Meet the Localore Producers

Jennifer Brandel

Jennifer Brandel (WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Illinois) is a versatile producer who has worked as a general assignment reporter for WBEZ’s news desk, as well as a self-taught reporter, producer, tape syncher and and a consultant on all manner of projects and shows. She’s reported dozens of independent feature pieces locally for WBEZ and nationally for Day to Day, Weekend America, Latino USA and Interfaith Voices to name a few. She has served as a writer for and the talent for fictional pieces aired on WireTap, Love and Radio, and How To Do Everything, and produced radio conferences and broadcasts for The Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Anayansi Diaz-Cortes (KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, California) is an independent producer and reporter for public radio. Her documentaries have been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, WBEZ’s This American Life and KCRW's Unfictional.  Her career in radio began at Radio Diaries, a regular feature of NPR’s All Things Considered. Her work has been honored by the Overseas Press Club, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus award. This past year, she worked with five young women around the world to document their daily lives for an hour-long radio series, "Countries in Transition, Women in Transition."


Julia Kumari Drapkin (KVNF-FM, Paonia, Colorado) is an experienced radio, television, and multimedia producer with a passion for finding innovative ways to connect people to their environment, particularly online. She has worked as the Senior Science Reporter for The Nature Conservancy, where she produced a web science television pilot and helped start up a crowd-sourced climate change video campaign; a correspondent and multimedia producer for CBS, The World, Global Post and, and a photographer for the St. Petersburg Times and the Associated Press. Drapkin earned an MA in new media and documentary film at Columbia University.


Ken Eklund (Twin Cities Public Television, St. Paul, Minnesota) is a game designer and thought leader in the area of serious games and collaborative gameplay for the social good. He is the creator of World Without Oil (for ITVS, 2007), the groundbreaking alternate reality game focused on the issues of oil dependence and energy security. He also created Giskin Anomaly, an award-winning immersive cellphone adventure for the museums in Balboa Park, San Diego (2011); co-created Zorop an alternate reality game about connections and world peace with Annette Mees of Coney; and served as the community lead on Evoke (for the World Bank Institute, 2010), an award-winning alternate reality game designed to incent players globally to educate themselves about tough real-world problems.


Delaney Hall (KUT-FM, Austin, Texas) is a multimedia reporter and public radio producer, and most recently worked as a reporting fellow at the Poetry Foundation. She has worked extensively with the Third Coast International Audio Festival (TCIAF) in Chicago, where she produced the weekly hour-long broadcast Re:sound, which airs on WBEZ. Most recently, she filled in as the TCIAF's Artistic Director, helping to oversee the 2011 Third Coast documentary competition, and co-organizing and curating the 2011 Third Coast Filmless Festival. Hall has produced stories and programs that have aired locally, nationally, and internationally, and taught audio production to young people at Street Level Youth Media and radio documentary to college students at the University of Chicago. She went to the University of Texas at Austin and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York, where she studied narrative storytelling and arts & culture reporting


Todd Melby (Prairie Public Radio, Fargo, North Dakota) is a reporter, public media producer and digital innovator. His stories have aired on U.S. public radio stations, including KFAI/Minneapolis and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, and on several NPR shows. He has also covered breaking news stories and the 2012 presidential campaign for Reuters news service. As a senior producer at 2 below zero, a public media nonprofit, he has received two national Edward R. Murrow awards, a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists and a PRNDI award for outstanding radio documentaries. He also led the development of, a groundbreaking public media website featuring 1,600+ stories produced by 12 public radio stations in Minnesota.


Erica Mu (KALW-FM, San Francisco, California) is an emerging independent reporter, radio producer, and web editor whose work has appeared on KALW’s nightly news magazine program, Crosscurrents. Mu’s reporting primarily focuses on community health, though she often dabbles in the quirkier side of arts and culture coverage. Additionally, Mu helped KALW pioneer the digital frontier as the news team’s web strategist and editor, managing social media and engagement projects. Mu was named as one of AIR’s New Voices scholars at the 2010 Third Coast Conference, and served as a fellow with the California Endowment of Health Journalism.

Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar (WYSO-FM, Yellow Springs, Ohio) are independent filmmakers, partners in life and media, and will work together on their Localore project. They have produced a number of award-winning films. The most recent, The Last Truck: Closing of a G.M. Plant, chronicles the final months of a once-mighty factory in Dayton, Ohio, from the P.O.V. of workers on the line—it screened on HBO and was nominated for an Academy Award. A Lion in the House, a co-production with ITVS, follows five families from diverse economic and racial backgrounds who each have a child fighting cancer. This four-hour film premiered at Sundance, screened on primetime PBS, won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking and the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media.  Reichert co-founded a national media distribution co-operative, New Day Films, and has taught documentary for over 25 years at Wright State University.

Kitchen Sisters

Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson (KQED Radio and Television, San Francisco, California) known, together, as The Kitchen Sisters, have created more than 300 stories for public broadcast including the duPont-Columbia Award winning NPR series Hidden Kitchens and the two Peabody-Award winning series Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project (with Jay Allison). Their latest NPR project is The Hidden World of Girls, stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities—women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide. Hosted by Tina Fey, these specials are currently premiering on stations around the country.


Val Wang (WGBH Radio and Television, Boston Massachusetts) is a writer and multimedia producer who most recently worked on OpenCourt, a Knight News Challenge-funded project of WBUR to open a district court through digital technology. She has worked for Reuters Television, NBC News, and UNICEF in both New York and Beijing; developed and produced documentaries airing on PBS, National Geographic Channel, and The History Channel, and conducted interviews for the Chinatown Oral History Project run by the Museum of Chinese in America, in New York. She graduated from Williams College and has an MA from the Writing Seminars of The Johns Hopkins University.

Find Localore project descriptions here