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New KALW podcast selected for NPR workshop

Photograph by Olivia Henry.
Left to right: Leila Day, Julie Caine and Hana Baba.

A new podcast from KALW has been chosen to participate in NPR's first-ever Audio Storytelling Workshop.

The project was one of twelve selected from more than 100 proposals by public media creators across U.S. and beyond. Applicants were asked to pitch ideas that "break traditional formats and reach new audiences."

Tentatively titled The Stoop, the pilot podcast will feature frank, fun conversations about black identity with journalists Hana Baba and Leila Day. The creators say they hope the show — "griot meets salon meets newsroom" — will fill a conspicuous void in public media.

"These topics either aren’t covered, or if they are, often get packaged as stiff explainers that look more at the issues as a social phenomenon rather than the life experiences of an entire ethnic group," Day says.

Baba, Day and editor Julie Caine will travel to Washington, DC in June to participate in the Audio Storytelling Workshop.

KALW has a history of incubating innovative, out-of-the-box radio including 99% Invisible, Snap Judgment, The Specialist, The World According to Sound, The Intersection and The Spot. Read more at kalw.org/subscribe.

The team

Leila Day is a reporter and editor for Crosscurrents, KALW's evening news magazine. Day is also a mentor for KALW's Audio Academy and the project manager for the San Quentin Prison Report. She has produced work for AARP, NPR, USA TODAY and other national outlets. In 2015 she received the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California's Best Commentary Award for her story "The problem with 'sounding white.'" As a reporting fellow at USC Annenberg's Center for Health Reporting, she produced a three-part series on mental health care in black communities.

Hana Baba is a reporter and host of Crosscurrents. She's also part of KALW'sThe Spiritual Edge project. She interviews and reports on ethnic communities, poverty, health, culture, religion, arts and the global nature of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work also appears on NPR programs, PRI's The World, BBC World Service and New America Media. A Sudanese-American, she also reports about Sudan and Sudanese people.

Julie Caine is the managing producer for Crosscurrents. She is the lead producer of Audiograph, a KALW series that uses sound to tell the stories of the Bay Area. Her documentary Squeezebox Stories won a Society of Professional Journalists award for arts and culture reporting in 2012, and her radio work has aired on a wide variety of national programs. She has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and believes deeply in Grace Paley’s assertion that you must be a story listener to be a storyteller.