It’s with a mix of sadness (for us) and happiness (for her) that I let you know that Queena Kim is leaving Off-Ramp and KPCC. Since Off-Ramp started in 2006, she’s been its producer/reporter, and has been integral to its success (a cume of 106,700 in the March Arbitron®).
As you can see in the photo above, Queena and I actually like each other, which I think you can hear on the air. I'm going to miss her tremendously -- personally and professionally.
Queena has produced scores (hundreds? honestly, I don't know) of pieces about Southern California. Of all these pieces, two efforts stand out.
When the wildfire decimated Oakridge Mobile Home Park, she, with Frank Stoltze, recognized how powerful the story was and how much it needed telling, and together they crafted The Ashes of Oakridge, a one-hour documentary and Web feature. The L.A. County Supervisors gave Queena and crew a special commendation for telling the stories of the fire’s victims.
Then, last year, Queena and Tanya Miller unveiled CyberFrequencies, a groundbreaking podcast exploring how technology - specifically the Web - is changing our lives, and I was delighted to make it a part of Off-Ramp.
I had a feeling about Queena when I first met her. She exemplified what I wanted to accomplish on Off-Ramp: to explore Southern California without being snarky or too-cool-for-school. Queena pushed for us to include more diverse voices, to experiment with different ways of telling stories, and to be nimble in our production. We've kept trying new things, and it's still fun.
So I'm sad to announce that Queena will be leaving KPCC. But at the same time, I’m delighted for her because she’s leaving us for a wonderful opportunity. Here’s how Queena describes her new gig: “I'm leaving to take a job at the Bay Citizen, a non-profit news org, where I'll be part of the editorial team along with investigative reporter Steve Fainaru (who won a Pulitzer for his series on Blackwater), Jeanne Carstensen (former managing editor of Salon) and reporting to editor-in-chief Jonathan Weber. The Bay Citizen has teamed with the New York Times and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism - my alma mater! We hope to create a new, new kind of journalism... online.”
Queena says Bay Citizen’s goal is to become a leading online voice in Northern California, and I’m sure she’ll help them do that.