KFBK News Director and Senior Editor Judy Farah has more than 25 years news experience in New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento. She's edited the KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O'Neal the past 16 years while also directing the newsroom by assigning stories to reporters and scheduling guest interviews. Farah started out as a newspaper reporter on the East Coast, covering major stories as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Los Angeles, including the 1984 Olympics, the Oscars, Emmys, the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the criminals trials of the Night Stalker and the Hillside Stranglers.
Farah came to KFBK in 1996, and has helped direct coverage of five presidential elections, five governor's elections and the killing sprees of Yosemite Killer Cary Stayner and Scott Peterson. She reported live for two 13-hour days for KFBK from the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She was also the editor on KFBK's 2011 exclusive report that the Sacramento Kings were considering moving to Anaheim.
A graduate of William Paterson College in New Jersey, Farah has won three Edward R. Murrow awards, including one for Best Writing, while at KFBK. She's also earned three awards from the Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association for Best Series, Best Newscast and Best Sports Segment. She has also written for the Wall Street Journal, TV Guide, Los Angeles and Parents magazines. She was honored with a Jefferson Fellowship in 2009 and traveled to Japan, China and Hong Kong to study the Asian economy. In 2010, she was awarded a RTNDA RIAS Fellowship to travel to Germany, Belgium and Prague to study the European economy.
Farah currently is a national blogger for The Huffington Post and often speaks on news and social media. You can find her on Twitter @newsbabe1530
In her free time, Farah enjoys the outdoors by hiking along the American River bike trail and kayaking. A wine enthusiast, Farah's produced a monthly wine segment on KFBK the past five years and enjoys visiting our local foothill wineries.
He was racing to get the audio to broadcast on KFBK. Los Angeles television station CBS TV captured the intense 90 second video and audio of an explosion of gunfire between ex killer cop Christopher Dorner and law enforcement in San Bernardino County on Tuesday. KFBK producer Scot Murdoch worked quickly to get the incredible audio on KFBK airwaves. Hundreds of rounds were fired from heavy artillery weapons while officers under fire frantically shouted orders. The audio captured the intensity and volatility of the situation but there was just one problem -- a police officer said the F-word during the gun battle. Specifically, he said "Get the F--- out of here now!"
Ever since the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has severely cracked down on radio and TV stations. If we let an obscenity get on the airwaves, we risk heavy fines, imprisonment and worse yet -- losing our license. Everyone at KFBK is required to take FCC/Obscenity training every year.
Scot worked feverishly to edit the word out, doing what we call "surgical editing" on the audio wave -- carefully cutting out a nano second. He kept asking me, "Can you hear it? Can you hear it?" Under FCC rules, we have to edit out an obscene word to the point that a listener cannot discern what it is. A bleep with "Fu--" is not okay. If you can understand it, you're in violation.
Scot skillfully edited the audio and Kitty O'Neal gave listeners a warning about the graphic content of the gunfire, but I looked at Scot and said: "If there is ever a time the F-word should be allowed on the airwaves this is it."
Dorner was the subject of a chilling national manhunt; targeting cops, their families and killing innocent people. When San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies confronted him last Tuesday, they were facing a heavily armed man in a battle for their lives. One deputy lost his.
So is it okay to air gunfire that killed a man but not okay to broadcast a bad word?
No one likes the F-word. It is harsh, offensive and disrespectful. 99 percent of the time it should never be used in a broadcast -- either in serious news or entertainment. But in a rare, incredible life and death situation captured vividly by CBS TV reporter Carter Evans, the magnitude of the moment should allow the use of the word. Intelligent listeners would discern the seriousness of the incident.
We edited the word out. But should we have?