceptance speech. Check it out.


Here’s a guest posting from Audio Academy member Liza Veale:

By Guest Blogger Liza Veale, Audio Academy Student

The last couple weeks I’ve been seriously aware of the education I’m getting from the Audio Academy. It’s not just an opportunity to learn from experience, it’s an intensive training. One of the main things that drove this home for me was the visit from NPR Bureau chief Jason DeRose. He described the typical editing process for NPR stories. It consisted of about 3 conversations between the reporter and the editor, each about 15 minutes long. Most of the stories I’ve done with KALW have required hours from my editors and many, many revisions. I’m so far from being a real reporter, but thanks to the editors my stories get on the air. So I’ve been extra grateful recently.

I’m starting to appreciate how hard it is to make good radio. The form has real tough constraints when it comes to time, density of information and accessibility of style. I think KALW pushes back against being broad and bland, but still recognizes that we have to reach as many people as possible. So I respect the constraints, and I’m trying to learn how to meet them without being boring.

I’m also struggling with being productive when I’m working in the newsroom because there are too many interesting conversations and ridiculous hijinks taking place at any moment for me to focus. I can always work in one of the solitary nooks at the station, but I rarely make that choice. It’s too fun in the newsroom!

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