KALW Audio Academy Class of 2017 Announced as Class of 2016 Readies To Graduate
By Guest Blogger Ben Trefney, News Director, KALW Public Radio
This time of year brings an enormous amount of activity to the KALW newsroom. Our current Audio Academy cohort is working hard on their final projects, our team is preparing for its spring membership drive, and our administrators select the next Audio Academy class.
We had more than 130 applicants, this year, and while that’s a truly inspiring number, it’s also a daunting task to choose the final eight. We carefully looked through the applications, the cover letters, writing and audio samples. We inquired with references, and we conducted many, many interviews. Ultimately, our team sat down for a three-and-a-half hour session to hash out our invitees. Accompanied by a quote from their cover letters, they are:
Josiah Luis Aldrete – “Being a proud chicano and Bay Area native with an interest in our collective Bay Area history I feel I could make a genuine contribution and impact to the KALW familia.”
Ted Guggenheim – “I believe that actively listening to people in a non-judgmental way is key to getting them to open up to you.”
Jeremy Jue – “I have edited over 30 short films for [Not In Our Town] and worked closely with producers, graphic designers, and sound engineers to ensure that the production value of our films remains of the highest quality.
Greer McVay – “Randi Rhodes. Yes! Thom Hartmann, Yes! Rush Limbaugh. Not so much. Ultimately, I wish to join the list of esteemed radio personalities who are driving the national political conversation.”
Kanwalroop Singh – “My heritage, tied up in the folds of my turban, is what makes me a storyteller.”
Cari Spivack – “Overall, I am a rigorous researcher who can distill information for any audience.”
Claire Stremple – “My experience at KPFA is the most pertinent to this position, though my previous work as a researcher for both Ethan Watters, a nonfiction author and journalist, and at Dial House LLC, an alternative brand strategy agency, has schooled me in various research and reporting methods.”
Beatrice Thomas – “As a rather social, queer, black, cis female, married to a Jewish transgender male, I am no stranger to intersectionality.”
Really cannot wait to meet these people in person!
Our current class is, of course, active, and some members were showcased nicely in Thursday’s show. As part of our public safety project, Lisa Bartfai reported this story about young men preventing sexual assault. And Eli Wirtschafter produced this Audiograph about a charismatic BART train operator. We’re in the home stretch for this group, now, with graduation scheduled for June 9th in San Francisco.
Between now and then, many of them will be airing the whole Crosscurrents shows they’ve been working on. And all are active participants in the special hour-long shows that we prepare for every membership drive. Those programs begin on Tuesday, and in our seven drive shows, you can look forward to dynamic conversations with some of our most entertaining and eye-opening content. I’m personally working with Shereen Adel and Ian Lewis on two live shows.
One is about new podcasts that have come or are coming out of KALW. We’re featuring David Boyer (’14) whose podcast series The Intersection has been drawing attention from around the country for its very human and insightful look at life in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. He’ll be in conversation with Avery Trufleman, whose work on the KALW product 99% Invisible has made her a very prominent figure in the podcast community.
The other show is about local heroes of the Bay Area, and Ian, Shereen and I are working with Hannah Kingsley-Ma (’15) on a feature about how the Golden State Warriors bring together so many corners of the Bay Area into a unified community. I’ll also be making a story about an unsung hero named Cardell Butler who serves as a referee in the San Francisco Park and Rec Jr. Warriors‘ youth basketball program. And we’ll be hearing from listeners who will have a chance to name people who are their local heroes – people who make the Bay Area a better place to live. (You can contribute, too, by calling 415-264-7106 and saying your name, your phone number, the name of your local hero and what makes them special.)
I’m finding, increasingly, that one of the most wonderful things about our news department is our ability to bring people together. It meets our mission, borne of our station’s strategic plan:
Create joyful, informative media that engages people across the divides in our community – economic, social and cultural.
It feels so good to see that mission manifest in reality.