The Foundation’s Investment in Future Journalists (2014/2015)
During the 2014/2015 school year, the Headliners Foundation supported twelve talented student journalists across the State. Below is a story from two of them.
Senior studying journalism, political science and theatre
Southern Methodist University
My education in journalism during the past four years has provided me opportunities for real world, “real life” experiences reaching beyond my own borders and into the neighborhoods of people around the world.
A two-year multi-media project on undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America living in Tucson, Arizona, exposed me to the melding of—and distinctions between—two cultures, ways of life and daily “norms.” Several months spent reporting on the Syrian refugee crisis from Jordan immersed me into a critical region often dominated by stereotypes and blurred understandings of the working relationships between religion, politics and security to instead see it first-hand in context.
While the themes of both projects—migration for the sake of safety from threat and economic hardship—relate them on a large scale, the Tucson Project and the Jordan Project are interwoven more closely by the stories of the individuals making up the larger, statistical numbers.
The threats driving an individual from his or her home differ greatly; the reason for leaving on the day he or she did could stem from one hundred different factors. It’s the fact of a person making that final decision to leave his or her home and seek an unknown situation, which ties them together. As a journalist, I have had the opportunity to dig deeper and explore this decision making process, contextualizing it with the government, economic and security situations in the home states of these refugees and immigrants.
The Headliners Foundation scholarship allowed me to report on the stories happening beyond my country’s borders, each of which have a very real impact on decisions being made inside the U.S. As a journalist, my job is to understand all sides of a story, and there is no better way to gain that understanding than to live amongst individuals whose experiences encompass those other sides. Journalism serves as one of the most prominent connectors between continents, nations and cultures, and I plan to continue to learn the ins and outs of journalism as a bridge between peoples after I graduate this spring.
Katelyn’s portfolio of work from the fall 2014 can be found at http://katelyngough.com/category/mid-east/.
Undergraduate Journalism Student
College of Media and Communication
Texas Tech University
Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Scholar
It wasn’t an easy decision transferring to Texas Tech University going in to my third year of college because of the distance and the cost. I transferred from a very small university in Laredo, Texas, and I didn’t really know what to expect. My first semester was not easy for me, but I never had a doubt in my mind that I had made the right decision. By my second semester, I felt right at home. I was also ready to really get my hands on the journalistic field. I wasn’t going to wait until I graduation.
I met my news director, Jeff Klotzman, in the fall of 2012 during a job fair. I told him I was interested in one day interning or maybe working with the Telemundo affiliate. I could tell he was hesitant because I was still two years away from graduating, but the moment I told him I spoke Spanish he immediately asked me for my resume. Long story short, two months later I cold-called the Telemundo producer, Gabe, and the rest is history.
I started working for Telemundo Lubbock in the spring of 2013 as associate producer. Within a few months I started producing my own segment, and just a few weeks later after that I started anchoring the evening show once a week or whenever it was needed. Six months before I graduated, I signed a contract and worked-full time my last semester while going to school full-time. Now I am full-time anchor, producer and weather anchor for both Telemundo New Mexico and Telemundo Lubbock.
It was stressful enough to figure out how I was going to work full-time and go to school full-time, but I was also trying to figure out how I was going to finance my last semester. Thanks to the Headliners Foundation’s generous scholarship I received, that was one less thing I had to worry about, was able to complete my last semester and finally get my diploma.
I will continue working for Telemundo for a while to get better and grow as a producer and anchor and hopefully from here I can make the jump to a bigger and better market.