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


The first decade of the 21st century has had the second largest extent of drought measured by area, and is the first warmest and fourth driest in the record of measuring drought from 1901-2010.  The 2012 census described the entire 1.6- million acre Hopi reservation as farmland, but with only 1688 acres being used as cropland, and the vast majority as range lands. KSFR’s Deborah Begel spoke to Daniel Ferguson, who leads a collaboration between the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona and the Hopi tribe.

News stories about opioids often highlight increasing numbers of overdose deaths. Yet the costs associated with addiction for families, communities, and society are equally staggering.  Recent New Mexico and national news reports reveal the escalating need for double or triple the number of current foster families to provide a safe haven for the children of addicts.  And research into the brains of parents high on opioids is beginning to reveal how people can detach from and ignore the needs of children.

Local News At Noon

Dec 14, 2016

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Wednesday, December 15.

Local News At Noon

Dec 13, 2016

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Tuesday, December 13.

Local News At Noon

Dec 12, 2016

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Monday, December 12.

Local News At Noon

Dec 6, 2016

Top-of-the-hour, local news for Tuesday, December 6.

Local News At Noon

Dec 2, 2016

Top-of-the-hour local news for Friday, December 2.

Chris Felver

Cuban leader Fidel Castro died on Friday at age 90. Castro dominated his country for more than 50 years from the moment he entered Havana in triumph in January 1959 until 2006 when he stepped aside because of illness.

Americans’  knowledge of the Cuban people became greatly constrained after 1961 when diplomatic relations were severed between our two countries. President Barack Obama reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba in July 2015.

Local News At Noon

Nov 28, 2016

Top-of-the-hour local news for Monday, November 28.

Local News At Noon

Nov 22, 2016

Top-of-the-hour local news for Tuesday, November 22.

Gun violence has been responsible for nearly 900 deaths in the US this year.

More than 240 mass shooting incidents have occurred.

As injury and death by firearms continue at this pace, some activist groups are trying to reduce the number of unwanted guns.

In Santa Fe, New Mexicans for the Prevention of Gun Violence has just launched a new campaign to turn guns into garden tools. Deborah Begel reports.