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No Summer Slack at KALW for Newscaster and Podcast Trainees

Posted by on Jul 22, 2022 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Ben Trefny, Interim Executive Director, KALW

If you were to drop by KALW, these days, you’d see a whole bunch of young journalists at work. A big (belated at this point) welcome to our summer trainees Raphael Cohen, Sydney Fishman, Monica Gomez, Hanisha Harjani, Sunday Holland, Lusen Mendel, and Sebastian Miño-Bucheli! They got started in earnest in early June, and they’ve been producing lots of newscast content since then with a bunch of features on the way. Here are some of the stories they’ve covered to date:

Zuckerberg SF General Hospital reopens for monkeypox vaccination — Raphael Cohen

Cities around the Bay consider 100 percent affordable housing projects — Hanisha Harjani

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins fires 15 employees from her office prompting backlash — Sydney Fishman

As homeless numbers rise, Sonoma County to allow camping in certain public spaces — Sunday Holland

City starts effort to clean up West Oakland homeless encampment — Lusen Mendel

Cal AG Bonta backs federal rule to regulate ‘ghost guns’ — Monica Gomez

California orders ban on pumping river water in Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley — Sebastian Miño-Bucheli

Simultaneously, Holly J. McDede, Sarah Lai Stirland, and student teacher Zara Ahmed are running our Summer High School Podcasting Institute out of the station with teenagers Aria Baldinger-Williams, Carolina Cuadros, Cassidy Kanner-Gomes, Elise Muchowski, George Reitan, and Elizabeth Truon. At the end of the program, they’ll produce the podcast tbh: by, about, and for teenagers. Here’s a picture of the crew taken Monday at KALW’s Burton High School campus:

CAPTION: From top left, KALW Summer High School Podcasting Institute students George Reitan, Aria Baldinger-Williams, Elise Muchowski, Carolina Cuadros, Cassidy Kanner-Gomes, and Elizabeth Truon.
CREDIT: Sarah Lai Stirland

Meanwhile, one of our recently graduated Audio Academy fellows, Erin Copp, joined the program late, and she is continuing her education with us this summer. Here are some thoughts she shared with me:

I came into Audio Academy with a lot of dreams of stories I wanted to tell and a vision of what a career in audio journalism would look like for me. Most of my dreams involved recording people I know and love and archiving their funny stories and experiences. During my first Audio Academy seminar, Shereen Adel, KALW’s Manager of Editorial Operations, spoke the words I will never forget. “Journalism isn’t about interviewing your friends.”  While I was a little disappointed to hear this, Shereen had no idea how much I needed to hear those words. During my time in the Academy, I have hit the streets talking to strangers and met so many amazing people. While my friends and family are great, interesting people, the Bay Area is full of people with amazing stories. I am so grateful Shereen broke me out of my safety bubble and am a much better journalist because of it. While this is one example of how the KALW team has helped me grow, I learn everyday from this incredibly talented and generous group of people.

CAPTION: Hana Bana takes a selfie with her Audio Academy mentees Elizabeth Aranda and Erin Copp.
CREDIT: Hana Baba

When we’re talking about incredibly talented and generous people, Erin fits right in!

And speaking of extraordinary folks, congratulations to another Audio Academy alum, Christine Nguyen (2018), for being named a member of the AIR New Voices class of 2022

Christine Nguyen (she/her) became a writer and audio-maker after two decades as a physician. She received journalism training at KALW and at the University of Toronto. She has bylines in radio and digital publications including KQED, KALW, and The Washington Post. Her work has earned awards from the San Francisco Press Club, The Society of Professional Journalists NorCal, and the AAJA. She’s obsessed with native gardening, which translates as cultivating plants otherwise known as weeds.

CAPTION: Christine Nguyen, when she was in KALW’s Audio Academy.
CREDIT: Ben Trefny

Congratulations, Christine!

KALW Highlights from June – From Uncuffed to Audio Academy Graduation

Posted by on Jul 7, 2022 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

By Ben Trefny, KALW Interim Executive Director

It’s been a minute, and I have some really great highlights from the month of June to share with you!

One is that members of Uncuffed — our training team based in California state prisons — completed their trip to Norway for the International Prison Radio conference. Here’s a fun pic of some of our crew from a radio station there:

That’s Adamu Chan on the left, Tommy Shakur Ross at the far end of the table, Nate McKinney under the KLYNGE sign, and Thanh Tran on the right. Tommy, Nate, and Thanh were all incarcerated at San Quentin as recently as a few months ago, and we helped arrange for them to get passports and permission to travel abroad.

Then, in late June, the Uncuffed team won a 1st Place award in Division A from the national Public Media Journalists Association for “podcast interview.” It’s for an episode called “Nate’s Going Home.” (Yes, that same Nate as you see in Norway there!) See the announcement by navigating around in the PMJA page. Congratulations to the team for the well-earned honor!

Also, speaking of our training programs, the 9th Audio Academy class just graduated! Congratulations to Elizabeth Aranda, D’Andre Ball, Erin Copp, Ryan Howzell, Johanna Miyaki, Jasmine Ramirez, and Dorothy Tang!

Here are a few pics from their graduation, including this one of a bunch of people in Tilden Park listening to a mentor sharing some thoughts:






KALW Public Media board member Kyung Jin, her son Ha Jin, and graduate D’Andre:







And one of the most fun parts was audio engineer James Rowlands playing a blooper reel created by fellow engineer Gabe Grabin while channeling John Cusack:

You know what that picture makes me think?

I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.

(Can’t take direct credit for that one.)

I can say, though, that with the Audio Academy completed, these graduates join others throughout the industry, all around the country, who have the skills to build careers as audio journalists and storytellers. We’re so excited to hear what they go on to do and be part of the world they help to shape!

