Ben Trefny | KALW

Ben Trefny

News Director

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and supervising special projects including KALW's Audio Academy training program.

He earned a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 2000 and got his start in public radio at NPR member station KLCC in Eugene. After freelancing for many magazines and producing for regional and national commercial and public radio programs, Ben joined KALW in 2004. He has helped the department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He has also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today. He currently serves as the president of the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Ben lives with his wife and twin children in San Francisco's Outer Sunset district, where Golden Gate Park meets Ocean Beach, and spends as much time as he can outside.

You can reach him at

California Physicians Say COVID-19 Safety Precautions Could Help Prevent The Spread Of Other Respiratory Illnesses / California Bill Requires Ethnic Studies For California State University Students

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 8/18/20, AM

Aug 18, 2020

Extreme Weather Shocks Bay Area / Governor Investigates Rolling Power Outages / California Adds Five Counties to COVID-19 Watch List / State Residents Missing Routine Vaccinations / Inconsistencies Contributed To Prison Coronavirus Outbreaks

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 8/4/20, PM

Aug 4, 2020

Individual Health Insurance Premiums Rise, Just A Little / For At-Risk Lawmakers, Voting Remotely Could Be Illegal

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 8/3/20, PM

Aug 3, 2020

SF Mayor Proposes Big Budget / Two More San Quentin Deaths Add Up To 21 / Southern California Wildfire Growing Under Hot Conditions

Lawmakers Consider Bills For Sick Leave, Hospital Supplies, And Diplomas / Schools Consider Teaching In Person / SF Mayor Prepares Budget Proposal

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 7/29/20, PM

Jul 29, 2020


CA Officials Hope To Fill Unemployment Comp Gap / Orange County Education Officials Sue State / Remote Modoc County Gets First COVID-19 Cases / Bay Area Counties Will Fine Health Order Violators

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 7/28/20, AM

Jul 28, 2020


Central Valley COVID-19 Testing Rates Are Very High / Legislators Return To Full Plates / Berkeley Officials Implement New Policies for Police / No, The Supreme Court Did Not Strike Down Voting-By-Mail

Central Valley COVID-19 Testing Rates Are Very High / Protesters Demanding Prison And Immigration Reform Chain Selves To Governor’s Home 

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 7/23/20, PM

Jul 23, 2020

CA Enters Mask Market Again / UC Berkeley Teaching Online Only / CA Wildfire Update


CA Leads Nation In COVID Cases / Unhoused People In East Bay May Be Entitled Compensation / CSU Board Approves Ethnic Studies Requirement / Debunking Mask Myths

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 7/22/20, PM

Jul 22, 2020

CA Leads Nation In COVID Cases / Bay Area DA Calls For Justice Reform / Vandals Target Mayor Libby Schaaf’s House

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 7/22/20, AM

Jul 22, 2020


Nursing Homes’ COVID Concerns / Parents Sue CA Over Remote Learning Requirement / CA Files 50th Lawsuit Against Trump Administration / Rare California Wolves Have A Litter

Get A Haircut … Outdoors / SF Giants Manager Kneels During Anthem

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 7/20/20, PM

Jul 20, 2020

Bay Area Joins Nation In Strike For Black Lives / CA Fire Update

Bryan Jones / Flickr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

In 2004, Californians approved a $3 bllion bond to fund stem cell research. That money has been pretty much used up and the original backers want to replenish it. Prop 14 is a five-point $5 billion bond to pay for future stem cell research, training, and trials.


CA COVID-19 Weekend Roundup / Crews Battle California Blaze As State Fire Danger Grows / Disney Cuts Back On Social Media Ads / Lassen National Park Campsites Close Due To Foraging Bears

Climate Change, COVID-19 Create Perfect Storm Of Conditions For Health Concerns For Aging Americans / San Francisco Ends Phone Call Fees In County Jails / “Mineral Fire” Proving Hard To Handle In Central Valley

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 7/16/20, AM

Jul 16, 2020


State School Districts Make Reopening Choices / Another Person Incarcerated At San Quentin Has Died / SF Board Of Supes Rules On Transportation Matters

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 7/15/20, PM

Jul 15, 2020

CA Revises Testing Guidelines / SFUSD Will Teach At A Distance To Start The Next School Year / Berkeley Moves Forward With Replacing Police On Traffic Stops / SF Board Of Supes Rules On Transportation Matters

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 7/14/20, AM

Jul 14, 2020


CA Shuts Back Down / Mail-In Ballot Anxiety in CA / Superior Court Judge Denies Sutter Health's Attempts To Delay Antitrust Settlement Payment / Bay Area School Districts Deliberate How To Reopen

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 7/13/20, PM

Jul 13, 2020

Mail-In Ballot Anxiety in California / Bay Area School Districts Deliberate How To Reopen

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 7/13/20, AM

Jul 13, 2020

California Virus Deaths Top 7,000 As Case Numbers Climb / CA to Release Thousands Of Inmates Early As Coronavirus Rips Through Prison System / People In Martinez Protest For Black Lives Matter

State Senate Not Returning From Recess / Testing Delays Across California

Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 7/9/20, AM

Jul 9, 2020

Another San Quentin Death And Changes Are Coming / Long-Awaited Berkeley Affordable Housing Breaks Ground / Newsom Talks Schools, Sends Masks To Other States / Before You Go To The Beach, Check Its Pollution Score

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 7/8/20, PM

Jul 8, 2020

San Quentin COVID-19 Death Toll Rises / Columbus Statue Removed From State Capitol

Bay Area Headlines: Wednesday, 7/8/20, AM

Jul 8, 2020

State Legislature Considers Rent Repayment Plan / Fact Checking Concerns About Mail-In Ballots / Gunman Threatens Black Lives Matter Protesters / Levi’s Crumpling But Not Folding

Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 7/7/20, PM

Jul 7, 2020

CA Sues U.S. Dept. of Ed / State Legislature Considers Rent Repayment Plan / Levi’s Crumpling But Not Folding

COVID-19 Outbreaks Forcing New Changes in CA / California Politicians And Spouses’ Companies Benefit From The PPP

Bay Area Headlines: Monday, 7/6/20, PM

Jul 6, 2020


California Wildfires Update / New Gas Tax / Farmworkers COVID-19 Outbreak / California Suing US EPA Over Delayed Methane Emission Rules

Gig Workers Face Shifting Roles, Competition In Pandemic

Jul 6, 2020
Hyunwoo Sun / Flickr / Creative Commons

There were the two-hour, unpaid waits outside supermarkets when San Francisco first started to lock down, on top of the heavy shopping bags that had to be lugged up countless flights of stairs.