Kourtney Compton


Kourtney Compton HSR


When I was first found out that our beat for Intermediate Reporting was the LGBTQ community, I had split feelings.  With the election coming up and many states wavering between legalizing gay marriage, I was afraid that writing about this beat would be like beating a dead horse.

The second part of me was really enthusiastic about our beat because I had just attended a protest against Chick-fil-A, in support of my openly gay hair dresser. It was the first indication that lack of equality involves a lot more than just marriage, which led to me to my first story.

I was raised in Decatur, Ill., and moved to Bountiful, Utah, four years ago, so I was fortunate to have been exposed to many different viewpoints. Not having a particularly strong stance either way really allowed me to write my stories objectively.

Professor Kimberley Mangun taught me to analyze any and all topics from many different angles and the AP stylebook is a journalist’s bible.

It is such a broad issue that there was no shortage of original material for me to write.

Our first guest speaker was Brandie Balken, director of Equality Utah. She gave me a new perspective on the wide-ranging difficulties that the LGBT community faces. Balken talked about adoption, work and survivor benefits, visitation rights and many of the other struggles that are faced in Utah.

The first person I interviewed was Jessica Finnegan, a mother of five who is in a lesbian relationship. I was surprised to find out that marriage rights aren’t her No. 1 priority. She is much more concerned about being able to see her partner or her kids if they are hospitalized, or simple things like picking up her son from school or taking her children to the doctor.

The topic of my enterprise story was inspired by my first story. It’s a topic I feel is widely ignored: How do children fare when being raised by same-sex parents?

After conducting interviews and much research, it furthered my belief that everyone deserves equality.

One advantage I found in writing on a single beat was being able to really immerse myself in the topic. For each of my stories I was able to sink my teeth into them because I had done so much research for prior stories.

Overall, I am more confident than ever that I would like to be on the broadcast television side of things and I walk away from this class with a new respect for journalists.


I am a junior at the University of Utah. I am pursuing a degree in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism.

I am starting a sports-reporting internship at local news station KSL in January 2013.

I plan to move to Los Angeles after I graduate to pursue my modeling and broadcast career.

My long-term goal is to become a sports broadcaster for a major news network.

My dream is to be the host of College GameDay on ESPN.

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