Winning Poems from Oakland International High School Soar in the Air

Posted by on May 31, 2022 in ACE Learning Center, ACE School Report | 1 comment

Bessie here.

I’m flying around in circles for the ACE Poetry Contest winners from Oakland International High School (OIHS.)  Bessie the butterfly here, OIHS poetry contest mascot, and here are the winning poems from the two OIHS contests. These are amazing poems that look at the big and little worlds the poets live in and find truth and spirit about themselves and what they do. So OIHS. Some poems are in Spanish, so use Google translate if you need to.

Congratulations to the high flying winners. You are wonderful poets.

9th/10th Grade Contest


First Place – Cristina Lopez


De un pequeño país de talento y movimiento El Salvador con peligro no te miento.

De día y de noche es hermoso se reflejan entre sí el cielo y el mar la playa bella como medalla.

Con fauna y flora así es el. Te hace tener contacto, las lágrimas del cielo caen en ti. El bosque lindo con sus retoques.

Entre versos y rimas te pierdes nos toca el cuerpo o el corazonado musica dejate llevar y piérdete en el ritmo todo ella es especial como la túnica, cínica de tu cintura.

Como creemos en eso que nos anima en eso que esperas. La esperanza lo que te da confianza y enseñanza. La paz en este mundo queda muy grande esa palabra.

Nadie sabe en realidad cómo funciona el amor hacemos lo que creemos correcto. El amor es abrumador y aveces es muy acogedor pero también te da temor. La tristeza algo de mucha delicadeza y naturaleza humana. La felicidad algo momentáneo una falsedad de voluntad humana.

La familia es importante, te da un hogar, mis padres son mi hogar. Bea, bichita apodos recuerdos de infancia jomos borrados y jomos serán sacados de mi mente y corazón.

Comida una lucha y ayuda hacia mi amo todas los sabores y la sensación de sentirlos.

Mi rareza la conocen esas personas que me aman, mi locuras de nacimiento mi tontera es de 24/, me amo y me idio haci soy yo.


Christina’s Poem in English


From a small country of talent and movement El Salvador with danger I do not lie to you

Day and night it is beautiful the sky and the sea reflect each other the beautiful beach like a medal. With fauna and flora that’s how he makes you have the contact the tears of heaven fall on you the beautiful forest with its tweaks.

Between verses and rhymes you get lost, it touched our hearts and our bodies. The music let you go and you lose yourself in the rhythm, off of it is special like a tunic cynical of your waist.

How we believe in what encourages us in what you expect, what gives you confidence an teaching peace in this world. That word is very big

Love is overwhelming and sometimes it is very welcoming but it’s also scary. Sadness something of great delicacy and human nature. Happiness something momentary, a falsity of human will.

Family is important which my parents are my home. Bea bichita are memories of those nicknames that will never be removed or erased from my mind.

Food a fight and help towards me I love all the flavors and sensations of feeling them.

My rarity is known by those people who love me, my madness is from birth, my nonsense is 24/7. I love and hate myself I just don’t understand myself but that’s how I am.


Second Place – Herlinda Lucas

I am like a lake, I live like the river and I have peace like the trees.

The air makes my days beautiful.

I am like the light of the moon like her, and like me there will be no other, we are unique.

I am like sunflowers, sunflowers are not intimidated despite hidden sun, strong wind and plump clouds but always shining.

I am like the ocean, the ocean is a confidant friend, a friend who absorbs everything that

is told to him without ever revealing the confided secret, few people are like us.


Third Place – Amnah Mohammed

I am from Sudan.

Amusement Parks and Gardens.

A song about Sudan and a song about romance.

My mother’s voice when she spoke to me kindly.

My mom she is name Mashair my sister she name Zahra.

Amona and Nona

Sudanis food and pizza and pasta.

Fasting at Ramadan.


11th/12th Grade Contest


First Place – Jamilah Ali

‏Wishes wave to the old nations, time runs like a dream and dreams fly beyond the day, seeing in the sky we hold on to names and free tones that are repeated in the atmosphere, the sun sets from face and people see it what is in the dream believing the successive stories from the show of nations that gave us inspiration


Second Place – Hendry Cruz Matias

     𝕳’ᣚ Empty life 


Do you wanna know what’s my problem?

You see a smile on my face, right

It’s normal, right

You see me normal, right

I am a boy with a lot of joy inside

You will always see me happy

 You’ll keep seeing me like this until I can’t stand it

Until I tell myself to stop lying

Until my shadow tells me to stop

Until the darkness covers my happiness

Until the little happiness I have disappears

Until my hands get tired of covering my mouth of lies

Until the wind takes me flying, for not having a weight of happiness

The reality is, until my happiness is uncovered, and I begin to live in this fragile body, as it really should be, and I stop pretending as I have been doing since I was born, until now.


3rd Place – Jissel Maradiaga



Ese dia estaba algo perdido y me encontraste.

En ese instante me sanaste.

CARAJO, ¿Como lo haces?.

Cada molécula que mueve este sentimiento.

Me da razones para seguir viviendo.

Abrazas mis heridas.

 Embarcado en un mar de males.

He encontrado un paraíso habitable.

Estoy preparado para esta aventura.

Recorriendo cada centímetro de tu cintura.

Quiero perder la totalidad de mi cordura.

Tierra firme.

Es imposible no amarte.

En este lugar  quiero quedarme.

Desierta y atractiva.

Con encantos y desencantos.

Hoy por fin tengo paz.

No me sueltes que me puedo ahogar.

Ya no tengo fuerzas para preparar otro viaje.

No, una vez más.