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A photo of Hafsa Fathima

Hafsa Fathima

New Voice '20

Tell us about your work/projects!

I cover immigration, culture and migrant communities. Public radio is the place I learned to find a voice, quite literally. I've produced with NPR, KCRW and The San Diego Union-Tribune since first picking up a Tascam in 2018.

A piece of yours ( in any medium) you're most proud of that you'd like to share.

We've all heard the conversations about coming to the U.S., but what happens when you're already here? The Dream Act WOULD grant children of undocumented migrants a path to citizenship if it passed, but there's another class of young immigrants who get left out — and soon, they may have to self-deport to a life in their birth country that they don't really know. North County Beat host Kelli Kyle joins Coast News Reporter Hafsa Fathima to introduce you to the "other dreamers."

What is your favorite thing about being a New Voices Scholar?

I met so many enthusiastic, incredibly talented folks from so many different facets of the audio world. We've formed such a close community, despite not being able to meet in person. They're genuinely some of the warmest people I've come across in our industry and have rooted for me and all of our group since day one.

What draws you to storytelling?

Writing felt necessary in a world where I didn't grow up seeing myself represented. There were so many misconceptions about my community and background I itched to clarify; in journalism, I found that outlet. For me, storytelling is the ability to see worlds intersect to create the most unique narratives and the chance to uplift voices in an authentic way.

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

I just started The Adventure Zone after cautiously entering the world of DnD this year.

Hard-at-work-on-a-project snack of choice?

Always cupcakes (preferably from Magnolia Bakery. Susiecakes is a close second. Sprinkles is somewhat overrated, but I'll take it.)

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

The heal tool on Audition! (Ctrl + U)

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

More commitment to helping international journalists succeed in the United States. As an Indian-Canadian working in California, I know that diversity has to also go beyond citizenship and newsrooms should make more of an effort to ensure that happens.

Who is your radio/audio idol and why?

I want to shoutout my former colleagues at It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders for showing me how people of colour could thrive in public radio and consistently ensure critical stories to our communities were told. I'm also a huge fan of Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorkbakhsh from "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim."