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KALW Wins 12 SF Press Club Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Including Eight Audio Academy Graduates

Posted by on Sep 22, 2020 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 1 comment

By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW, Audience Supported Public Media

The San Francisco Press Club has announced the winners of the Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards for the 2019 calendar year. (Remember then? It really wasn’t that long ago!)

Members of our team won 12 awards! That includes eight Audio Academy graduates! Plus, the producers we train and work with at Solano and San Quentin State Prisons took honors as well!

Here’s the list of recipients, including Audio Academy alum graduation years in parentheses:

Digital Media: Videography
First Place: Jenee Darden, Jen Chien, Zoe Mountain, Gabe Grabin, “Where Is East Oakland?”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Documentary
First Place: Lisa Morehouse, Jonathan Davis, Ben Trefny, David Boyer, Gabe Grabin, “The Intersection: ART meets MOTION at Burning Man”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Feature Story / Light Nature
First Place: Alyia Yates (’19), Lisa Morehouse, “Where Can Women Go to Heal, Bond … and Twerk?”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Feature Story / Serious Nature
First Place: Christine Nguyen (’18), Lisa Morehouse, Gabe Grabin, “Vietnamese Immigrants Care for Parents with Dementia Amidst Stigma”, KALW
Second Place: JoAnn Deluna (’19), Jenee Darden, “The History Of California’s Sexual Education”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Investigative Reporting
First Place: Magnolia McKay (’19), Lisa Morehouse, James Rowlands, “1101 Connecticut: Transforming Potrero Hills’ Public Housing”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: News Story
First Place: Pria Mahadevan (’19), David Boyer, “San Francisco Banned Flavored Tobacco Sales. Now What?”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Podcast – News
First Place: Hana Baba, Marissa Ortega-Welch, Jenee Darden, Porfirio Rangel (’19), Tarek Fouda, “Crosscurrents”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Series or Continuing Coverage
First Place: b.f. thames, Damon Cooke, Joe Kirk, Stanley “Spoon” Jackson, Steve Drown, Chanthon Bun, Greg Eskridge, Edmond Richardson, Gregg Sayers, Tommy “Shakur” Ross, Nathan McKinney, Thanh Tran, Bryan Mazza, Ninna Gaensler-Debs, Angela Johnston, Kristin McCandless, Marissa Ortega-Welch, Jessica Placzek, Andrew Stelzer, Ben Trefny, Tiana Williams, Eli Wirtschafter, “Uncuffed”, KALW

Radio/Audio-Non-Commercial: Sports Feature
First Place: Bo Walsh (’18), Ben Trefny, James Rowlands, Gabe Grabin, David Boyer, “Homegrown Baller Joe Ellis On Growing Up In Oakland And Playing For The Warriors”, KALW

Radio/Audio: Podcast – General Interest
First Place: Hana Baba, Leila Day, “What’s in your blood?”, The Stoop
Third Place: Leila Day, Hana Baba, “Gullah Geechee”, The Stoop

Here’s the full list of awardees:

Congratulations, team! Well earned!

Welcome to KALW’s Audio Academy Class of 2021

Posted by on Sep 8, 2020 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW, Audience Supported Public Media

KALW, with ongoing support from the Association for Continuing Education, is proud to introduce its 8th Audio Academy class: the class of 2021. They began their nine-month journey at the beginning of September with two days of video conferencing orientation (including, of course, a spirited dance party). This week, they begin regular shifts with the news department, learning from our summer trainees, last year’s Academy grads, and our staff about daily and long-form writing, researching, fact-checking, reporting, voicing and more. We’re so excited to get rolling with this new class and share the public interest journalism they produce!

Scott Carroll (he/him/his)

Scott Carroll (he/him/his)
Hi. I’m a second-generation Berkeley native. I worked at the campus radio station, KDVS, at UC Davis in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but haven’t done anything with radio for many years. I worked in media production after college — which was my career plan — but about 20 years ago, after volunteering with the Gay Men’s Health Collective of the Berkeley Free Clinic, I shifted full-time to working in HIV/AIDS, healthcare, health advocacy, and health research. With COVID I am doing a lot of support for my parents who are both in their 90s. I’m currently involved with the California Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, and I am a part-time medical skills instructor for medical students in several western states — waiting to see how we will be working in the upcoming school year. I’m very much looking forward to getting back to media work and learning new skills.

Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman (he/him/his)

Azul Dahlstrom-Eckman (he/him/his)
I was born and raised in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. Upon graduating high school, I left San Francisco to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I’ve worked as an arborist, bicycle mechanic, carpenter, zero waste educator, whitewater raft guide, and a freelance reporter for the Potrero View newspaper. My passions include everything outdoors, showing off my favorite spots in San Francisco, and most recently, swimming in the Bay. I look forward to joining the KALW news team as an Audio Academy fellow and using my time there to the fullest.

Carla Esteves (she/her/hers)

Carla Esteves (she/her/hers)
Growing up as a Filipina American in the heart of the Bay, I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for stories and sound. It was this admiration of good storytelling that motivated me to work in public media, first doing underwriting for KQED. Now, I am thrilled at the opportunity as an Audio Academy fellow to write and produce stories covering the issues, events, and cultural phenomena that impact the Bay Area and everyone who calls it home. I have a wide range of reporting interests, but my main ones delve deeply into topics surrounding environmental sustainability/justice and culture. In my free time, I enjoy roaming through thrift shops guessing the stories behind odd treasures, exploring the outdoors, trying to be a good plant mom and listening to copious amounts of music which, I hope, will help me greatly as I learn to produce engaging stories rich in sound.

David Exume (he/him/his)

David Exume (he/him/his)
Originally from New Jersey, I moved to the East Bay after completing a degree in sociology and a minor in creative writing. I started building my radio chops at my college radio station, and I’ve also interned at KCRW in Santa Monica. I’m joining KALW now after a year of working in the public sector. I’m looking forward to covering topics including music history, immigration, community organizing, and urban planning. In my downtime, I like playing bass, short stories, movie trivia, and producing mash-ups.

Wren Farrell (he/him/his)

Wren Farrell (he/him/his)
I’m originally from San Diego, but moved to Santa Cruz for college in 2014, where I studied literature and creative nonfiction at UCSC. In 2018, I moved to Oakland and began to pursue a career in audio-journalism. I’ve worked as a reporter for KPFA for the last year, where I’ve covered a wide range of issues from climate change to prison lawsuits to political candidacies to policing in the bay area. I’m interested in telling stories that demystify systemic inequalities, whether those be gender, race, or class based.

Annelise Finney (she/her/hers)

Annelise Finney (she/her/hers)
Hey! I was born and raised in the East Bay and have a background in oral history and political science. For the last four and half years, I’ve worked as a criminal defense investigator at a public defenders office in the Bronx, New York and at an appellate defenders office in the Bay Area. As an investigator, I frequently interview people involved in different parts of the criminal punishment system, and through my work have become passionate about the power of personal narratives and compelling stories to complicate dominant readings of the past and understandings of the present.

Andrew Garcia (he/him/his)

Andrew Garcia (he/him/his)
Hi! I am pursuing a career in public radio as an audio producer/journalist. I got my start in college radio at Sac State and spent the first part of my professional life helping to run the station. I am a big fan of movies, music, cooking videos on youtube, physical mediums, caffeine, podcasts, and of course public radio!




Liza Ramrayka (she/her/hers)

Liza Ramrayka (she/her/hers)
I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco and originally from England. I’ve spent most of my 25+ year career writing or commissioning social justice stories for print and digital media, including The Guardian, The Times, and HuffPost. Much of my writing explores aspects of — and solutions to — social exclusion experienced by marginalized communities such as refugees and people who are housing insecure. Audio is a new challenge for me, and I’m excited to discover how this medium can amplify the voices of people at the heart of the myriad social justice stories across the Bay Area and beyond. I’m passionate about advocacy through writing, and am a proud volunteer for San Quentin News and for 826 Valencia’s writing programs. Out of office, you’re likely to find me at the beach with my partner, two children, and our small but surprisingly bossy Maltipoo rescue.

