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Class of 2003

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Katie Harlan

Noon Anchor/Morning Reporter
KGET-TV (NBC), Bakersfield, CA
Market Rank 126


After graduating, I moved back home to work at CTV, Channel 30.
It’s a community-owned television news station in the San Francisco
area. I did it all, reporter, producer, camera woman, and editor. After
just over a year, I landed my first affiliate job in Eugene Oregon with
the CBS affiliate, KVAL-TV. I was a reporter during the week and
produced the weekend newscast. After just over a year, I was offered a
full-time reporter position at KGET-TV, the NBC affiliate in Bakersfield
California. After a few months, I was promoted to report for the number
one show in the market, 17 News at Sunrise and anchor 17 News at Noon.

ATVN positions and duties:

Reporter and camera woman

How did ATVN prepare you for your current job?

I learned how to edit and put a story together. It’s important to write
to video and that was an on-going theme at ATVN.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?

Don’t wait for a news director to call you. Pick up the phone. Don’t
just send out tapes, hit the road. That’s what I did. I drove from Chico
to Yakima Washington in search of a job. I just called every news
director on the way and dropped in for a quick interview. I was offered
a job three weeks later. Also, don’t compare yourself with anyone else.
The news business is unpredictable, if you want it bad enough it WILL
happen, LEARN how to be patient. 

What are the top three skills college journalism students should be working on in order to be prepared for their first broadcasting job?

WRITE to VIDEO, develop your own interviewing techniques (know which questions to ask), get on air as much as possible; go LIVE, LIVE, LIVE! Make your mistake now, that’s why you’re there.

What is the most important thing a college journalist should know when he or she is trying to negotiate his or her first job?

If you’re offered a job workings at an affiliate after graduating take it. Whether it’s in Nebraska, Alaska, or California; TAKE IT!!! You won’t have much power to bargain and you won’t get paid anything. I had to work at the mall part time while working for the CBS affiliate in Eugene. Believe me if you don’t want to make the sacrifice, there are hundreds of people lined up behind you who will work for much less. If you want to be on air, understand you won’t make much for a long time. That’s never going to change.

What prepared you most for your current job?

INTERNSHIPS, I worked at E! Entertainment, I worked with top notch photographers and interviewed lots of people. I also wrote a pkg for the International Network in college. Make sure you ask questions during the interview process for internships. Make sure you can get hands on experience working with professionals. I was lucky to get amazing internships at KTLA and KTVU. Change stations, make contacts, and work for free. It’s never too early to start an internship, freshman go get them. Also, Trojan Vision was great, I hosted a show and produced for a year. Do a little something of everything, the more you know, the better!

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