KMUD News

Wednesday - 29 October 2003

Here’s a link to a great story about KMUD’s better than wonderful news director and reporter: Estelle Fennel

Doing a little local (So Hum) surfing around I found a great article on Joellen, so I am gonna post that here.

Local Girl Makes Good News

by Pat Bernstein

That bright, exuberant new voice on the KMUD News belongs to Joellen Clark-Peterson, journalism student and enthusiastic KMUD fan. She came to the station after meeting Diana Hahn at College of the Redwoods and learning that Estelle Fennell needed a reporter for the northern Humboldt area. For Joellen it was a wildly welcome opportunity.

Joellen Clark-Peterson and Estelle Fennell

Joellen Clark-Peterson and Estelle Fennell in the studio at news time.

Born and raised in Eureka, Joellen graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1998 with degrees in Literature and Politics. After two more years of study at College of the Redwoods she did a stint in the Peace Corps. From 1999 and 2001 she was in Romania teaching English in a public school. In that position she became aware of the vast and profound influence of American media on Romanian culture and point of view. It was immediately apparent to her that her treasured experience of listening to KMUD was significant in more ways than she had at first imagined. Community radio, listener supported radio, a voice for a specific community of interests and commonly held values, stood out starkly against the monoculture product, the corporate news and entertainment America exports to the rest of the world.

Since 9/11 the importance of responsible reporting has become even more critical to her and the craft of journalism has taken on a new luster. What better offer could she possible receive than that of working with Estelle Fennell, a skilled, experienced, masterful reporter and an excellent teacher in the bargain?
“It is a huge honor to be her apprentice. I love saying I am her apprentice.” There is a lot to learn about professional journalism, professional ethics, the diplomacy of interviewing, the technical aspects of working with broadcasting equipment and of simply being on the air. There is honing one’s intuition for the story. There is simple talent and hard work. Estelle communicated at the very start the morality that goes with assuming the awesome power of being the one to say “This is the news.”

Now, on Mondays Joellen goes to the news room and checks the press releases that accumulate in the fax box. If there is anything worthwhile there, she makes phone calls to track down more information. She records telephone interviews, writes her copy, puts it all together and at 6 PM takes a deep breath and goes on the air.

In The Political Economy of Growth Paul Baran made a distinction between “intellect workers” who use their minds to earn a living and “intellectuals.” An “intellectual” he said, is someone who knows their place in history. To cover the mundane bread and butter issues of living, Joellen works at Mazzotti’s in Old Town Eureka. Drop in for a fine Italian dinner and your dishes may be bussed by a young woman with a quick, warm smile. She is Joellen Clark-Peterson: intellectual, apprentice newswoman and a very lucky catch for KMUD.

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