Randall Park block party unites UW-Eau Claire students, community

By Ali Mundth

Eau Claire students and community members gathered in Randall Park on Thursday evening for a block party event organized by UW-Eau Claire’s Student Senate. The event, which featured free food, music, and games, was put together in collaboration with the Randall Park Neighborhood Association. According to UW-Eau Claire Student Body President Branden Yates, the purpose of the event was to bring Eau Claire students and community members together as one by bridging the gap between students and neighborhoods.

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Job Shadow: Aaron Rose, Leader-Telegram

By Riley Piket

It’s a Friday night, and Aaron Rose is sitting at the scorer’s table in the middle of a packed gym at Chippewa Falls High School covering a high school basketball game. Although the small gym is a far cry from the packed stadiums he would go to for his last job, where he covered the Toronto Blue Jays of the MLB, Rose is still right in his element.

A native of Toronto, Canada, Rose has been covering sports for the Leader-Telegram since March of 2019. He is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada and the famous Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Rose hopes to be the next great sportswriter to come out of the Medill School of Journalism, or in his words: “the next Mike Wilbon”, a famous sports reporter and fellow alumni of the school.

Becoming the next great sportswriter from the Medill School of Journalism wasn’t always Rose’s plan though, as he majored in history while at McGill University. It wasn’t until he started writing for the student newspaper at McGill that he realized journalism was what he really wanted to pursue. This prompted him to attend graduate school at Northwestern and go into the extremely competitive field of journalism.

After graduation from Northwestern, Rose started covering his hometown baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, as part of an internship with the MLB. He worked as an associate reporter and covered the team for the entire 2018 season. Rose described this internship as a great experience and said it really prepared him for his current job at the Leader-Telegram.

When talking about his job, Rose used a baseball analogy to describe the ups and downs he faces on a daily basis. Rose said “It’s like baseball, some days you’re going to go 4 for 4 and other days you’re going to go 0 for 4, you just have to hope it balances out.” It’s no secret that journalists face a lot of criticism, and Rose tries to keep level-headed to help him deal with that criticism.

            When asked about what his favorite part of his job is, Rose said “Best part about this job is every day is new, and you don’t know what you’re going to write about going in.”. It is this type of surprise and lack of predictability that has brought a young man from Toronto who was originally a history major, to Wisconsin as an up and coming sportswriter.

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Job Shadow: Katie Phernetton, News Anchor at WQOW

Job Shadow-Allison Hinrichs

WQOW is one of Eau Claire’s lead broadcast television stations. We interviewed WQOW morning news anchor, Katie Phernetton for insight into what it is like to be a broadcast journalist.

“When I was younger I would pretend to be interviewing people,” says Phernetton, “there is a home video where I took my dad’s big camcorder, because this is 1997 and I would set it up in my back yard and I was pretending to interview NSYNC.” Ever since Phernetton was a child she has been interested in being in front of a camera and interviewing people. This has led Phernetton to becoming a news anchor.

Katie Phernetton

Phernetton allowed my colleague, Hailey Person and I to take a tour of WQOW’s station. As Phernetton performed her magic on screen, Person and I observed her behind the camera in awe. We were able to watch an entire 60-minute morning broadcast behind the scenes as well as visit the control room and meet with the director. After shadowing Phernetton and sitting down for a one on one interview my colleague and I couldn’t help but express how glamorous this job seemed, but we wanted to also learn the downsides of broadcast journalism. “The biggest struggle is social media and the whole narrative of fake news,” explains Phernetton, “This really hurts us as journalists.” Phernetton provides an example with the Milwaukee shooting, she explains how amazing it was for journalists to be able to be on the scene however in this era people want their news to be fast and accurate and sometimes journalists sacrifice accuracy for speed.

Phernetton’s experience is as follows:

  • Studied for 2 years at Winona State University
  • Transferred to the University of Green Bay
  • Majored in Communications with an emphasis in electronic media
  • Interned at WBAY as a sports intern and news intern
  • Worked at WLUK for 5 year as a future and live reporter
  • Started working at WQOW as a news anchor in Aug. 2018

With years of experience Phernetton concludes the interview with advice for future journalists, “don’t compare yourself to anyone else and follow your gut, if you want to cover a story do it. Fight for yourself to do that story.” Says Phernetton.

For questions or intern opportunities contact Katie Phernetton:

Email: kphernetton@wqow.com

Voice Memo:

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Young activist encourages Eau Claire community to participate in climate activism

By Grace Olson

Earth guardian’s youth director calls all generations to fight climate change. 

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a climate activist calls on all generations to fight climate change. © Grace Olson 2019

“Regardless of how small, we have to be doing something,” said Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a climate change activist and hip-hop artist. 

Martinez spoke to over 300 faculty, staff, students, and community members at Schofield auditorium on the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire campus. This 77th forum speech took place on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. 

Martinez is a youth director for Earth Guardians, an environmental activist group making changes around the world. This groups hopes to inspire youth to create change through music, art, storytelling, and legal action. He has been working since the age of 6 to put an end to climate change. Working in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado to end the use of pesticides in local parks. 

Martinez often calls to the youth because they are the future. They are the going to be the ones deciding which policies take place and the state of the world’s climate said Martinez.

Martinez acknowledges that small individual steps are important in this fight, but simply using less electricity or going vegan is not enough. Activists need to stand up to large corporations responsible for the rapid climate change crisis Martinez said. 

Audience member Sydney Rae said, “awareness for everybody, not just the youth,” is incredibly important to climate activism.

Martinez focused on the importance of all generations getting involved in the climate change movement. He stressed that young people do need to be in the front of the movement, but this does not excuse all older generations in fighting with them. 