Working Remotely, the KALW Team Has Stepped Up to Provide Important News in Critical Times

Posted by on Sep 4, 2020 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Supported Radio and Babette Thomas, Newsroom Summer Trainee

We’ve entered September, and now we’re just two months away from Election Day. It’s extraordinary that, as we move into this critical time, we’re facing so many crises as a society right now:

– the novel coronavirus pandemic

– a long overdue reckoning with entrenched, systemic racism

– two of the three largest wildfires in California history happening simultaneously, and with another, forcing evacuations and filling the Bay Area with smoke

– a seemingly irreconcilable political divide in our country

It’s overwhelming. Exhausting. It’s also enlightening. And it can be empowering. For certain, it provides endless material for, and validation of, good journalism. Our team at KALW has stepped up for many months, now, working remotely, and diligently, to provide news and information for the Bay Area. And in the process, we’ve been training 18 people, remotely, who are learning in the most extreme and important conditions.

For one thing, they’ve made Election Briefs about all 12 state propositions, and we’re nearing completion of all 13 San Francisco ballot measures. From there, we’ll move on to all the rest of the Bay Area counties and all their ballot measures as well. Here are a few examples:

San Francisco Measure F: Overhauling Business Taxes — Sarah Lai Stirland

San Francisco Measure E: Police Department Staffing Levels — Noor Bouzidi

California Proposition 21: Rent Control — Vivian Bossieux-Skinner

And we’ve been knocking out several stories a day about the topics that our listeners need to know about right now. Such as:

Bullet Tracing Bill Reaches Governor’s Desk — Bee Soll

San Francisco Set To Cut Some Money From The Police Department — Precious Green

California’s Struggle To Fight Fires On Multiple Fronts — Imran Ali Malik

Imran has now started classes at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. And his Audio Academy classmate Julia Llinas Goodman is joining the podcast Flash Forward as an associate producer. Meanwhile, Julia’s been building their engineering skills along with Chris Egusa, and they may both have a hand in the next season of tbh, our podcast by, about, and for teenagers, which is wrapping production right now.

As the host of tbh season, Samuel Getaches, once said, “There’s a lot to talk about!”

But enough from me. I’m going to make way for Babette Thomas, one of our summer trainees, who will be wrapping up her regular newsroom duties in the next couple of weeks:

Babette Thomas, KALW Newsroom Summer Trainee

I came in as a news intern at KALW at two very transitional moments in my life — only days after graduating from college and during the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. At the intersection of these two life upending moments, I felt uncertain with just about everything. I was moving back home to Oakland after four years of school. And I was nervous for what it might be like to work at a radio station remotely! But, in these moments of turbulence, KALW provided me with structure, guidance, encouragement and the opportunity to really grow as a producer.

I came to KALW having previously worked as a radio producer in college, in a combination of more experimental and conventional podcasting settings. I knew, and still know, that I want to pursue a career in radio. But I had heard so many horror stories from friends, that your first few opportunities in radio can really hamper your voice, as you attempt to conform to the voice of the show or program. This has pretty much been the opposite of my experience at Crosscurrents. If anything, I have been able to hone in on my voice as a producer, in ways that far exceeded my expectations. Through the guidance of the lovely editors and other members of staff, I have learned how to convey my ideas more concisely and directly. And I believe my writing has really improved. 

At KALW, I have had a great sense of autonomy in all phases of production, from coming up with story ideas to sound engineering. I’ve even been able to add my own personality into the minute-long news spots. And I have learned so much about what structurally goes into producing a news program, through hands on learning–even in a remote setting! In the past couple months, I’ve been in the driver seat of my own learning experience; I’ve been able to report on stories that interest me, and tell these stories in ways that feel true to who I am as a producer. KALW has gifted me with the knowledge and tools that I believe will greatly assist me on my journey as a radio producer! And I am incredibly grateful!