Edit Mode: Story Editor Training for Narrative Audio

Edit Mode is an intensive paid training and mentorship program aimed at diversifying the audio industry’s editor pool. Its goal is to build participants' skills, create connections with future colleagues and provide the real-world editing experience needed to feel confident hitting “apply” for that next editor job. 

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The Details

This workshop is intended to diversify the editing landscape and set you up for future employment.
  • Intensive workshop over six weekends.
  • Followed by a month-long mentorship with a minimum one meeting/week with your mentor. Participants will shadow an editor at a news organization or podcast network, gaining first hand experience in the editing process.
  • Participants receive a stipend of $1000
DECEMBER 10, 2021
applications open
11:59pm PT
JANUARY 21, 2022
Application Deadline
MARCH 19, 2022

Meet the 2022 Edit Mode Fellows

Erisa Apantaku

Erisa Apantaku (she/her) is a Black/biracial, queer multimedia producer/educator from the lands of the Three Fires Confederacy of the Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi (Chicagoland). Erisa is a producer on the Invisible Institute’s Untitled Yohance Lacour podcast. Erisa also produces short audio documentaries. Her work examines topics including race and sexuality through a process that centers curiosity and seeks to be vulnerable and generative. As an educator, Erisa has trained individuals of different ages through South Side Weekly, Blok by Blok, IndyKids, and After School Matters. In her spare time, she enjoys playing guitar and watching and talking about film and television.

Tracy Egbas

Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Tracy Egbas (she/her) has a Masters in Film Production from USC. As a storyteller, Tracy strives to weave elements of different cultures and experiences with deeply human stories, to create narratives that both inspire and entertain. She is currently an Associate Producer at Wondery.

Bethel Habte

Bethel Habte (she/her) is a producer at Gimlet. She’s worked on Resistance, Radiolab and produced podcasts and breaking news for Reuters. She’s a proud graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and the University of Virginia, where she studied political philosophy, edited the news section of The Cavalier Daily, and danced a lot of salsa.

Chris Hambrick

Chris Hambrick (she/her) is a San Francisco Bay Area based media producer and wordsmith. She produces scary stories for Spooked Podcast, hosts The Tracklist on KGPC, and the podcast White Rabbit Story Hour. She's contributed to KALW, KQED, and facilitated for the national oral history project StoryCorps. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can catch her on the Mortified, LitCrawl or Moth stages.

Carolina Hidalgo

Carolina Hidalgo (she/her) is an audio producer who leads Radio Rookies, WNYC’s youth journalism program. She works with teenagers and young adults to produce radio documentaries about their lives and communities. Previously, she covered justice reform, social movements and immigration issues at St. Louis Public Radio. In 2020, she won a Third Coast award for a 70 Million podcast episode about the fight to shut down a notorious St. Louis jail. Carolina has taught an introductory audio course at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and volunteers as a mentor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio program.

Nicole Kelly (NK)

Nicole Kelly (NK) (she/her) is a multimedia storyteller working mostly in sound and prose. She has produced and edited narrative audio work for VICE, The Believer, & Transmitter Media, and she co-created bitchface, an experimental audio project. bitchface produced the 2020 season of The Heart, and the 3 part series “Divesting From People Pleasing” — an audio memoir about unlearning — was called “a shockingly intimate portrait of what it means to be alive in a human body” (New York Times). NK received an MFA from the Programs In Writing at UC Irvine and is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. The “chaos of our strongest feelings” (Audre Lorde) is her most enduring muse. 

Jed Kim

Jed Kim (he/him) is an independent radio and podcast producer. He has worked in public radio for more than a decade, in all sorts of roles. He was a sustainability reporter for Marketplace and an environment reporter for KPCC in Pasadena. Most recently, he was the co-creator and host of the APM kids' podcast "Million Bazillion." He was also the host of "In Deep," an APM podcast about water infrastructure. He is a regular contributor to the kids' podcast "Smash Boom Best," which he greatly enjoys doing, because he gets to be ridiculous.

