For nearly 30 years, Keith S. Goldstein has stood in the wings like a proud parent cheering on his students at KCSN-FM as they racked up hundreds of professional local, regional, state and national awards. His students finally got the chance recently to reciprocate when the parent-instructor-news director was thrust into the limelight himself.
Goldstein was honored by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ-LA) with its prestigious Distinguished Journalist Award. The award recognized his lifelong work as news director of KCSN-FM and his years instructing and mentoring students at California State University, Northridge.
“CSUN is fortunate to have Keith Goldstein, someone dedicated to radio instruction, for so many years,” said Navid Nonahal, SPJ-LA president. She said Goldstein has been lauded by members of the SPJ board and his students for his dedication and mentorship.
Goldstein and four others were recognized in March by SPJ-LA at its 39th annual Distinguished Journalists Awards at the Hilton Universal City in Los Angeles.
“SPJ-LA presents the Distinguished Journalists Award to members of the profession who have achieved a record of career accomplishments, as Keith Goldstein has in his 33-year professional career in radio news,” Nonahal said.
Goldstein has spent his entire professional career in radio news. He joined the staff at CSUN in 1987 as news director of KCSN-FM. Since coming on board, the students who make up most of his staff have won more than 450 professional local, regional, state and national awards. These have included 50 Golden Mike Awards in Division B from the Radio Television News Association of Southern California. Many of these honors have been in the categories of “Best Newscast—Over 15 Minutes” and “Best Newscast Writing—Over 15 Minutes” for the 30-minute program The Evening Update. KCSN News also has been recognized in the categories of “Best Serious Feature,” “Best Business and Consumer Reporting,” “Best Political and Governmental Reporting,” “Best Medical and Science Reporting,” “Best Entertainment Reporting” and “Best News Series.”
His staff has also won 34 regional Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, including recognition four times for “Overall Excellence.”
Under his leadership, the student reporters and writers have received the SPJ-LA’s “Mark of Excellence” national first-place award 12 times. In the Associated Press Television Radio Association, the KCSN News staff has received six Mark Twain awards for “Best Newscast.”
Goldstein’s six-part series on Domestic Violence—The Cycle of Abuse received first-place awards from the Los Angeles Press Club and the Associated Press. He has also earned three statewide Associated Press awards in the category of “Investigative Reporting,” including in-depth stories on “Staged Accidents—Insurance Fraud,” “The Mental Health Funding Crisis in Los Angeles County” and “The Van Nuys Townkeepers: The Fight Against Prostitution and Drugs.” He won a regional Edward R. Murrow award in the category of “Best Use of Sound” for his report “Model Airplanes.”
“Keith really was a true inspiration to me,” said Debra Mark ’90 (Journalism), a co-host of a morning drive show called Mornings with Graham and Debra on KKGO-105.1 FM. “He’s very serious about his job and supporting students.”
Mark, who has worked at numerous radio stations during her career, including KPCC, KABC and KFI, said as a student she won several awards thanks to Goldstein’s leadership.
“I credit him with a lot of my success,” Mark said.
A native of Philadelphia, Goldstein is a graduate of Temple University, where he began working in radio news at the campus station WRTI-FM. He was an aggressive “self-starter,” and worked for one of the top-rated radio stations in Philadelphia. He worked for nine years in commercial radio in Central Pennsylvania, serving as news director, reporter and afternoon anchor. While in graduate school at Penn State University, he discovered his love for teaching while working as manager of that university’s student radio station.
“I found the combination of working professionally and academia the perfect combination,” Goldstein said. Ultimately, he was offered a job at a university in New York and at CSUN.
“I had never heard of the San Fernando Valley before I got here,” he recalled. But his choice was easy after enjoying the sunshine and palm tree-lined streets.
Goldstein also serves as a classroom instructor in the Department of Journalism, teaching an advanced radio news class. While he never expected to be at CSUN for three decades, he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
“I still enjoy what I do,” Goldstein said. “There is a new group of students each semester. Not everybody is going to be the most talented, but each one has something to contribute.”