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Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

Popular Audio Academy ’17 Tops 138 Applicants from Countries Around the World

By Guest Blogger Ben Trefny, News Director, KAWL News Radio

When we launched the Audio Academy with support from ACE back in 2013, we thought it was a good idea. Audio journalism is important, it can be fun and KALW is well situated to train people on how to do it. We put out a call for applicants, and I stayed up late on the due date watching them roll in. And roll in. And roll in! We ultimately received 60 applications for eight positions.


Well, we brought in a class of eight and saw them through graduation. And over the past couple of years, as we’ve made the program stronger, we’ve seen it gain popularity. Last year, we received 82 applicants!

So what would happen this year?

The deadline was last Thursday at midnight, and I was up late, again, reading emails from hopeful people with inspiring cover letters. Here are some excerpts:

“As a longtime listener and admirer of KALW, I cannot imagine a more diverse and exciting place to work.”

“Uniquely told stories about unique people – or unique stories about regular people – go a long way to help create a better society, more informed citizens and happy listeners. I would like to be a part of that.”

“The Audio Academy will train me to tell all kinds of stories on radio creatively, carefully, and professionally, which is why I want to be a part of it – so that I can help transmit all these untold stories through the static.”

“Thanks so much for providing this opportunity for your listeners. I’ve never heard of such a thing as this academy before now. Cultivating local talent through this program is a great way for listeners to feel more a part of KALW.”

And it’s not just local talent. We received applications from around the nation, from people hungry for this education, and from countries around the world, including Afghanistan, England, Nepal, Pakistan and Uganda. All told, we received 138 applications for the Audio Academy!

Whew, indeed!

Now we’ve got a lot more work than we’d expected we’d have to do to bring this down to a class of eight! I can assure you that it’s going to be one remarkable class!

Meanwhile, we rolled out two more public safety stories from our current class. Tammy Drummond (’16) aired a strong piece with terrific voices about formerly incarcerated people finding work making soap. And Geraldine Ah-Sue (’16) incorporated a voice from right here in our backyard, Burton High School, along with some first-person perspective and playfulness on a story about what consent means.

Also, Ted Muldoon (’15) made this April Fool’s Day story about support sea-lions on airplanes. Fairly convincing, particularly with Eli Wirtschafter (’16) as an airline public relations specialist. Eli’s own public safety story about earthquake preparedness got picked up by the hyperlocal blog Berkeleyside. And The Intersection from David Boyer (’14) got love from one of the most prestigious audio organizations in the country: the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Check it out!

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