Joining an audio newsroom for the first time…remotely

I took a week off from my day job to get to work virtually with Next Generation Radio. I was expecting plenty of work but NextGen took it to a whole new level. Though the funny thing is, I think I’m going to miss the hustle. I now dread going back to my “normal life” before NextGen.

I can’t speak for everyone, but trying to create an audio and digital piece during a pandemic is chaotic. Throwing myself at the project with little to no audio experience, you’d think you’d have a recipe for disaster. Except thankfully, it wasn’t.

I cannot stress enough the appreciation that I have for a program where mentors anticipate and encourage making mistakes. Taking that fear away from me early on gave me the comfort to try everything and learn from those slip ups. 

Through every step of my project, I had a team to bounce ideas off of every time part of my story fell through. The collaboration involved in this project is unmatched.

This virtual newsroom full of people that I had the blessing to meet through the screen of my laptop was everything that I should expect in a newsroom—passionate, uplifting and excellent with communication.

This week lifted the curtain on a side of journalism that I was starving myself of. Audio journalism is exciting and for many, the only accessible form of news coverage in their area. I have a whole new appreciation for local stations.

I have so many people to thank: the team at NextGenRadio that operated in a time zone three hours later than mine, but also notably my mentor Jolie Myers, director Doug Mitchell and managing editor Traci Tong.

Lastly, I wouldn’t be here without the past Orionities from my college paper who got to experience NextGen before me. Their depiction of this program did not fall short.

Kimberly Morales

By Kimberly Morales

Originally from Fullerton, Calif., and now based in Chico, Kimberly is a student at California State University, Chico, where she’s earning a degree in journalism with an emphasis in news. Kimberly currently works as the news editor at her school’s newspaper, the Orion, after spending two semesters as a reporter there. Some of her hobbies include thrift shopping, scrolling through Twitter and Spotify and spending time with her friends and family.

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