Listen Up – Current Audio Academy Students Stories Go On Air
By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio
This blog post is a real pleasure to write, because it includes info about the myriad training programs currently running through KALW, all of which are made possible through the support of the Association for Continuing Education. Read on!
First off, I’ve been talking with Kim Kelling, Director of Content & Community Partnerships with WFSU in Tallahassee, Florida, about how training programs are incorporated into the daily work of our news department. She was super impressed and, since her station has received a grant to learn more about how to work better with the community, they’re sending a team of people out to the Bay Area to learn from us, Youth Radio, and KQED. They’ll come by KALW the afternoon of Wednesday, January 9, to meet with me and others at the station, see what we do and how we do it, and then observe our weekly Audio Academy seminar. Should be fun, and it’s certainly flattering that they sought us out as one of the nation’s exemplary public media training programs!
Speaking of the Audio Academy, a bunch of cool stories from the current class and alums aired on KALW, and elsewhere, last week.
First off, below are some of the first newscasts to be read live by this year’s Audio Academy fellows. Lance Gardner, Pria Mahadevan, Kevin McLean, and Lisa Wang were on our air, live, for the first time. It’s a nerve-wracking, and important, part of their training, and they got it done!
Listen to Lance Gardner –
Listen to Pria Mahadevan –
Listen to Kevin McLean –
Listen to Lisa Wang –
We reaired the award-winning series Unearthing the Green Revolution from Kanwalroop Kaur Singh (’17) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
In a new piece we also aired on Wednesday, Asal Ehsanipour (’18) traveled up to Butte County to get a firsthand look at how people are trying to help each other out after the Camp Fire.
Our transportation reporter Eli Wirtschafter (’16) had a very dynamic and entertaining Q and A with Hana Baba on Thursday about electric cars and HOV stickers.
And Bo Walsh (’18), along with Jenee Darden and Tarek Fouda, is getting a lot of fascinating artists on the air as part of Sights & Sounds. This week on Crosscurrents, we aired interviews with muralist and tattoo artist Mel Waters and actress Nilaja Sun, plus, on Sights & Sounds Weekly, we heard an amazing interaction Jenee had with singer Kim Nalley. (Be sure to stick around to the end of that one for the impromptu scatting!)
That wasn’t all Bo got on the air. He had his first national piece! It’s about the Stanford band, and it ran on the perfect day — the day of the Big Game, Stanford’s annual tilt against Cal — on NPR‘s sports show out of WBUR in Boston, Only a Game. Check it out!
Some more training to talk about with teams in the field:
– Holly J. McDede and Marisol Medina-Cadena (’18) taught a workshop about media literacy and engagement at Galileo High School last week. They recorded more than 30 commentaries from students about how they interact with media. It’s part of a bigger project we received funding from Cal Humanities for, which will include workshops at Burton and Lincoln High Schools as well as our summer high school internship program in 2019. Lots more on that down the line.
– Jenee and Chris Hambrick (’15) led a training boot camp with Oakland Voices alumni over the weekend. That’s a foundation for our Sights & Sounds: East Oakland work, in which the reporters we’re working with are paired with producers, photographers, editors, and engineers to tell stories generated by East Oaklanders about their community. That partnership has resulted in the community journalism award across all media from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California in two of the past three years! Lots more about that to come, too.
– Eli and Jessica Placzek, who work alongside Andrew Stelzer at Solano State Prison, had the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation head of rehabilitation come in to observe our training program and be interviewed by some of the guys with whom we work. Pretty amazing, when you sit back and think about how far that program has come in the last year. And guess what? A professional photographer was there, too, so we’ve got great behind-the scenes images of our studio inside the prison and the program and its participants in action. Check it out right here.
Thanks to everybody who is making all of this great work around the Bay Area happen!