Kate Krosschell Tran Vu Ava Fields
AIR has experienced an exponential influx of new and diverse talent over the last two years. These makers come from all corners of the field, bringing with them bold voices and fresh insight. Our team has grown in order to fully embrace this expansion of independent talent and courageous storytelling in the network. Hailing from Boston, the three most recent additions to our staff come to AIR with a keyed-in sense of how public media will transform to better serve a more inclusive America.
The following Q&A has been lightly edited for space and quality.
Kate Krosschell, AIR marketing and communications manager
Ngoc-Tran Vu, AIR program director
Ava Fields, AIR operations assistant
Bios on our About page.
Tell us about your professional experience and background:
KK: I went to school for French and Film Studies, but the common thread of my professional experience has always been stories. Both my parents are writers, so for better or worse I’ve been brought up to ascribe to the ideals of nuanced storytelling. (It’s hard, y’all! I so admire what you do.) My professional entanglements have been broad in both subject and location, but exploring the way that language, diversity, and culture inform storytelling is the heart of my interests. I came to AIR by way of Twitter, where I spent the last three years analyzing data and telling data stories for their Media team.
TV: I am a multimedia artist, an organizer, and a healer. I have worked in education as a teaching artist and counselor for schools and nonprofit organizations. I have also organized advocacy and digital campaigns on human rights issues with Vietnamese groups and other communities of color in the U.S. and abroad. Right now, I’m a producer with Loa: Broadcasting Vietnam, a podcast that explores ideas and stories shaping Vietnam today. I also report on art and culture.
AF: I have a pretty eclectic background. I’ve been in law and human services, and have worked extensively for the state of Massachusetts. I also have a personal background in creative arts and writing. I have produced short films and have written original scripts.
What excites you about radio, podcasting, and multimedia journalism?
KK: I’m drawn to this world because of its beautiful blend of innovation and heart. As podcasting continues to explode, I’m blown away by the amount of creativity on both the storytelling and digital sides. Clearly the demand is there—let’s chase it! I’ll be interested to see what happens with industry standards and best practices as the long tail of shows increases. Who will emerge or has emerged as experts?
TV: I’m excited about the people, creativity, and possibilities. I really like the fact that resources and innovative platforms are becoming more accessible to communities across the economic spectrum. Now more than ever, I think it’s important to live the mission of public service media, to create narratives that are truly inclusive, and to challenge ourselves to be better.
AF: I’m excited by the rise of multimedia work in journalism. The way we choose to deliver information is a direct reflection of our world, which makes multimedia a bridging language. It unites people and ideas that otherwise may have never collided.
What’s playing on your radio/streaming service right now?
KK: I just finished “S-Town” (tears were shed) and I have a weekly commuting date with “Reply All.”
TV: Bingeing on podcasts has become my new Netflix. I’m listening to “Code Switch,” “Global Voices,” “HerMoney,” “Modern Love,” “Reveal,” “Hyperallergic,” “Otherhood,” “Politically Re-Active,” and I just finished “S-Town,” finally!
AF: Oh wow! I love music, so something is always playing. Artists on rotation right now: Notorious BIG, Purity Ring, Kehlani, Prince, and The Knife. In terms of podcasts, I’m listening to season one of “Serial.”
What’s a podcast you’ve just learned about?
KK: Want to see the double-digit list accumulating in my Evernote since I started at AIR a couple weeks ago? Here are some highlights: “Nancy,” WNYC’s LGBTQ podcast from Kathy Tu and Tobin Low (New Voice ‘14); “Magic Lessons” with Elizabeth Gilbert; and “Longform.”
TV: I just came across “The Racist Sandwich,” which is based in Portland, Oregon. It’s a podcast with chef Soleil Ho and journalist Zahir Janmohamed. In it, they talk to chefs and foodies of color about food and the politics of race, class, and gender. Also, their logo, an angry yet endearing burger, totally caught my attention.
AF: Podcast One’s “Bret Easton Ellis” series. I came across it because of my interest in his books. The podcast is an in-depth pop culture discussion about creative complexities that writers, directors, actors, and musicians have to face, given the current social climate.
What do you think about it?
KK: Well, I’ve only listened to one episode of “Longform” (the “S-Town” one, duh), but I’m realizing that my reading interests skew towards fiction, so Longform will be a great overcorrection as I get more invested in non-fiction writing and audio outside of work.
TV: I think it’s a rare and an insightful listen for folks working with food and foodies, like myself. I have only heard one episode so far but it has made me ponder the ways in which the food industry privileges certain people and particular taste over others. What’s up with that?!
AF: So far it’s interesting, but sometimes I wish they would go a little deeper.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
KK: My film professor in college told us in class one day, “How do you know what you think about something if you haven’t written about it yet?” I wrote it down in capital letters in my notebook and haven’t looked back; it’s been an instrumental piece of advice to remember whenever I tackle a blog post about what I’m consuming in pop culture. I think by writing.
TV: One piece of advice that always seems to stick with me comes from my dad. He tells me this in Vietnamese all the time: “You can’t do anything unless you are healthy so you must put your health first.” Thus, with all my projects and travels, I try my best to remember my dad’s advice to put self-care first.
AF: “Just keep it at 100% and the universe will return it to you—even if humans don’t.”
Whom have you always wanted to interview?
KK: Hands down, Richard Linklater. The complex humanity he instills in his characters and the careful consideration of time in all his movies are remarkable. From the real-time aspect of the Before series to his most recent, methodical character study Everybody Wants Some, I just want to know how his brain works. And his next film is based on a Reply All episode! Win.
TV: My ancestors.
AF: Dominic Dunne, who was a producer, writer and investigative journalist. He led a fascinating life. Unfortunately he passed away in 2009.
What’s the last place you traveled to and how was your trip?
KK: The week before I started at AIR, I went to Portland, Oregon with my sister and her boyfriend and I loved it! The highlights: Four different donut shops tested, four overwhelming hours spent at Powell’s book shop, four turbulent hours on the plane heading home, and the single best Lyft driver I’ve ever had, who clued me into the queer scene in PDX.
TV: I visited Valencia, Spain right before I started working at AIR to attend the Internet Freedom Festival (IFF). It was a pretty amazing opportunity to meet so many innovative people and groups working to bridge the gap of accessibility and human rights in the digital realm. I also got to present work with my Loa global team on storytelling and audio production through podcasting for activists while eating lots of yummy paellas!
AF: Seacoast, New Hampshire. It was a very long time ago.
What advice would you give yourself five years ago if you could go back in time?
KK: I’d definitely tell myself to chill out. I was racing through life, thinking that exposure to culture and overstimulation would make me wise, but I think I missed out on some finer moments by rushing. Now I’m trying to dig in and embrace the moments of calm to see what self-reflection results from them.
TV: I would remind myself of Robert Frost’s poignant quote: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (otherwise known as learning experiences) and understand that not everything revolves around you. Life does go on and all truly passes.
AF: This is all temporary.
To find out more about the changes taking place at AIR headquarters, read this article on Current.