Queena Kim joins Berkeley Journalism as head of audio program

August 25, 2020

Photo: Clari Mokri (’21)

Veteran radio producer Queena Kim, a 2000 alumna of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, will join the School this fall as head of its audio journalism program. 

Kim is Senior Editor of the Weekend Desk at public broadcaster KQED, a desk she helped launch in 2019. Previously, she held the post of Senior Editor of KQED’s Silicon Valley desk, where she covered the intersection of culture and technology and was the host of “The California Report,” a daily statewide news show. Queena also served as a senior reporter covering technology for American Public Media’s daily “Marketplace” business program. 

“During her impressive journalism career, Queena has dedicated herself to mentoring interns and early-career journalists, pushing for inclusiveness wherever she worked,” said Geeta Anand, interim dean of Berkeley Journalism. “I could not be more thrilled to welcome this inspiring new leader into our audio program to continue the pioneering work of her predecessors Mary Kay Magistad and Ben Manilla.”

Kim says she was marked by her own experiences as a child of immigrants from Korea, which she found was a “huge handicap” in her early years as a journalist. “By challenging the established norms of a newsroom and confronting implicit cultural bias, I’ve been able to advance the careers of many journalists of color,” she said. “At Berkeley, I will educate my students and my colleagues and challenge these implicit biases to advance equity and inclusion at the School.”

Kim started her career as a business journalist at The Wall Street Journal, where she spent four years covering the paper, home-building and toy industries. She has spent much of her career helping start-up editorial projects, and was on the founding editorial team of The Bay Citizen, an online news site in San Francisco. 

In 2009, Kim received a grant from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting to launch a podcast called CyberFrequencies, which reported on the culture of technology. She also helped start two radio shows –“Off-Ramp” and “Pacific Drift”– for KPCC, the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate in Los Angeles. “Off-Ramp” later was awarded first place for News and Public Affairs programming by the PRINDI and the Los Angeles Press club. Kim’s stories have aired on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” WNYC’s “Studio 360,” WBUR’s “Here and Now,” BBC’s “Global Perspectives” and The New York Times’ website.

In 1994, Kim won a Fulbright Grant to teach and study in Seoul, South Korea. She was previously selected to be a Teach For America Corps Member in 1991 and taught elementary school in the Inglewood Unified School District in Southern California. She is a frequent public speaker and has given talks at UC Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State, the PRINDI conference and the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp. Kim graduated cum laude from New York University.

About the Audio Journalism Program at UC Berkeley

Berkeley Journalism’s audio program was founded in 1983, during a digital media transformation that drew journalists to rediscover the power of the oldest news medium, the spoken word. Our program specializes in training the next generation in the production of sound-rich, narrative audio on topics that serve the public interest.

Benefiting from a location rich in high-reach stations like KQED, KALW, KPFA and KALX, Berkeley Journalism is ideally suited to nurture audio innovation, from podcasting to sound design. This proximity also means stations have long hired our students as interns and our graduates as employees. It’s the reason we can recruit such accomplished journalists as Joshua Johnson (formerly KQED and 1A), Kelly McEvers (NPR), Millie Jefferson (formerly Audible), and the Kitchen Sisters to teach here.

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