This week may have gone by in what felt like the blink of an eye, but it’s an experience that I’m sure I won’t forget. Next Gen Radio was the first time I’ve received guidance from newsroom professionals. I’d never before received any kind of training in all the aspects involved in making radio. My mentor, Cheryl, and all others who have helped me learn and get this story out have imparted so much knowledge and advice. This week has substantially shifted the way I frame how to build a story, pitch, use recording technology, interview, write, listen for audio, and produce a non-narrative piece.
Choosing to do a story on the relationship between Syrian refugees and Syrian-Americans came easily to me, because my interest in the piece is rooted in something personal. As an immigrant myself who comes from a generation of refugees, I’ve always been interested in the ways refugees are able to interact with their new surroundings, and I wanted to find a way to cover the story of newly-arrived Syrians on a more person-to-person level, and away from the politics and statistics that sometimes can dehumanize a very important story. It was an incredible gift to be able to momentarily enter the lives of this gracious Syrian family, and the young compassionate Syrian-American activists I met with.
I’m so grateful I was able to be a part of this program and was able to learn so much. Most of all, I’m motivated by the incredible journalists of colour I have met along the way.
Abby Madan is currently at UC Berkeley studying Political Economy. She is a first generation immigrant who was raised in six cities, five countries and four continents. Abby carries with her a passion for democratizing underreported stories of social justice around the world. She is the news director at UC Berkeley’s radio station, KALX. In addition to working with radio, she has contributed written work to Tikkun Magazine, The Daily Californian, The Blum Center for Developing Economies, Indie Shuffle and more. When she is not pursuing stories, Abby can be found meandering through bookstores, Deejaying events, and attending concerts.