Edit Mode: Story Editor Training for Narrative Audio

Edit Mode is a seven week 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.

Our first class of fellows has been announced! Full bios are listed below. Check back later this year for our next call for applicants.
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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.

The Details

This workshop is intended to diversify the editing landscape and set you up for future employment.
  • Intensive workshop over three 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
applications open

Edit Mode info session

On March 10, 2021 AIR hosted this Edit Mode info session with the Editors Collective. Be sure to check it out before applying. The presentation used in the session can be viewed here
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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. 

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?

The initial training will span two and a half weekends, with a commitment of about 6 hours a day on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday. Participants should also expect to dedicate several hours in the intervening weeks to working on edit assignments and meeting with their mentors. There will also be four 90-minute weekly meetings after the program concludes for the cohort to check in about their mentorship experiences, ask questions, and learn from additional guest speakers. 

Participants will also be working with their mentors on real-world edits during the month following the training, and should expect to dedicate at least 3-5 hours a week to that experience.

Total commitment for the full program will vary but a good ballpark estimate is around 60-70 hours. 

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?

Our first cohort will have 10 participants. 

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.

I wasn’t selected. Is there another way for me to take part? 

There is! We are planning to offer another training later this year to a new cohort; you can let us know if you’d like us to consider your application again at that time. We are also planning a few open public offerings, stay tuned for announcement of those.  

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.

I have more questions

Great! Contact Ngoc-Tran Vu: tran@airmedia.org

Jen Chien

Jen Chien is Executive Editor for Lantigua Williams & Co. Previously, she was 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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