Rahima Nasa

Rahima Nasa (she/her) is a Bangladesh-born and Bronx-bred producer and reporter. She most recently produced Bad Blood: The Final Chapter, a show about the trial of Elizabeth Holmes. She got her start in audio at WNYC, where she helped produce The Brian Lehrer Show, and has reported stories for ProPublica and Frontline. She is not affiliated with any civilian space programs.

Elena Rivera

Elena Rivera (she/her) is the health reporter at KERA, North Texas' NPR station. Previously, Elena covered health in Southern Colorado for KRCC and Colorado Public Radio. She has won awards for arts and culture reporting, podcasting and team coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Colorado from the Society of Professional Journalists. Elena got her start as a reporter and producer at KBIA, Mid-Missouri’s NPR station. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Outside of her public radio work, she coordinates and serves as the captain for the Association of Independents in Radio's New Voices program.

Laura Ubate

Curious and trascendental, Laura Ubate (she/her) is a Producer at Adonde Media. Awarded with the Diversity Fellowship by the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She was the former leader of the Podcast Department at the National Public Radio of Colombia, the first woman to occupy this position. There, she also served as producer and host for 3 years at the Public Radio member station: Radionica. In 2018 she founded the first podcast community of Colombia: Cafe Podcastero. Then, she became PR for the Latin American podcast community Podcaster@s. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese. Her personal podcast is called Viajes Inmoviles.

Frequently asked questions

Who should apply?

The ideal candidate is someone who has been working in audio narrative and/or journalism for a while already, and who feels drawn to the work of story editing: helping to shape, refine, support and guide reporters and producers in making narrative audio pieces. If you’re new to audio, this probably won’t be a great fit. Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously participated in similar programs.
Our program is aimed at diversifying the pool of editors in the audio industry, and as such we are looking for people who identify with groups who are currently underrepresented. We are primarily thinking about this in terms of racial/ethnic identity, but this could also be based on a candidate’s sexual orientation, gender identity, class background, disability status, geographical location or some other factor. We are aiming to build a vibrant, supportive cohort that can learn, grow, exchange skills, inspire each other and have fun together!

What do you mean by story editor?

We are defining story editor as someone who helps to shape, refine, support and guide reporters and producers in making narrative audio pieces. It involves working with scripts, thinking through story structure, listening to tape, and interacting with people. This is different from producing or reporting work, and is not primarily about mixing or working in audio editing software. 

I'm interested in editing for audio drama / audio fiction, will this be covered in the training?

We love audio drama, but this training is focused on narrative audio journalism. If you are interested in both non-fiction and fictional work, it may be appropriate, but if you're really focused on fictional work, this probably isn't the right program for you.

Does this program cost money?

No! The program is free. What’s more, participants and mentors will each receive a $1000 stipend for their full participation in the mentorship component. Payments will be made in the name of the participant, no exceptions.

What equipment will I need to participate?

Participants will need a computer with a webcam and microphone setup for participating in Zoom meetings; a reliable internet connection; and access to Google docs. Useful to have: some kind of DAW for evaluating/listening to tape, post-its in varying colors, funny hats to wear in Zooms.

What is the time commitment?

Total commitment for the full program will vary but a good ballpark estimate is around 80 hours over 10 weeks:
  • The initial training will span six Saturdays, with a commitment of about 4 hours each day. Participants should also expect to dedicate several hours in between classes to working on edit assignments and meeting with their mentors. 
  • Members of the Editors Collective will hold optional weekly drop-ins for participants to discuss edits, career paths, and more.
  • After the training, there will also be four 90-minute weekly meetings for the cohort to check in about their mentorship experiences, ask questions, and learn from additional guest speakers. 
  • For a month following the training, participants will also work with their mentors on real-world edits. They should expect to dedicate at least 3-5 hours a week to that experience.

What if I have to miss a class?

In order to achieve our goal of creating a cohesive learning cohort that can hopefully serve as the basis for an ongoing community, we expect you to commit to attending every session. We understand that life happens, and we’ll work with participants individually in the case of unforeseen circumstances. However, part of the strength and success of the program will come from the full presence of all participants. 

How many people will be in the cohort?

The cohort will have 10 participants. 

I applied last time and wasn't accepted. Can I re-apply?

