Krista Almanzan, a veteran public media journalist, will spend 10 months as a John S. Knight Senior Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, working on collaborations to help small local newsrooms produce quality audio stories for news deserts and other underserved communities in California. Her fellowship begins Sept. 1.
“Krista’s deep experience in local radio creates an opportunity to help small newsrooms broaden their reach,” said Dawn Garcia, director of the JSK Journalism Fellowships. “We’re excited to see new experiments develop and to help provide more Californians with the local news they need. That’s become even more important as local newsrooms deal with the pressures of the pandemic. Our communities need diverse, trustworthy local information sources.”
As a JSK Senior Journalism Fellow, Almanzan will have access to strategic advisers and other resources at Stanford as she develops the Local Audio Collaboration Initiative. However, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, she will conduct her fellowship remotely.
In June, Almanzan completed a 2019-2020 JSK Journalism Fellowship at Stanford. Since then, she has been collaborating with other JSK alumni and the Bay City News wire service on its COVID-19 Information Hub, a project supported by the JSK 2020 Journalism Challenge on COVID-19.
Prior to her 2019-2020 JSK Fellowship, Almanzan was a reporter and the news director at KAZU, the NPR station for the Monterey Bay area in California. In her time leading the station’s coverage, reporters won 26 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, one National Murrow Award, and numerous national honors from the Public Media Journalists Association. Almanzan has also been a mentor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project. She started her journalism career in Iowa covering presidential elections and tornadoes for local television stations.
The Local Audio Collaboration Initiative will provide journalists with the assistance and training they need to produce quality audio versions of their news stories for distribution by podcast or radio. This may include training on how to record sound, edit audio, and plan a story or interview for the ear. Almanzan will document her work throughout the year and produce a summary report highlighting successes, failures and key strategies.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to help local journalists develop more ways of sharing their stories,” Almanzan said. “By using audio, I think small newsrooms can both amplify their work and collaborate with each other.”
As a senior fellow, Almanzan will work independently from the JSK Community Impact Fellows, who will work remotely across the United States to close information gaps in communities of color. JSK plans to announce the Community Impact Fellows cohort later this month.