Martina Castro

Editor & Producer

Martina Castro served as the Managing Editor of KALW News until 2014.  She started her career in journalism as an intern at National Public Radio in Washington D.C., and worked with NPR as a producer, trainer, and freelancer before coming to KALW.  Martina's independent work has been featured nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Day to Day, as well as the online radio magazine The [Un]Observed.

On KALW’s Crosscurrents, Martina has produced stories gauging the impact of the recession on the Bay Area, and also has focused on the arts like in her series The Audiophiles, a wide-range of conversations with creative people working in sound around the Bay.  She also edited and produced The Fault Lines, an award-winning series about the roots and solutions to violence in Oakland.  Martina likes to work in audio even in her free time – she makes radio in Spanish as senior producer of the new podcast Radio Ambulante, is a sound artist and designer for local art installations, and she sings with the San Francisco Latin rumba reggae band Makrú.  She’s also known to go out for an occasional surf. 

This Thursday, members of the esteemed San Francisco Writers’ Grotto will stand up and read their worst writing, in front of an audience. It’s part of the annual Litquake Festival, and it’s called "Regreturature." KALW’s Martina Castro went to last year’s show and did some thinking about her own creative process.

In this episode of Crosscurrents, we go on a sonic tour of sounds from everyday life, led by bioacoustician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause.

Part I.

Bernie Krause says if we really listen, we’ll hear an animal orchestra out there and we need to protect it.

“Fully 50 percent of the habitats I’ve recorded are now quiet. It tells us about so many things about ourselves and how we’re doing in relationship to the rest of the living world around us,” says Krause.

Sarah Cahill is considered one of the architects and champions of the new music scene in the Bay Area. She founded the annual Garden of Memory concert at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, which is one of the many ways she tries to make contemporary music more accessible to a wider audience. She also does that Sunday nights on her radio show Then and Now on KALW on Sundays at 8pm. Cahill spoke with KALW's Martina Castro and played some songs for her, as she described why she ended up leaving the more formal classical world, for the freedom of the experimental genre.

Under CC license from Vahid.

Stand on the beach overlooking Half Moon Bay, and the sound you’re most likely to hear is of waves crashing against the rocks. But when Roger Bland climbed up there, he wanted to hear what was underneath those waves.

By some estimates, the video game industry today is worth more than $100 billion. It’s a male dominated industry: the most recent study found that the people who work in gaming are nearly ninety percent male. They’re paid much more, and they’ve created a culture that’s not very friendly to women. To learn more about the gaming industry gender gap, KALW’s Martina Castro sat down with Tasneem Raja, the interactive editor at Mother Jones. They talked about the role of women the video game industry, the subject of a recent article by Raja.

Under CC license from Flickr user enricod

With less than two weeks to go before election day, San Franciscans have a lot of issues to consider. Some are unique to San Francisco, for example, we’re the only city in California that bases our business tax on a company’s payroll. That means if your business makes more than $250,000, your tax is based on how many employees you have, not how much money you make.

Proposition E would change that. It would phase this tax out, and institute a new one based on a company’s gross receipts, meaning the total amount of money it brings in each year. 

Eighty-five percent of San Francisco's water comes from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. San Francisco Proposition F calls for the city to begin evaluating the option of draining the reservoir. Before the Hetch Hetchy Valley was flooded, or the O’Shaughnessy Dam was built, environmentalists led by John Muir put up a big fight to keep it protected.

LitQuake and the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts present an evening with novelist Daniel Alarcón and the team behind Radio Ambulante, the new Spanish-language podcast based here at KALW. Join us for a special night of live bilingual radio, featuring stories from Latin America and the U.S. moderated by Oscar Villalon, ZYZZYVA's managing editor. The event is on Tuesday, October 9th, and begins at 7pm. Advance purchase is recommended.

Zoe Keating's unique style of music has gotten her to the top of the iTunes classical and electronic music charts, and all the while she's remained an independent artist. KALW's Martina Castro went to talk with her at her home studio about how she experiments with the sound of her instrument.

All the music in this story was performed live during this interview. And it was all performed by just one woman, her cello, and her laptop.

Zoe Keating is walking me around her house. We're looking for woodpeckers.

Local musician Kelly McFarling wrote her song “Atlanta” as an ode to her hometown, but she didn’t write it – or any other song, as a matter of fact – until she settled into her current home in San Francisco. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, McFarling tells KALW’s Martina Castro why she credits San Francisco with helping her launch her musical career, and better understanding the idea of home.