Guest speaker: Podcast producer Olivia Allen-Price of KQED’s Bay Curious

The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf and Silicon Valley. To many people around the world, San Francisco is a collection of popular landmarks and places.

But as NBTB guest speaker Olivia Allen-Price, editor and host of KQED public media’s Bay Curious podcast, might say: Not so fast.

Bay Curious, a weekly show about questions — and what happens when you go looking for answers — surfaces the surprises of a city and region many people think they know.

Recent podcasts uncovered the history of the giant Hangar One at NASA’s Moffat Field (where the U.S. Navy stored dirigibles during World War I and where Google is now experimenting now with “near space” balloons) and showed a map of where children live in the Bay Area (hint: it’s not San Francisco).

Bay Curious also examined the controversy over “The Flintstone House” that some call a work of art and others a public nuisance:

The Flintstone House is located in Hillsborough, California, off Interstate 280. Photo by Jim Maurer on Flickr/Creative Commons licensed.

Along the way, Bay Curious also uncovers “fascinating facts,” for example, that San Francisco has more dogs than people (an urban legend that’s actually true) and that it takes three days for water to make it to a tap from the city’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Curiously, Allen was not trained as a radio storyteller but “fell into it” when she moved to San Francisco from Virginia, where she was an online producer at The Virginian-Pilot.

Olivia Allen-Price, producer of Bay Curious, a podcast series hosted by KQED in San Francisco.

“It feels like a miracle sometimes,” she said. “I think it’s just a lifetime of reading quality journalism and having good mentors.”

Allen-Price created Bay Curious as a radio series in 2014, launched the podcast in 2016, and grew the show to be KQED’s most popular podcast-native property. Olivia also launched a monthly Bay Curious newsletter and web video series to answer additional listener questions.

Prior to joining KQED in 2013, Olivia worked as a digital director of audience engagement at The Baltimore Sun.

She holds degrees in journalism and political science from Elon University. While there, she also served as the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Pendulum. The paper won a national Pacemaker Award under her leadership.

Her work has also earned awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, RTNDA, the Hearst Foundation, MDDC Press Association, Virginia Press Association, and the Society for Features Writing. She’s also been a finalist for an Online News Association Award.

Allen-Price will talk about podcasting the untold stories of the Bay Area at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2. Families and friends of the NBTB program are welcome to attend. Details including location will be released in May.





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