If you applied the first time, you can still be considered for future programs. We have your application on file. Please email casper@airmedia.org to let us know if you' like us to use your original submission or if you'd like to submit a new application. 

Will you accept international applications?

We hope at some point to open up to international participation but for now we are accepting applications only from US-based candidates.

Do fellows get to choose their mentors? 

No, but we will try our best to pair you with someone whose work matches your interests. Program mentors work with outlets including NPR, Wondery, Reveal, This American Life, Snap Judgment, and others.

Can you give feedback on my application? 

Unfortunately, no. And here's why:
We received over 175 applicants for 10 spots. There were obviously more than 10 strong candidates! We had tough decisions to make, but we did our best to design a fair and comprehensive process. We had 8 reviewers, and each application was closely reviewed by 2 of them. Reviewers scored apps numerically according to a rubric.

The rubric has 5 categories:
1-Background and perspective of applicant writing the intentions of the program
2-Emotional/visceral response to the application (this category to capture imaginal/intangible/energetic dimensions of evaluation)
3-Readiness of applicant to engage with the work and curriculum
4- Strength of the overall application inlcuding writing quality and completeness
5-Evaluation of the work sample writing skill + understanding of narrative audio format

Reviewers were then asked to pick top candidates to share with the entire selection committee. Numeric score was a main factor, but not determinative. The selection committee then met to discuss candidates, with access to (re-)review applications if needed.

We considered the strength of individual applications in isolation as well as in the context of building a vibrant, diverse cohort—all informed by the intentions of the program to “diversify the audio industry’s editor pool” and send out job-ready fellows.

No way around it: there were many more great candidates than we had room for. We had some spirited debate within the committee! And just like editing a story, we had to make tough decisions in an agreed-upon time frame. We contacted references for finalists and a waitlist.

We think this cohort is the bee’s knees. And we also know there are many other amazing folks who can’t participate this time around. We hope everyone who wants to be an editor gets to do that, whether it’s through our program or not. This industry needs everyone’s voices!

I have more questions

Great! Contact casper@airmedia.org
JUNE 2021

Edit Mode Fellows

Abukar Adan

Abukar Adan (he/him) is an associate producer at Campside Media. The first show he produced, Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen, peaked at #2 on Apple charts and was named one of 2020’s best podcasts by Spotify and Stitcher. He’s now working across two other narrative shows. Abukar got his start in audio journalism as an intern at Maine Public Radio. He’s since worked as a digital producer at the NBC-affiliate in Portland, ME, and a reporter at WJCT-NEWS, Northeast Florida’s NPR station. Abukar also helps teach a course on audio storytelling at IFP Media Center. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Christina Cala

Christina Cala (she/her) is a producer for the TED Radio Hour. Before that, she spent five years at All Things Considered where she reported from the Colombia-Venezuela border on the migration crisis, covered immigration from both sides of the US-Mexico border, field-produced from the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, and voiced her first piece from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Cala also led music coverage for the show and served as the show’s update producer and director. She’s a co-founder of the Marginalized Genders and Intersex People of Color mentorship program at NPR. Photo credit: Morgan McCloy.

Jenny Casas

Jenny Casas (she/her) is lucky to live in Chicago, and loves all of its seasons because she is from California. She tells stories that center Black and Latinx histories, the intricacies and failings of municipal systems, and the uncategorizable things that pique her curiosity. She has three love languages: (1) good questions (2) generative reporting practices (3) reframing around abundance. She is a producer on the opinion audio team developing new shows at The New York Times. She brings with her the full weight of all the lessons she learned reporting for WNYC’s The United States of Anxiety, City Bureau, USA Today's first investigative podcast The City, St. Louis Public Radio, and KQED.

Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong

Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong (she/her) is a producer and multimedia storyteller. Writing (essays and fiction) is her first language, with audio a rapidly maturing second. A first generation American, Adwoa has worked and lived on five continents. She cares fiercely about story and voice, and has a running tally of the number of different accents she’s brought to air. Angélique Kidjo once called her powerful on tape, a career high that she will never top.

