I am the first news apprentice to work at WCCO. There have been other news apprentices at CBS affiliates across the country; however, I am paving the way for future news apprentices at WCCO in Minneapolis. I joined WCCO as a news apprentice this past June 2012, after graduating from St. Cloud State University (SCSU) where I majored in television broadcast journalism and minored in American Indian studies.
The first chapter of my story is for everyone who believes in me. Everyone’s help and support has allowed me to truly excel. I heard about the news apprenticeship program from SCSU’s advanced reporting professor, WCCO Reporter Reg Chapman. During my studies at SCSU I was heavily involved with the American Indian Center which honored me with the American Indian Center Outstanding Student of the Year Award. I also participated in SCSU’s advanced placement program and was recognized with the Multicultural Student Services Outstanding First-Year Student Award.
I am a proud member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. I consider it a privilege to represent my tribe as a proud American Indian journalist. I have been fortunate to attend the American Indian Journalism Institute (AIJI), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) conferences, UNITY: Journalists of Color conference and the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop throughout the years and have benefited tremendously from those interactions.
The WCCO News Apprenticeship is providing me an amazing experience. The apprenticeship focuses on behind the camera job positions which are what I am interested in. “The purpose of the Program is to develop strong newsroom leadership skills for those interested in behind the scenes editorial opportunities, as well as to attract a diverse pool of talented individuals who will contribute to our story selection and execution,” WCCO said. WCCO has been very welcoming to me, I am already part of the family.
During the first six months of my apprenticeship I traveled to different areas of WCCO: working in production, communications, promotions, graphics, with the Web team and at the assignment desk. I am delighted that I am able to experience different aspects of WCCO. Each department is an extremely important area of the station and the apprenticeship allows me to learn how these different departments work together. After the first six months, I decided that for the remainder of my apprenticeship I would focus my efforts on the Communications Department.
Being at the station has completely enhanced my ability to find story ideas and present my ideas at meetings. I now also have a better understanding of what is newsworthy. Planning community engagement and Mobile Weather Watcher events has provided me with extensive experience in Communications. I have also had the experience and opportunity to plan and be a communication’s representative for the station at High School Sports Rally events, Batting Practice Buddies events, Wine Women and Baseball events, the Holidazzle Parade, WCCO photo shoots and phone banks – specifically the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund phone bank. It has been extremely rewarding for me to work in the Communications Department and participate in planning, managing and working in WCCO’s building at the Minnesota State Fair. Another terrific opportunity I had with WCCO was to be a guest at the American Indian College Fund’s Flame of Hope Gala with WCCO’s General Manager Brien Kennedy and others from the station.
I believe WCCO carries on the traditions of our television station while also bringing in new ideas. The management at WCCO is very encouraging of all its employees. I really appreciate that because sometimes people need a little extra motivation to keep going and that encouragement allows them to do their best. WCCO strives to reach the highest excellence in broadcasting, I believe they succeed. The training I received at WCCO helped further develop my communication and journalistic skills. I know those will help me throughout my career.
I love the positive energy that flows through WCCO – everywhere. I am honored to represent WCCO and thank them for providing me with this News Apprentice experience. Meegwetch (thank you in Ojibwe).