Friday, October 2nd, Kimberly Veklerov, a Terra Linda graduate and now Editor in Chief of Berkeley’s independent student journal, The Daily Californian, visited Terra Linda High’s journalism class.
Although the sit-down interview was casual, Veklerov presented herself professionally, and gave the class valuable information pertaining to journalism. She began by telling us about the Daily Cal, and how she got there. The Daily Cal is independent from the University of California, Berkeley, but they usually only hire Berkeley students, recent Berkeley graduates, and occasionally, high school interns. Veklerov decided a semester into her first year at Berkeley that she wanted to commit to the Daily Cal, and has stuck with it ever since.
Veklerov expressed a passion for covering breaking news, protests, and stories that really attract the readers’ interest. After telling the class about investigating and writing about a transgender prison death, she says, “The thrill and the adrenaline of doing this kind of work is what got [her] into journalism.” The article was interesting and provided insight for the community, as well as a source for other news outlets to cite. That’s what any committed journalist wants: to make an impact and be recognized for their reporting.
Veklerov gave the class three important pointers. The first was to simply find a good idea. Veklerov says that “it’s a matter of looking for trends or talking to people, [and] finding out what’s going on.” She also suggests turning to “people outside of your friend group,” in order to get a variety of story ideas.
The next pointer: take advantage of the school’s resources. To get more serious information, Veklerov reminded us that every record of public schools or public organizations is available at our discretion if we need to do undercover work.
The third is to get viewers interested in the story. Veklerov talked about the importance of visual aids in a newspaper, and how readers respond the best to stories with the best representations. Veklerov inspired the class to get the readers interested through visual interpretations and investigations. Currently, our marketing team is working on a fun video to advertise the new home page, and another journalist is working on a TL budget investigation.