Deborah Begel

Ask Deborah Begel what she likes to cover, and she’ll likely answer, “What I’m working on now.”  Now that’s the kaleidoscope of news on KSFR.  She broadcasts short news summaries weekdays mornings and some afternoons on the hour and longer ones at 7:29 a.m. and 12:06 pm.   And that’s also the way of news, she says, because news changes constantly.  New information comes in, often changing the slant and interpretation.  “That’s why it’s good to be flexible and keep my mind open,” she says.   “Listeners can decide for themselves what they think.  What can be helpful to them is providing accurate and timely information.”

In her news career, Begel reported for WBAI in New York City, where she began as a volunteer reporter and documentary producer and worked up to co-editor and co-anchor in the news room with three other journalists.  She’s also covered stories for National Public Radio, LatinoUSA, Living on Earth, Justice Talking, Pacifica National News, Monitor Radio, and National Native News, among others.

At other times in Begel’s multi-decade career, she’s delved into spoken word productions, finding herself both delighted and mesmerized with the seemingly infinite possibilities of mixing golden vocal moments with music and ambiances; add wonderful pacing and thoughtful sound design and poof! The magic appears.         She produced profiles of Nobel-Prize winning poets Derek Walcott and Czeslaw Milosz for The Poet’s Voice, a season of Selected Shorts, and the 14 part series Rural Voices Radio, which featured student writers in 13 U.S. states reading their poems, stories and essays.  She also edited narration tracks for Random House Audio Books  and did quality control for Simon & Schuster Audiobooks. 

In Arts and Public Affairs, Begel travelled from New York City to Philadelphia  to fill in for producers at Fresh Air.  She also produced documentaries on the Maya in Chiapas, Mexico, for broadcasters in Australia, Germany, Finland and France.  In New Mexico, she has produced documentaries on what life was like before tractors and technology came to the Chama Valley and a checkup on the health of democracy in Rio Arriba County for the nationally distributed series Whose Democracy Is it?.  She has also produced features on readings by authors like N. Scott Momaday, members of Tres Chicas Books, and Hampton Sides.  A video she produced, Four Stories about Water, features Navajo men and women describing their problems getting clean water.

Last but not least: sports broadcasting.  When she took the job as acting News and Sports Director at WXPN in Philadelphia, she gave her student interns at the University of Pennsylvania directions:  “You get the facts right and I’ll do my best to make you sound good.”  It worked out fine.  One student even went on to work for CNN sports broadcasting.

Today, waking up early to go produce drive time newscasts at KSFR, Begel says she feels blessed.  “I can’t wait to see what’s come over the transom  overnight,” she says, “and try to figure out what would interest our listeners.”   And, she notes, listeners are welcome to send comments and suggestions to

On Sunday, a new film about Rio Arriba County activist Linda Pedro will be shown in Espanola. The screening of that film, La Casa Linda, will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Moving Arts Espanola. That’s at the old Ohkay Owingeh casino on Highway 68.  Linda Pedro was in a bad car accident in Colorado when she was in her early 20s.  She spent the rest of her life fighting for the rights of the disabled and other causes dear to her heart.  Deborah Begel talks with Peter Malgrem, who lived next door to Linda Pedro in Chimayo for 46 years.

Millions of Americans regularly attempt to clean up their diets and exercise more. And here in the Southwest those who want to chart a new physical course have a guide in the Pueblo Food Experience: Whole Food of Our Ancestors. Santa Claran artist Roxanne Swentzell founded the flowering Tree Permaculture Institute at Santa Clara, and the idea for the book sprouted in her garden. You’ll hear the voices of Roxanne Swentzell and co-editor Dr. Patricia Perea in this report. Along with that of Dr. Annette Rodriguez. Roxanne’s son historian Porter Swentzell also contributed.

Ellen Berkovitch

Last Friday January 20th President Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. His inauguration address was the 58th inaugural by a President. Many media venues called it uniquely dark toned in the history of US inaugurations. The Washington Post published a list of words used in President Trump’s speech and in no previous inaugural. The words include:  carnage, disrepair, rusted, stealing, ripped, tombstones, trapped. Here is Deborah Begel's report:

Last night Creative Santa Fe unveiled preliminary designs for the Arts and Creativity Center, a live work development of artists’ affordable housing that is being planned for city-donated land on Siler Road. This project has been in the works for several years now. Deborah Begel reached Creative Santa Fe Executive Director Cyndi Conn this morning for more.

Local News at Noon. January 12 Edition.

Deborah Begel caught up with Rep. Brian Egolf who will become Speaker of the New Mexico House next week, to close out this week's series of interviews we’ve aired with NM legislative leaders from both parties.

Efforts to reach Rep. Nate Gentry were not successful.

Local News At Noon. January 10th Edition.

Top of the hour, local news for January 9, 2017

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced a competition of 1.2 million dollars that will be invested in organizations that would like to help people coming out of jails and prisons start their own businesses.  Called the Aspire Challenge, it builds on the momentum of a public private partnership announced last August among the Small Business Administration, the W.K.

Local News At Noon

Jan 6, 2017

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Friday, January 6.

Local News At Noon

Jan 5, 2017

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Thursday, January 5.

Local News At Noon

Jan 4, 2017

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Wednesday, January 4.

Local News At Noon

Jan 3, 2017

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Tuesday, January 3.

The opioid crisis claimed 547 lives in New Mexico in 2014. Deborah Begel reports on pathways out of addiction in this part two of her reporting. The feature includes the voices of a recovered addict, a physician specializing in addiction, and New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of Congressional District 3.

Local News at Noon

Dec 21, 2016

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Wednesday, December 21.