Rebeca Pereira’s Audio Storytelling Portfolio:

Hello! I’m a journalism student at UMass Amherst, where I recently concluded a semester of radio and podcasting, viz. audio storytelling. The course, taught by the phenomenal Dr. Kelsey Whipple, introduced the principles of broadcast journalism and applied those technical and conceptual skills through three major assignments:

ONE, a three-minute partner profile

TWO, a five-minute, pandemic-related radio feature

THREE, a <30-minute podcast episode

PROFILE: Anthony Syrek and Finding Solace Through Sports

The COVID-19 pandemic halted every facet of life, including sports. For Anthony Syrek, a sports journalism major at UMass, that meant leaving it all– his social circle, his writing focus, and his hobby– on the field. Syrek describes his hope for the future of sports reporting and what happens when public health overrules a press pass. Listen HERE.

FEATURE: Language-learning in an Isolated World

Duolingo, the language-learning app, registered local surges in new-user downloads with each country’s pandemic-related lockdowns. In an isolated world, in a world where social distancing and seemingly-indefinite travel restrictions threaten to keep us apart, why are we learning new languages? In Brazil, the shortcomings of the public education system give way to private language-learning schools, like Gean Carla Pereira’s Way Idiomas, in Governador Valadares, MG. Pereira tells of the hurdles the pandemic posed for educators and small-business owners, and guests Raquel Pereira and Ben-Hur Araujo Batista da Silva tell of the educational inequities that exacerbated the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis for individual students and public institutions. Listen HERE.

PODCAST: Rollout, Episode 1 — Vaccinating our Homeless

The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines signal the beginning of the end. In Massachusetts, at least 60% of the population has received one or more doses of the vaccine– Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson. But the state’s vaccine rollout, much like many social services, overlooks homeless individuals who may not have access to its pre-registration website. Into the vortex of state-sponsored, homeless-oriented rollout initiatives steps community-based programs– homeless shelters, transitional housing services, and even soup kitchens, like the Manna Community Kitchen, in Northampton. The first episode of Rollout introduces Massachusetts’s effort to vaccinate its homeless population, featuring interviews from Nora Finnerty from Manna and April Donahue from Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Listen HERE.