In the Q and A session with the audience of the forum, Martinez spoke about his beginning involvement in climate change. He said his supportive family was his strong foundation to his start in activism. He spoke on how fortunate he was to have a family so involved in what he was passionate about from a young age. 

He called to all audience members to find something they are passionate about. Then educate and identify with current problems of that passion to get started in activism. 

Martinez recalls an experience he had in Minnesota talking to high school students in a predominantly conservative community. He noticed a strong difference in energy between him and the students. But he called on the power of music. When he sang one of his hip-hop songs to the students, he noticed a big change in energy. Students then became engaged and involved in what he had to say. 

Being a hip-hop artist, Martinez said how music brings him to life and is often how he feels comfortable sharing his message. 

Martinez spoke on the need to reframe the way climate change is talked about. Often this conversation drains the participants and leaves people uninspired. Martinez hopes to reframe this conversation to leave people wanting to get involved and make a change. 

Martinez recalled an experience he had that forced him to get involved in climate activism. Wildfires wiped out forests where he grew up going to play and connect with nature. Experiencing a natural disaster firsthand put into perspective for Martinez, what others were going through around the world every day.

Martinez spoke on how climate change does not just affect sea levels or the amount of carbon in the air, but the culture from ancestors. Culture is lost if care for the planet is lacking, said Martinez. Passing down these ideas to generation to generation is what will allow the youth to remain inspired.

 “Whatever makes you love life, that’s what we need to protect,” said Martinez speaking on the impacts of climate change.

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Job Shadow: Tammy Janke, Family Innovations, Therapist

By Izzy Bandettini

I started this assignment with an open mind about who I wanted to shadow and based on my double majors I had two options, to interview a journalist or a therapist. I chose to interview a therapist named Tammy Janke. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is currently employed for Family Innovations, and she works through a multitude of offices. When I first arrived at the office it felt like I was going into a therapy session because the atmosphere felt very inviting and comforting.

Janke and I sat down in her office and we began to talk and the first thing we started to discuss was her education prior to becoming a therapist. She became a therapist six years ago after graduate school and since then has been working for the company called Family Innovations. Before working at the company, she underwent 7 years of schooling to receive her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She earned her undergraduate from the University of Wisconsin River Falls in 2010, and soon after graduating she started to apply to graduate schools. She got accepted into St. Mary’s University and graduated in 2013 with her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Tammy Janke works on paperwork after seeing a client
©2019 Izzy Bandettini

Janke informed me that there was a lot to do post graduate school in order to be licensed in the state of Minnesota. The first thing she had to complete was 4000 hours of unlicensed supervision, and once she completed her hours, she had to take the National Examination. Janke passed the exam the first time, and straight-away from finding out, she had to apply to take her Oral Exam. Once she completed and passed all the hours and exams, she became a certified Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

It takes a lot of time and effort to become a therapist, but Janke was so excited to start her new career. She now has a very flexible work schedule and can choose her own schedule, which means she only works Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. During those days she either does supervision for her staff, because she is also a supervisor, or she does out-patient. Out-patient requires Janke to be in her office all day because as her clients rotate through, she only has 10 minutes in-between each one to eat, write down notes, or to take phone calls.

Being able to work next to Janke really opened my eyes of what it means to be a therapist and all it entails. Janke noted how rewarding it is to see the progress of clients and that gave me inspiration to one day become a therapist myself. There is a lot of work involved in becoming a therapist, but the rewards are endless, and it was great to see how much therapy can impact the lives of people.

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Job Shadow: Barry Hoff, Bloomer Advance Managing Editor

Barry Hoff, managing editor of the Bloomer Advance, takes a photo that will be featured in an upcoming issue of the newspaper.
© 2019AshlieFanetti

By Ashlie Fanetti

I recently job shadowed Barry Hoff at his office in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Hoff is the managing editor of the Bloomer Advance newspaper. He does a variety of jobs around the office as editor, but also as a general manager including: writing, editing, page layout, photographer, payroll and acting as an overall assistant to his employees when needed. Hoff spends a lot of time behind a desk, which seems a little boring at first observation, but it can also be very interesting as new stories come up. In talking with Hoff, I learned that his job can be chaotic at times, which keeps him on his toes. Fall is a very busy season for him as school is back in full swing and so is high school sports, a very popular topic among his readers.  He stressed that it is very important to balance time in his job because in a small newsroom like the one he oversees, a typical day does not exist. Listen below to hear more advice from Hoff on important skills to learn in order to be successful in his field.

The bulk of Hoff’s day is spent finding content, copyediting and working on page layout as he is responsible for the front page, the back page and the sports section of the weekly newspaper. Hoff utilizes the Adobe Creative Suite to produce his assigned pages. He recommended that a person should have at least some prior exposure to or knowledge of the software before starting on the job, especially Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. When he creates his pages, Hoff has the final decision as to what goes where throughout the whole newspaper, which means that he has to make some tough decisions. He pays attention to what readers respond to and tends to put the most popular topics towards the front, which typically means human interest or hard news pieces often end up on the front page.

Hoff didn’t always know he wanted to do this job. He worked his way up to it. After he graduated high school, he took his general education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and found himself a job in the Barron News-Shield print shop in Barron, Wisconsin. During this time, he also was taking an online business management class through Thomas Edison University located in Trenton, New Jersey. In 2006, Jim Bell, Hoff’s boss in Barron, bought the Bloomer Advance and appointed Hoff to the position of managing editor. Hoff told me that it’s not where he originally planned to be, but that he enjoys his job and finds it to be fulfilling work as he learns new things every day.


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Photo Cutline Slideshow – UWEC Lacrosse visits Madison

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