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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5:51pm

Thu September 13, 2012

5:26pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Arts & Culture

Web Exclusive: The most human robots in the world

YK Tsuchiya Shokai Doll Factory

Samsara is a new film that takes viewers around the world – from Burmese temples, sulfur mines, and hot-air balloon rides – all without a word of narration. One of the stops along the way was in Japan, where the directors encountered robot clones. What does that mean? KALW's Ben Trefny asked director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson to explain. 

Click the audio player above to hear the answer. Audio available after 5pm. 

Listen to the full interview here

5:08pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Arts & Culture

The "ever turning wheel of life" on film

Imagine you can witness the most beautiful, and most disturbing, sights in the world. Riding a hot air balloon over exquisite Burmese temples; descending into poisonous sulfur mines in Java; meeting robot clones in Japan; exploring factory farms in China. These are some of the images of Samsara: a new feature film from Emeryville director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson now showing in Berkeley and San Francisco.

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4:41pm

Mon September 10, 2012
Health, Science, Environment

Could San Francisco become the next Manhattan?

Photographer Richard Morgenstein has lived in Pacific Heights since the late 1990s. Before that, he lived in Manhattan and enjoyed it. In many ways, Morgenstein is still very New York. He doesn’t have a car. He relies on public transportation to tote his camera bags around. But the new construction soaring above a growing San Francisco doesn’t really make him nostalgic for his former hometown. Rather, he’s inclined to give a Bronx cheer.

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5:13pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Politics

Youth on the ground at the DNC

The Democratic National Convention has drawn Democrats from all over the country to Charlotte, North Carolina.
Courtesy Flickr user johncatral

The Democratic National Convention kicked off in North Carolina Tuesday with an aggressive response to the criticism doled out last week at the Republican National Convention in Florida. Here's a few of the remarks that stood out:

TED STRICKLAND: If Mitt was Santa Claus, he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.

JULIAN CASTRO: Governor Romney has undergone an 'extreme makeover’, and it ain't pretty.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Barack knows the American dream because he's lived it.

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