When the fall semester starts next Monday, Aug. 26, Terri Klemetson will be taking on a new role as a lecturer at Humboldt State University in addition to her duties as KMUD news director and teaching her local community journalism class.
At HSU Klemetson will be teaching radio news, a “300-level” course, meaning it’s for students who have already taken audio production training and basic radio reporting. Students are responsible for producing daily news broadcasts for student-run web radio station KRFH - “Radio Free Humboldt,” as it’s described on its website, www.krfh.net.
Students can repeat the class as often as they wish, and several of them have one or more semesters of experience already.
”My hope is that they do well enough that I will only be teaching them for a month or two and then I’ll become more of an advisor,” Klemetson said.
KRFH news can be heard every weekday at noon, and is repeated with breaking news and updates at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. Reporters cover local, state, national, and international news of particular interest to students, as well as campus-centered stories, like student council meetings.
”It’s all about what they want to do” in terms of stories, but the students have to commit to a certain amount of time, and they have to stick with their commitment all semester even when the pressure builds in other courses, Klemetson explained.
Her soon-to-be students are already rising to the challenge, emailing her with ideas and questions “to be sure we have it all together for the first week,” she said.
Klemetson was invited to meet the class last semester and she helped to pick the station’s management team for the coming year. “I already know who’s the news director,” she said.
Every year the radio news class, like other journalism courses, includes a couple of students from China. A group of Chinese students comes to HSU every year, part of a longstanding relationship with a Chinese university.
Many of them want to learn about media. “It’s a huge deal, especially because we hear how the media are restricted in China,” said Klemetson.
”I’ll be able to say hello to them,” she joked, having spent some time in China teaching English as a second language early in her career.
Other Humboldt County journalists, in both broadcasting and print media, have been working with the HSU journalism department. For example, Klemetson will be getting some assistance from Cliff Berkowitz, founder of radio station KHUM in Ferndale, who teaches a basic broadcasting class at HSU.
Klemetson credits Marcy Burstiner, head of the journalism department and a columnist for the North Coast Journal, for cultivating collaboration with other professional journalists in the community.
"It’s awesome that so many media professionals in Humboldt County are all working together to create the next generation of journalists," Klemetson said.
Most people outside the campus think of KHSU as the university’s radio station, but it is it is actually a National Public Radio (NPR) station licensed to HSU and follows a "rigorous schedule" of NPR programming, Klemetson noted
While KHSU encourages student participation and has offered an internship program, student participation has to fit into the station’s regular schedule as well as the students’ individual class schedule, while KRFH is entirely student-run with programming selected and scheduled by the participants.
KRFH news has won several awards, including second place for best overall newscast and second place for best reporting on the California elections in the region from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2012.
Klemetson looks forward to working with college students, who are still idealistic and believe they can change the world, not yet burdened with the daily responsibilities of adult life.
”They have so much imagination, creativity, and hope for the world. I’m beyond excited” about working with them, she said.
Terri Klemetson will add to her journalism duties by teaching radio news at HSU.