A poster in Mission District. 2015

Free media training in the Bay Area

As I was looking for free media training in the Bay Area in the beginning of 2017 I applied to the KPFA Berkeley Radio Station Apprenticeship program for women and people of color to become radio producers. Those of you who haven’t heard about KPFA yet:

KPFA is a community powered radio station that creates and curates a unique mix of music, informed public affairs, culture, and news. Founded in 1949 by Lewis Hill, a pacifist, poet, and journalist, KPFA was the first community supported radio station in the USA. KPFA broadcasts on 94.1 FM and KPFB 89.3 FM, Berkeley, and KFCF 88.1 FM, Fresno, California.

I submitted a questionnaire disclosing my story as a lawyer, project manager, media maker and a married expat woman. I also wrote an essay in which I tried to find the intersection between my personal path and KPFA’s mission, rooted in responsibility to build the capacity of underrepresented communities to grassroot social change. My application was accepted, the references I provided were contacted, and after a panel interview I was selected as an alternative candidate. I’m sharing this essay with you as it has become the personal statement of a 30-year-old me, for which I will be forever grateful to the KPFA training directors.

So as I pondered on the role of media makers and the loving community of healers I’m surrounded by here in the Bay Area I thought of symbiosis and the ability to provide –

Healing Through Media

I believe media-makers are able to heal the society. Not so long ago I came across a very interesting practice in psychology called Mindfulness. Wikipedia describes it as a psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.

The balance of many perspectives like meditation creates harmony. Click To Tweet

Journalist’s key strength is mirroring what happens around at present time. Not only a community is updated on the picture of society’s interests, but humans are shown an outside view on their self representations. The balance of many perspectives like meditation creates harmony.

Media builds conversations between various groups of people, especially when it comes to opposing ones. A platform for dialogue were stories happen unconventionally maintain the acceptance in the society. Eventually leading to understanding it helps to renew the state of diversity. Like in virtual reality everyone can try walking in stranger’s shoes for training purposes.

As issues are being outspoken and faced media also provides coping mechanisms –processes which activate small communities in order to take action. That is where innovations and technology come in hand. Social media allow everyone to stream live video with smartphone. Hromadske.tv (a Ukrainian communal online TV channel) is an example of such a platform originated from activists’ live streams during the events which took place in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2013-2014.

A constructive message has always been and undoubtedly will be the one that is heard by most. Click To Tweet

History teaches people to make better decisions. A constructive message has always been and undoubtedly will be the one that is heard by most. The experience of interacting at the given moment on a large distance is a savvy cross-class alternative people are privileged to have. With a flexible media no walls can be built.

A tiny documentary piece submitted to present the idea of healing through media. (filmed on iPhone 6, edited in Adobe Premiere)

A week ago I came to visit my friend Misty in Berkeley, CA to discuss the web-based project on alternative economy I’m helping her with and she gave me one of the two KPFA’s flyers which she said she has been handed while recording a pilot version of her radio show on alternative economy. Next day we went to the women’s march in Oakland were she was recording the interviews for the one of KPFA’s segments and I was filming the march in order to be able to put it on KPFA website if approved to.
Oakland, California. January 2017

If you are looking for opportunities to align yourself with the local community by means of media training in the Bay Area, here are some resources you might wanna check:

  • KPFA radio station https://kpfa.org/, KPFA Berkeley Radio Station Apprenticeship program http://kpfaapprentice.org/
  • Media Alliance offers different classes in radio production and they can be reached at. (800) 659-3363
  • Berkeley Community Media offers training in video production and editing; their station number is (510) 848-2288.
  • National Radio Project offers training and produces the national program: Making Contact. They can be reached at 510-459-8558.
  • KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco recently started an Audio Academy. Their phone number is: (415) 841-4121.
  • In 2017 City College of San Francisco has become free for students who are San Francisco residents and have lived in California for more than a year as of the first day of the current term. You apply to the Free City program through the normal registration process. https://www.ccsf.edu/freecity

If you have any additional questions regarding this material, feel free to shoot an email to iraprokopets@gmail.com