Kilee Thomas

MY STORIES:

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MY BLOG:

Throughout the semester, this course has challenged and broadened my perspectives, not simply on the Latinx community, but on my role as a professional reporter. It would be bold of me to say that I was completely comfortable covering this beat. To put it bluntly, I was terrified. And for one reason only: I felt that I didn’t have the right authority or background to poke around and write these stories. Thankfully, as time went on and as I began interviewing my sources, I gained the confidence I needed to present myself and my work the way a true journalist would.

My confidence came from realizing that all beats need to be covered and not just simply from a journalist perspective with similar upbringings, but covered by all journalists. What makes a compelling story, a great story, is telling it from a different perspective, a different pair of eyes. Journalists come in all different shapes and sizes and our approach to a story or beat is what’s going to challenge and engage our readers.

As a student trying to further and expand my professional development, this experience pushed me to become a better writer, a better interviewer, a better researcher and all-in-all, a better journalist.

At first, I was a little taken aback at how timid I was asking sources for a potential interview. As a journalism student, I have interviewed dozens of people throughout the span of my college career, but these interviews were always lined up for me. Having to ask a stranger for permission to interview them caused more anxiety than I had initially anticipated going in. This class gave me the opportunity to practice seeking out interviews and feeling secure in doing so.

As for the interview itself, I am very comfortable. I have no problem posing questions and leading the interview in the direction I want it to go. There’s no better feeling than asking a question and getting an answer that lights a spark within your interviewee and uncovers some hidden truth or fascinating story. The instant gratification of question and answer is the most satisfying part of being a storyteller. I feel like Indiana Jones unearthing this great revelation.

The biggest truth I’ve dug up throughout the semester is that I’m still learning how and what it means to be a journalist. I have a long way to go and there’s no end in sight because a great journalist is a lifelong learner.

Covering this beat gave me the chance to further my development as a broadcast journalist by helping me create diverse story ideas, angles and locate non-white sources to interview. I’m excited to see what I will learn and what I will teach others from utilizing my voice as a journalist.

ABOUT ME:

Kilee Thomas ’19 is from West Jordan, Utah. Kilee graduated from University of Utah with a B.S. in Communications with an emphasis in journalism. She currently holds an internship at ABC4 news and previously held an internship for Good Things Utah. She has written published articles as a writer for HerCampus, an online magazine publication, as well as for Voices of Utah. After graduating, Kilee is hoping to become a news reporter/multi-media journalist.