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Alaa Mostafa

Alaa Mostafa

New Voices '22

Tell us about yourself:

I’m an audio producer and writer based in Oakland, CA. I love stories from Kaitlin Prest and This American Life. When I’m not listening to something, you can find me writing (very) short fiction, riding my bike, or watching copious amounts of good and terrible TV. I produce stories and manage production at Reveal/CIR. And I’m interested in long-form narrative storytelling – especially producing/reporting on health equity, aging, and housing.  

Some things I’ve been reading lately are Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen and Heavy by Kiese Laymon. I like thinking and writing about time, our relationship to it and to other people. I grew up in Santa Ana, CA and Cairo, Egypt. And in college, I DJed at KALX (90.7FM). I’m an introverted pisces who likes making playlists. And I once had a puppy named Cinnamon.

A piece of yours or project (in any medium) that you'd like to share.

This piece coming out Saturday, Oct. 8 about how the anti-abortion right is targeting birth control next as the new abortion… And how a misleading FDA label from the early 2000s is still being used to justify their claims and spread misinformation about birth control today.  It’s my first reported + produced piece for Reveal/CIR (in collab w/ the UC Human Rights Center, Investigative Reporting Program, Graduate School of Journalism and Mother Jones):

What draws you to storytelling?

I like being able to connect ideas and learn new things through storytelling.  I’m also drawn to it because of the writers I’ve looked up to who told stories that have deeply shaped me or that I’ve resonated with. I hope one day my storytelling allows me to tell stories that evoke that for someone else, or at least leaves them with some good questions.

What excites you the most about being a New Voices Scholar?

I’m most excited getting to hear about the interests of my cohort and cohort captains, how they got to be where they are, and where they’d like to go next. It’s inspiring to see people learning and gathering new resources to continue growing how they see best.  And I’m really enjoying hearing people talk about their mentors, as well as the panelists we’re getting to meet and learn from!

I’m also excited to be paired with my mentor who is a total badass @AnnAwad.

What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?

Right now, I’m listening to some lofi girl/chilled cow on Youtube. In general, Sampha’s Process is something on repeat for me. And lately two audio stories revisit my mind –  Three Miles by Chana Joffe-Walt and Death (from Death and Taxes) by Nancy Updike.

What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not) that you use in your creative process?

Scheduling Slack reminders and messages and scheduling emails. Also, the Libby app.

What is something you want to see more of in the industry?

Team-building. And rest + demonstrated good boundaries!

Who/What are your radio/audio inspirations and why?

Kaitlin Prest, because of her mini-series on consent as part of The Heart. The Stoop’s Hana Baba. Closer Than They Appear, Time Machine: The Score by Hanif Abdurraqib and Pineapple Street Studios, Rightnowish and The Bay; as well as Throughline

My audio inspirations usually leave me with questions long after I’ve heard the stories all the way through. I think that’s a sign of a good/effective story. 

And they just sound interesting!

Anything else you'd like to add?


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