Jess Jupiter

Along with her commitment to being a joyful queer Black girl, Jess Jupiter (she/her) is just as committed to fostering and creating stories that expand the narrative of Black and queer communities, and works to elevate stories by and for Black women. Despite constant reminders, industries still seem to believe that Black folks (and therefore their stories) are a monolith. Jess is working diligently to change that. 

Neena Pathak

Neena Pathak (she/her) is an audio producer at The New York Times, where she currently produces The Daily, and previously produced Still Processing. She also produced Another Round at BuzzFeed, and before that, worked in public radio and education. She lives in New York. Photo credit: Earl Wilson

Lisa Phu

Lisa Phu (she/her), a Chinese-American independent audio producer and writer, spent eight years as a print and public radio journalist in Alaska. She was a reporter at KTOO in Juneau and KSTK in Wrangell. She’s won numerous reporting awards, was lead facilitator for StoryCorps Alaska, and a 2017 AIR New Voices scholar. Originally from New York, Lisa has lived in Hong Kong, Tanzania, and Bhutan. She’s raising two daughters in Juneau with her husband, and is working on a limited series podcast about her mom’s life. Photo credit: JJ Lewis

Adreanna Rodriguez

Adreanna Rodriguez (she/ella) is a Lakota/Chicana artist based in Oakland, CA.  As a storyteller, her research, writing, and filmmaking revolve around issues of social and climate justice for Indigenous communities, as well as femme stories. She holds a M.A. in Visual Anthropology from San Francisco State University and a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies from the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. Photo Credit: Adreanna Rodriguez

Aisha Turner

Aisha Turner (she/her) is a producer and writer from the Baltimore area. She is currently a senior producer on the MSNBC podcast Into America, a show about Black life in America. Previously, Aisha was a producer with StoryCorps and reporter/producer on Precious Lives – a series about gun violence in Milwaukee. She cut her teeth in broadcasting while based in Washington, DC as a producer at the PBS NewsHour. She has a BA in Public Policy from Duke University and a Joint-MA in Global Studies from the Universities of Leipzig and Vienna. Website: aishaturner.com. Photo credit: WUWM

Sharif Youssef

Sharif Youssef (they/them) is a writer, producer, and sound-designer based in Berkeley, California. They enjoy mountains and beaches and spending time with their friends. But not too much time. Nelson is their dog and she is more photogenic.

Meet the Editors Collective


Jen Chien

Jen Chien is incoming Director of Podcasts at KQED in San Francisco. Previously, she was Executive Editor at LWC Studios, Senior Radio Editor at Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Managing Editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. Awards recognitions include Third Coast, Peabody, Gracies, ONA/OJA, and SPJ Sigma Delta Chi. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, arts teacher, and massage therapist.
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Julie Caine

Julie Caine is senior editor for NPR’s Throughline podcast. She led podcasting and on-demand audio at KQED Public Radio, overseeing strategy, new show development, and a vibrant portfolio, including Truth Be Told, Rightnowish, and The Bay. She helped found Jetty Studios, an international podcast unit for the Al Jazeera Media Network, where she launched Closer Than They Appear and Game of Our Lives, and developed The Take. She’s a founding producer and editor on The Stoop and The Specialist podcasts, and was managing producer for Crosscurrents at KALW Public Radio.
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Casey Miner

Casey Miner is an award-winning narrative audio editor, producer, and writer who's worked with outlets including Wondery, Reveal, 70 Million, The Stoop, NPR, Slate, Pop-Up Magazine, and Mother Jones. Previously, she led creative teams for Al Jazeera and KALW; taught audio production and narrative structure at the University of California, Berkeley; and launched and hosted The Specialist, a podcast about work we don't think about and the people who do it. She does her best work when collaborating with other members of the Editors Collective.
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edit mode team

Leila Day

Leila Day is an award winning audio producer and editor, currently editing stories for Pineapple Street Studios. She's the co-creator and co-host of The Stoop podcast, stories about the Black diaspora, and she's the Executive Producer of Stoop Talks. Leila began her audio career as a reporter and editor at KALW in San Francisco and since then she's taught multiple audio workshops, produced longform content for various media outlets, and edited stories for Marvel, NPR, NBC and more. When she's not making podcasts she's often working with new producers to help them create their own stories.
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