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a headshot of Kassidy Arena

Kassidy Arena

New Voices '22

Tell us about yourself:

I am a 2020 pandemic grad from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. So when I graduated, I watched my name go by like movie credits while standing in my living room without shoes on, yet all my graduation regalia. I love to read and re-watch any show that has nostalgia vibes. The best way to get me talking is by asking about my dog Reggie. I love him so much even though he broke my nose with his very pointy head. I focus most of my reporting on underrepresented people, topics and communities in mainstream media.

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

A link to my most recent feature series:

It’s about Hispanic and Latino people (or the lack thereof) in mid-Missouri and on a wider state basis.

What draws you to storytelling?

I think the thing that most draws me to storytelling is knowing there are some people who do not have the opportunity to share their stories. My family came from Cuba where it’s relatively common for people to keep their mouths shut. That is something I wish no one has to experience.

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

I’m most excited about learning cool new ideas from all of my other fellow New Voices Scholars! They’re all so incredibly talented and have great taste and life experiences that I know I can learn from and apply to my own work and life :)

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

I will say usually it’s NPR, but you caught me while I was listening to an audio book! I just recently got into them and right now I’m listening to The Lost Apothecary. I really like this one in particular because for each character’s chapter, they have different voice actors.

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

Definitely my planner. I will doodle on the edges of pages and try to look busy, but then an actual idea comes to mind! Since I already have my planner out, it encourages me/forces me to plan it out into fruition.

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

I want to see a little more inclusion efforts for the deaf and hard of hearing community. I’m hard of hearing and for most of my life, I thought radio/audio was not in my cards, but it is and that should be celebrated! More people should definitely be exposed to that.

What are your radio/audio aspirations?

I think eventually, way down the road, I’d love to be a news director. I’d love to be able to help shape the next generation of journalists and hopefully inspire them as well.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Another aspect of media I am super devoted to is including young people’s voices in traditional radio media. They are so often overlooked or possibly deemed as unimportant. But they are quite literally our future, so their thoughts/ideas/experiences need to be included and amplified.

Follow Kassidy's work on Twitter and LinkedIn.