Kiri Salinas fell in love with the idea of being a journalist in high school while serving as editor-in-chief of the Cudahy High School newspaper.
After several hands-on experiences as a Blugold journalism major, Kiri is more certain than ever that she wants to make a career in the fast-changing but rewarding field of journalism.
One of those career-affirming experiences came thanks to the generosity of Henry Lippold, a journalism professor emeritus who years ago established the broadcast journalism program at UW-Eau Claire.
Lippold, who taught broadcast journalism at UW-Eau Claire from 1972-2001 and was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002, also established the Henry Lippold Fellowship through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation to support students with an interest in pursuing a career in broadcast journalism.
As the most recent recipient of the fellowship, Kiri spent three weeks in the news department of KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul where she job shadowed and worked alongside professional journalists who were eager to mentor and encourage her. The fellowship also includes a scholarship.
The junior journalism major and global studies minor took a few minutes to share how the Lippold Fellowship and other hands-on learning experiences that she’s had as a Blugold have helped shape how she sees her future.
How did you get interested in broadcast journalism?
During my freshman year of high school, I randomly chose to take an elective working with the school magazine at Greendale High School and was fascinated by it. When I transferred to Cudahy High School, I heard there was a journalism class and I hopped right in. Before I knew it, I was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. With the help of my journalism high school journalism teacher, I found my passion for journalism.
I came to UW-Eau Claire because I heard about its amazing journalism program.
I had all the intentions of going into print journalism. But when I moved into Towers South my freshman year, I heard about the TV-10 open house and figured I would check it out. I immediately joined the news team as a reporter.
Day after day, I fell more in love with the idea of broadcast journalism.
Then I also joined Blugold Radio and was hooked there as well.
So I knew I wanted to be in the journalism field since my freshman year of high school, but it wasn’t until I came to UW-Eau Claire that I knew I wanted to focus on broadcast journalism.
What were the highlights of your three weeks at KSTP-TV?
The internship was a great experience. Each of the three weeks I got to focus on different aspects of the newsroom.
The first week, I helped produce the 4:30 newscast at KSTP almost every day and was rewriting AP stories. I really enjoyed my time on producer’s row because it gave me a glimpse into what I hope to be doing after I graduate college.
The second week I was there, I got to choose a reporter to shadow for the day. It was amazing to see how fast-paced the news world really is, and how you just have to be ready for anything and everything.
Then the last week is where I got to do it all. I was field producing for the week, and got to put together my own stories and even have my own byline on KSTP.com.
That last week was the highlight of my time there because the people at the station trusted me enough to go out and get content for the broadcasts.
I learned so much from everyone there. The people at KSTP were so welcoming and were willing to help me with anything that I needed.
Henry Lippold is an amazing man. I will forever be grateful to him for giving this opportunity to me and other UW-Eau Claire journalism students.
How did the Lippold Fellowship shape your thinking about your future?
The internship showed me that I belong in a newsroom.
The thrill and excitement I had every day was so amazing to feel. It showed me that this truly is something that I would love to do, whether that be producing, reporting or even field producing.
This internship will look good on a resume, but it also will impact how I handle future jobs. I’ve been used to the way college TV and radio stations are run, but now it won’t be such a culture shock when I get into the “real world.”
It also gave me new insights on how I can better serve both the campus radio station and the news segment at TV-10. I’ll take what I’ve learned and put it toward running a more successful news show.
Now that I’ve had my first internship, I know that I am ready for the future internships that I hope to have before I graduate.
What other experiences have you had at UW-Eau Claire that have had a big impact on you?
I’m the station manager and senior producer for Blugold Radio. I’m also the news director, anchor and producer for Blugold News Now, the news show at TV-10.
And I’m the newly elected president of Society of Professional Journalists at UW-Eau Claire.
Being involved with SPJ, Blugold Radio and TV-10 all have been AMAZING experiences. By being involved with the student media here on campus, I’ve been able to better myself not only as a college student, but as a student journalist as well.
Another experience that was very beneficial to my love for journalism was studying abroad in Nice, France, during summer 2015.
In France, I was able to brush up on my French speaking skills, and also learn about travel writing and reporting. It was an amazing feeling to meet strangers in a foreign country and talk about things like music and the area around Nice.
The study abroad trip was a great way to combine my love for journalism and travel.
Anything else you want to share about your Blugold experience?
I would have never applied for this internship if it wasn’t for my mentors — journalism students who have graduated before me — and the journalism professors.
The journalism program here can be a great experience if you take that extra step and be as involved as you can be.
By getting involved now, I’m bettering myself and will be ready to show future employers that I’m the best candidate for the job.
Photo caption: Kiri Salinas