Susan Valot is an award-winning radio journalist with nearly two decades of experience in the Los Angeles region.
Valot covers anything and everything as a freelance reporter-producer for various public radio outlets, including “The California Report,” KCRW and NPR’s “Only A Game.” She spent from 2006 to 2011 as the solo Orange County bureau for KPCC Radio, the NPR affiliate in Pasadena, California. Valot left the station to do a reporting fellowship in Europe.
She also works in the podcast world. Valot hosts and produces Quanta magazine’s podcast. She also produces the “On OC” podcast for the non-profit newsroom, Voice of OC.
During Valot’s time in L.A. radio, she has won numerous awards, including being named in June 2011 as the Los Angeles Press Club’s Radio Journalist of the Year. The judges called Valot’s work “some of the best we’ve heard.” They described her reporting as “well-rounded reports with authoritative, informed tone. Great use of sound.” She was the only freelancer to be a finalist for the same organization’s Radio Journalist of the Year, handed out in 2016. She is a finalist for the same award again this year, in 2018.
Valot also has experience covering international issues. She’s participated in several international exchange programs, including the RIAS Berlin Commission Fellowship (Germany) in 2005, the U.S.-Austria Journalism Exchange in 2010 and the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship (Germany) in 2011. Those programs resulted in several international stories for Southern California’s airwaves.
In 2012, Valot was honored with the 2nd place international radio prize in the RIAS Berlin Commission’s annual awards ceremony, honoring broadcast work that fosters understanding between the U.S. and Germany. Her story aired on KPCC and was about Los Angeles artists who traded the Southern California art scene for Berlin.
She also worked with the U.S. Forest Service to create an audio tour of the 2013 Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park. The project is believed to be the only such audio tour of a wildfire recovery area in the United States.
Valot also teaches in the cinema-TV-radio department at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. Valot received her BA in Communications (Radio/TV/Film) from California State University Fullerton and her MA in Specialized Journalism (focusing on science reporting) from the University of Southern California.