Ben Trefny

News Executive Editor

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams.  He earned a Masters 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 numerous magazines and working for various commercial and public radio programs, Ben joined KALW in 2004.  Since then, under the leadership of news director Holly Kernan, he has helped the department win numerous awards for long- and short-form journalism.  He has also helped train dozens of radio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today.  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.

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5:40pm

Mon November 17, 2014
Education

"Latino?" "Hispanic?" The historic struggle to name Latin Americans in the U.S.A.

Percentage of Hispanic or Latino (of any race), demographic map from US 2010 census using quantile classification bands (equal number of records in each class)
US Census US Census

It’s hard to define individual identity. For example, if you're Spanish speaking, what do you call yourself? Latino? Hispanic? Something else? Berkeley professor G. Cristina Mora dug into the  history of what Spanish speakers were called in America in her new book 'Making Hispanics: How Activists, Bureaucrats and Media constructed a New American.' It tells the story of how and when Spanish speakers in America got their own ethnic category on the US census, and what that iconic moment led to. G. Cristina Mora joined Hana Baba in studio, and Mora told her that story. 

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7:38am

Wed November 5, 2014
Politics

Election 2014: Results from key state and local races

It’s the morning after, and while much of the country woke up to a red dawn, California and the San Francisco Bay Area pushed progressive politics a little further forward.

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8:42pm

Sun November 2, 2014
Arts & Culture

"Yes! Yes! Yes!": the sound of the 2014 San Francisco Giants Civic Center celebration

City Hall in another "Orange October"
davidyuweb

The San Francisco Giants won their third World Series championship in five years in 2014. They celebrated in a rare rainstorm in Civic Center plaza on Halloween.

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6:15pm

Wed October 29, 2014
Arts & Culture

A conversation with novelist Daniel Alarcón

Daniel Alarcón

Daniel Alarcón is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. But there’s more to him than that. His identity reaches across many borders. And his storytelling traverses multiple media.

His latest book, At Night We Walk in Circles, was a finalist for this year's PEN/Faulkner award. His feature story "The Contestant" was part of the first edition of the California Sunday Magazine. And you may have heard his show Radio Ambulante – a Spanish-language podcast that airs Thursday nights on KALW that is often compared with This American Life.

This Sunday, Alarcón is expanding his broad horizons even further, hosting a live Radio Ambulante event in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The show is called Outsiders and will feature multimedia storytelling from Cuba, Chile, Mexico, and the United States.

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4:10pm

Thu October 23, 2014
Arts & Culture

WEB EXTRA: Judy Irving on filmmaking

Judy Irving standing with Gigi the pelican
Judy Irving

Pelican Dreams filmmaker Judy Irving talks with KALW's Ben Trefny about the technical aspects of making a documentary.

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