“Lets Grow This” KALW Fundraising Campaign Theme Reflects the Growth of Audio Academy
By Guest Blogger Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Radio and Jasmin Lopez, Audio Academy Alumni
Now that we’ve got next year’s Audio Academy selected, the next step for us has been to choose a group of summer volunteers who we can train to report, produce, and work in a daily newsroom between the departure of the Class of 2015 and the arrival of the Class of 2016. We get a huge amount of interest these days from people all around the country who know we pay close attention to building skills and making great radio, so we had a lot of tough choices to make. We ultimately chose about 10 people – from around the Bay, the nation, and Canada, England, and Australia – who will join us beginning June 1st. Some members of the current Academy will stay with us through the summer, and Rhian Miller, from the Class of 2014, will rejoin us as well.
We also were able to offer part-time paid fellowships to continue the training and contributions of some of the Academy members. Nine people submitted letters of interest, and we selected four who will begin line producing shows in July. It’s a critical job in our newsroom: the line producer coordinates our daily operations, gathers story scripts and sound, writes show scripts, and oversees the sound design of each show. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ll be familiar with the folks taking on the line producer jobs: Jeremy Dalmas, Hannah Kingsley-Ma, Liz Mak, and Liza Veale. Additionally, Raja Shah will receive a part-time paid fellowship to develop a weekly Crosscurrents podcast and help with our digital strategy. We’re really excited to keep working with all of these talented producers.
Meanwhile, KALW started its spring membership drive this week with the theme Let’s Grow This. It’s a critical fundraising time for our station, as 72% of our funding comes from listeners. It’s also a great time to connect with our audience, and we always come up with special live Crosscurrents shows to celebrate the occasion. Here’s what we aired last week:
Tuesday’s show was themed around “how to do things” featuring Hana Baba in conversation with one of our favorite guests, D’Arcy Drollinger. (You may remember D’Arcy as the leader of our KALW Dance Party
– and if you haven’t seen it, take one minute and check it out, now!)
On Wednesday, Hana hosted Terrance Kelly in a live show featuring stories from The Spiritual Edge. The director of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir brought his beautiful, inclusive perspective, and his fantastic singing voice, to the conversation. It was a joyful noise.
Thursday, I sat in for Hana, and had a great conversation with Kate Scott, morning anchor for one of the nation’s biggest sports broadcasters: KNBR in San Francisco. We talked about women in broadcasting, the barriers keeping gay pro athletes from coming out, and, of course, the Golden State Warriors playoff run. It was a rare sports show for us, and a good one.
Finally, this week, I got a note from Jasmin Lopez, who graduated with the Class of 2014. It’s a good one, so I’m sharing it with you:
Jasmin Lopez, Audio Academy Alumni
Just wanted to share a recent collaboration between Laura Flynn and me. We explore how some women have been dehumanized to the point of indifference through the following stories: one community is undoing the silence around the violence women of color face; serial killers were able to hunt down mostly Black women for three decades in South Los Angeles; pregnant indigenous women struggle under a health care system failing to provide proper medical care.
I was able to report out of the Yucatan with one of my Project Luz students too, which was amazing. I thought you might want to know about this since we are both Audio Academy ladies. And, I thought you could use it to show how former audio academy participants continue their radio work. We reported, produced, engineered the entire thing ourselves. Also, Laura trained the woman that reported the first piece through Making Contact’s Community Storytelling Fellowship. We’re doing it!
Check out Jasmin and Laura’s work right here.