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.
Cancer. Just the sound of the word invokes dread, disease and dying. So when two of my staff members proposed doing back to back series on cancer, I hesitated. Do KFBK listeners really want to hear five weeks of cancer stories?
When the people telling the stories have passion and purpose in their work, they do.
KFBK reporter Jim Nayor is a hard charging, take no prisoners reporter who challenges information on every story. He was going about getting his allergy medications refilled when the doctor ordered a routine blood test. Results showed Jim may have prostate cancer. The news rocked him because he's young -- under 50 -- and had no symptoms. More tests were done and on the Fourth of July after work, Jim confided to me "I have cancer." The next few weeks I saw this once energetic reporter grow more concerned after tests showed the cancer may have spread.
Jim decided to share his story and record each visit to the doctor. He had robotic surgery on August 26th and despite doctor's orders, worked through pain during his recovery to produce a 5 part series for KFBK to coincide with Prostate Cancer Awareness Week in September. Jim movingly told his story in first person, like he was sitting down for a cup of coffee with you. His series was named One in Six because shockingly, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lives.
Longtime KFBK Morning Anchor Amy Lewis had her own quest. She was traveling in the D.C. area and heard a radio station report on how they were collecting written stories of breast cancer survivors for their website. Why not listen to them? Amy thought. She decided to tell 31 stories from 31 breast cancer survivors from Sacramento in October -- Breast Cancer Awareness month.
I've known Amy for more than a decade and know how passionate she is about her work. Will the stress of the huge project be too much? Would she carry these women's stories with her? Amy has brilliant blue eyes that flash when she laughs, which she does often. But I saw them glazed at times as she dauntingly worked cutting 31 different 20 minute interviews down into 90 seconds for broadcast.
Amy produced a powerful series called 31 Survivors in 31 Days. Each vignette ran daily on KFBK, telling each woman's reaction at the diagnosis; how they each coped differently and the positive message of survival that came with every story. Truly inspiring.
Jim and Amy spent many, many hours of their own time producing their projects. Now, thank God, Jim is cancer free. And Amy gave a voice to 31 women who did not have a voice of their own during their battle.
With each series, each story, we at KFBK hoped just one person was listening and was touched to take action that could save a life. Maybe their own, or that of a loved one or friend. Passion and purpose in a newsroom.