KALW’s Training Programs Heat Up Like Summer and Reflect the Bay Area’s Varied Perspectives
By Ben Trefny, Interim Executive Director, KALW
Just like the weather around California, KALW‘s training programs have heated up toward the end of the summer. We’ve been so happy to work with our wonderful teenaged and adult trainees, and the people who benefit most are our audiences. I often reflect upon how our newsroom’s worldview is so deeply shaped by the people who come through our training programs. The work we produce — representative of the Bay Area’s diverse communities and the world beyond — is reflective of the people who make it. And the more perspectives we can share, the better our practice of journalism.
Check out some of the recent work from our summer folks:
Homelessness in Richmond has nearly doubled in three years — Raphael Cohen
22,000 Kaiser nurses picket over equipment and staffing shortages — Sunday Holland
Cooling centers open in Bay Area amid heatwave — Sebastian Miño-Bucheli
Here are some thoughts from Sebastian about the program he’s been part of:
Getting bit by the public radio bug meant I left the world of print journalism for something better. I found that I feel so comfortable writing scripts, getting ambi, and most importantly, I’m able to be myself.
I’m very thankful to news editors Sunni Khalid and Shia Levitt for being able to make me slow down in my voice tracking and take a different angle when I encounter stories I may want to work on in the future. I’m beyond thankful for the cohort I’m in; we were all super shy in the beginning but we watch each other’s backs when new opportunities come up for stories or jobs. After this summer season, I can proudly say that I was good in my hands all along.
I’m on the career path of being a producer on a show soon where I’m able to air thought-provoking stories with a team, but I remember I’m currently doing that here at KALW’s summer academy program.
If you feel like you need that extra push to learn what it takes to be a producer, you should try the program. It’ll boost your confidence in writing, reporting, and pitching stories. You don’t want to miss out on that.
I’m also happy to share some thoughts from 2nd year UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism student Hanisha Harjani, who spent her summer working with us:
One of my favorite parts of the Audio Academy have been the morning news digests. This daily practice of identifying the most interesting news and then talking about the questions that those stories bring up has helped me become a much better reader and reporter. During one of the first orientation days at the beginning of the Summer Academy, I remember Shereen Adel, KALW’s Manager of Editorial Operations, quoting Tasneem Raja (of the Oaklandside) who said, “Don’t think of your story as an endpoint, think of it as a middle point.” And the news digest has helped me practice that. I’ve become more confident about the stories I want to tell and when there has already been reporting done on a subject, I am more inclined to look for the spaces that remain and the questions that still linger to tell the stories that might still be underneath the surface.
It’s so important to share your thoughts about the world. It helps shape it, and you never know the impact it will have on the people around you — and even on people you’ve never met. Our young journalists are on that journey, and we’re very grateful that we have the chance to work with, and learn from, them.
By the way, as a final note, I’m really excited to share something from our youngest trainees. The students behind tbh — our podcast by, about, and for teenagers — just dropped the trailer for the new season.
Check it out right here:
There’s a lot we can all gain by listening to the next generation! Subscribe to the podcast and see what these young people have to say!