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Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in ACE Learning Center, ACE Partners, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

Track the Excellent, Sweet Week At KALW Audio Academy

By Guest Blogger Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio

This was a sweet week for many reasons around the KALW news department.

Pigeon Racer from Bill Milestone's Loft - photo by Geraldine Ah-Sue.

Pigeon Racer from Bill Milestone’s Loft – photo by Geraldine Ah-Sue.

For one big thing, we’re in the midst of rolling out stories from the Audio Academy class of 2016. Geraldine Ah-Sue‘s first voiced piece aired last week:

The Fast and Furious World of Pigeon Racing

Terrific tracking, great subject, surprising info … really enjoyable place profile!

Gary Shields, Sr. training Gary Shields, Jr. at God's Gym - photo by Renata Gray.

Gary Shields, Sr. training Gary Shields, Jr. at God’s Gym – photo by Renata Gray.

Tammy Drummond‘s first voiced piece aired this week:

Pumping Up Bodies and Spirits at God’s Gym

Great character, excellent sound, and nice use of place to tell a deeper history!

Eli Wirtschafter records voice tracks for his first story at KALW - photo by Angela Johnston.

Eli Wirtschafter records voice tracks for his first story at KALW – photo by Angela Johnston.

Eli Wirtschafter and Luisa Cardoza voiced their first pieces last Thursday, too, and they’ll be airing soon. It’s so fun to hear the talent and voices coming up. Love it!

One of our previous Audio Academy members is getting national recognition for his work. David Boyer‘s podcast The Intersection made the “New and Noteworthy.”

If you haven’t heard it, you should. It’s the result of many, many, many months of deeply caring work that David put in telling the story of the corner of Golden Gate and Leavenworth. It’s sound-rich, emotional, insightful, and if you’re like me, you’ll learn a lot by listening to it. And if you have a chance to review it, please do … the more buzz, the more people will hear it. Click here:

The Intersection

And here’s the official website for David’s project:

The Intersection Website

Audio Academy mentor Leila Day‘s reporting expertise reached a much broader audience this week as well. She wrote a training document for NPR based out of her experience and that of others in the KALW newsroom:

NPR Editorial Training

It’s really worth reading, and listening to the examples she includes, and it’s blowing up around the network. The public media trade magazine Current picked up the article. And prominent radio reporters are sharing the story on social media.

Great and important stuff, and it’s wonderful that our voice is getting amplified beyond the Bay Area!

One other thing I wanted to note is that I received three unexpected emails this week from people we’ve trained at KALW. They updated me on what they’re up to, and I thought I’d share one of the notes. It’s from a Chilean journalist we worked with several years ago named Carolina Andrea Hidalgo Espinoza:

Dear Ben., Hi!!!

It has been a while since we haven’t been in touch. I think in 2013, I let you guys know that I was working in radio in Chile and by that time I had a project to teach in the university, but finally it was not possible.

But these past three years working in Chile have been very enriching and really, really intense. I performed as the content producer of an important radio show, covering national and international issues, mainly politics, but also sports, culture, etc.

I was in charge of analyzing the news to choose the most relevant content to discuss in our twice daily three-hour live radio show. Then I had to select the best interviewees to explain and/or debate about chosen content and arrange the interviews with them, usually relevant public figures. In general I had to arrange two or three daily interviews for the live radio show.

It has been rewarding in many aspects. I’ve been recognized for my work in radio… We even won an award for best radio show (chosen by the people)! And I’m really glad to tell you all this, because I wouldn’t ended up there if were not because of KALW and everything I learned with you…

It was wonderful to hear from Carolina. It really feels good to help people grow.

The time folks spend with us at KALW can sometimes be limited, and it’s always interesting to see how their careers and their lives develop. So now I’m really curious. While I’m aware of what many people who have come through our newsroom are doing, including everybody who has been part of the Audio Academy, I have not kept up with dozens of others. So over the next few months, I plan on catching up with them all. And I’ll keep you posted on what some of them are doing.

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