Student Perspective: Internship at KPFA Radio


This academic year, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and KPFA radio joined forces to create a unique for-credit internship opportunity for UC Berkeley Students. MES197 allows students help create and produce the Pacifica Radio/KPFA program, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa. Interns research topics, write scripts, and learn all aspects of radio production. Read what inaugural intern Josh Wilner had to say about his experience working on the show:

I came into MES 197 without any knowledge of radio production and a surface-level familiarity with contemporary issues in the Middle East. I simply hadn’t done anything “different” since transferring to Cal and this seemed like a good opportunity. What happened was a serious education in both areas that has profoundly impacted my outlook. Working at “Voices” was a great experience. I learned all the technical aspects of radio production: sound editing and mixing, uploading programs and updating various social media outlets, and, of course, recording and conducting interviews. More importantly, I learned how to be a good journalist. I observed some of the best asking the right questions and taking on perspectives that get past the Buzzfeed talking points. I was even allowed to do my own interviews, which were aired on the program. It was exciting to see my work pay off in a tangible way. Since starting the courses I have taken on journalism as a medium, writing my own pieces and continuing to work at KPFA this summer. Being a part of a program that does excellent analysis of issues in the Middle East, I had the opportunity to do exciting research and expand my knowledge of the region and of global geopolitics. My academic career has certainly benefitted from the experience. Most importantly, it was fun! I had a great time learning and being challenged. Seeing something so excellent come together as a result of my work is extremely rewarding. I’ve learned a lot here in my first year at Berkeley, but this is the experience I will truly take away.

Internship application forms for MES 197 are available here. Please fill out and submit with a copy of your c.v. and a cover letter to with “VOMENA” in the subject line, or drop off at 340 Stephens Hall. For more information, please contact