I remember the exact moment I fell in love with broadcast journalism:
Creeping toward the end of May 2011, my sophomore year at Las Cruces High School, I unexpectedly discovered what I now hope will be my lifelong passion. My high school communications class was given the option to take the skills we had patiently learned from class projects and produce our own, original, carefully pieced-together show.
Inspired by the task at end, I jumped at the opportunity to play the role of producer. Never had I felt so compelled to lead a class project, and I couldn’t explain why. It was no easy feat: I quickly learned just how many hats a producer wears. At a young age, I saw firsthand the importance of successfully assembling a a team, motivating others at seemingly hopeless times, and enforcing deadlines when it appears that waiting for one person might jeopardize the content of the show.
The unflinching passion to immerse oneself in journalism, learning the tools of the trade in order to lead fellow classmates is a challenge that I think many students gladly accept. This exciting, unpredictable subject in school is one like nothing we have ever experienced. So we jump at the opportunity to learn the basics of our craft, clinging to any opportunity we can find and struggling to make our work live up to personal and professional standards.
Instinctively, I knew my high school work could only be the beginning, and ultimately, my intuition was right: Each new opportunity opened three new doors of possibility. Simply saying “yes” to stories, club involvement and networking with industry professionals helped my education endlessly.
Now, as my education comes to a close, I can only reflect on all the amazing experiences and valuable lessons from my high school and college years. I’ve interned at a half dozen places, I’ve followed the presidential campaign for network news in New York and I’ve reported in the halls of Congress. Just last week, I won a Student Production Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for reporting along the Mexico border.
Of course, you can only work with the circumstances you’re given; each school has only so many funds and valuable instructors available to students. However, anything is possible! Take it from me, a public school high school student who came from a communications program with an extremely limited budget. In order to attend the Student Television Network, we had three - to four carwashes a month (my hands are still wrinkly). On top of that, we sold commercials and sold pastries to our school, you name it!
Whatever your grade, whatever school you attend and whatever your comfort level in journalism, remember to say yes to as much as you can. Complete the quick day turns, but don’t be upset if you miss one or two deadlines: It builds character! Always have an end goal and a backup plan. And yes, you must check the functionality of the XLR with headphones before you step out.
To see more of Katie's work, check out her reel here: http://www.katiebieri.com/what-katie-shoots/
Katie Bieri is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication who specializes in political and border reporting. Last year, Katie was the only current Cronkite student to win a student production award for a story on the potential legalization of marijuana in Mexico. In her four years at ASU, Katie has completed eight internships, learning skills relevant to broadcast, print and digital reporting. Most recently, Katie interned on the CBS News Political Unit, where she assisted with the network's 2016 Election Coverage. As Arizona quickly became a swing state, Katie was fortunate enough to run into several of her former mentors at various campaign rallies. Next semester, Katie will intern on the Phoenix NBC affiliate's political team, covering the work of newly elected public officials in Arizona. After graduation, she plans to work in local news.