KALW’s Summer Intern Report – Radio Training Part 2
Buffy Almendares is featured in the second report from KALW’s Summer Intern Program in Radio Training. ACE and San Francisco public radio station KALW have partnered in developing a continuing education program for Burton High School students. The results: new voices and perspectives are on air and students receive hands on experience in creating stories.
Buffy Almendares, Radio Training Intern
This summer at KALW has been phenomenal! One of the very first things I noticed was that the newsroom was very different than what I expected. After learning some background of what the show is about and how successful it is, I was expecting it to be sort of “uptight.” KALW is a very friendly place, and it’s a great tool to voice out issues, so I also thought it would be very orderly and everything had to be a certain way. But it’s not! People are very flexible, and everyone is so nice and always ready to give extremely helpful constructive criticism. There’s things all over the place (especially food!!!!), but everyone seems to know where everything is. It’s like a household, you just have to be part of the family to know things will work out for the show.
Some of the projects I’ve worked on were Soundscapes, StoryCorps, and a commentary about how college looks from where I’m at as a high school senior. I’ve listened to various podcasts and show segments from different shows and topics. All this listening resulted in more confidence on how to write for radio.
Some other things I’ve learned at KALW are some neat shortcuts while using ProTools and how to approach difficult points of our projects. For example, in my commentary on education I wasn’t too sure how to deal with the fact that I couldn’t get the people I wanted to interview to be recorded. But we worked around it, and it turned out fine without those interviewees. Surprisingly, the most difficult part of this experience has been the commute!
My favorite part of this whole experience has been to shadow various people from the newsroom. I’ve learned so much from everyone’s personal story and every day work life. Because of being able to hear of their own experiences, I have a better sense on how I want to approach the coming years of my own life. I’ve learned to go ahead and do things, to not hold back due to not knowing what you exactly want. In the future, I’m looking at being an audio engineer and a filmmaker. But I also hope to one day open my own nonprofit organization in third-world countries, giving the voiceless confidence to use their voices.