NorCal Society of Professional Journalists Honor Members of KALW’s Audio Academy
By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio
KALW‘s Audio Academy keeps on bringing home the hardware. Our latest honors are two excellence in journalism awards from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, which we’ll accept at a ceremony in November.
Hannah Kingsley-Ma and Liza Veale, both members of the class of 2015, were recognized for their radio documentary about unaccompanied immigrants attending Oakland’s Castlemont High. The story Seeking Asylum: Young Migrants Hope to Make Oakland Their Home won the prize for best audio feature and long-form story in the region. The piece they made for KALW also aired nationally on Latino USA. Check it out below.
The other award is for a KALW collaboration with Oakland Voices, a project of the East Bay Times and the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education that trains East Oakland residents to tell stories of their own community. Four stories that made up Sights & Sounds of East Oakland were recognized, collectively, as the outstanding community journalism production of 2016. Those pieces — about a foreclosure, a public art project, flamenco dancing, and an arts collective — were reported with the close assistance of Hannah and Liza along with Holly J. McDede and Jeremy Dalmas (’14), all of whom are currently beat reporters with KALW’s news department.
This recognition follows a sweep of the radio awards presented by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, which honored former Audio Academy members Isabel Angell (’14), Angela Johnston (’14), Liz Pfeffer (’14), Raja Shah (’15), along with Louis A. Scott from the San Quentin Prison Report, Leila Day, and me for our work over the past year.
It’s always nice to be honored like this, but it’s especially fulfilling to see how the training we provide at KALW is clearly manifesting in extraordinary work.
The class of 2017 is really getting involved now, too. They’ve been trained, now, on pitching stories, basic engineering, sound recording, and the editing process. They’ve recorded audio for KALW’s My Mixtape segment and the opening credits montages for Crosscurrents. They’ve been assigned Storycorps pieces to cut, and they’ve pitched stories for a series we’re producing about KALW’s own neighborhood: San Francisco’s Portola District. They’re on a steep learning path, but that means they’re ready to start reporting!
We’ve been ramping up our election coverage at KALW — just like the rest of the media — and we’re going to have support on Election Night from several members of the current cohort, including Jeremy Jue and Cari Spivack. And Cari, actually, just turned around her first story — coverage of an impromptu “tent-in” right out front of San Francisco’s City Hall. Check it out right here.
Looking forward to much more!