By Ke Jin
Broadcasting Journalism is a career that I have been dreaming about. I have wanted to work with public radio from the time I was in elementary school. In this case, I contacted Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), and I have had the opportunity to shadow Dean Kallenbach, who is the senior regional manager of WPR, in Eau Claire. It was such a wonderful experience and my goal is more clear.
I arrived at the WPR office at 8:20 a.m. and was greeted by Dean Kallenbach. He gave me a tour of the working place, facility, and the WPR team.
Later on, Debbie Brown who is the volunteer and event coordinator for WPR-Eau Claire showed me how everything works, what each person does, and who or which organization is WPR’s partner. Kallenbach was having a telephone conference with other WPR stations from all over the Wisconsin state.
I also got a chance to see how telephone conference works by sitting in Kallenbach’s office and listening to the conference. During the meeting, Kallenbach explained how WRP is comprised of 33 stations around Wisconsin. Each station focuses on local news, and sometimes, stations work together and bring some big news that happens around the state, the nation and other countries, to people who might be listening.
During the time of my job shadow, I had the opportunity to watch and listen to a radio show. “Spectrum West” is a radio show hosted by Al Ross. This time, Al Ross recorded several interviews before the show, and the first interview is about Li Le, who is a Chinese teacher in Eau Claire Mandarin. As a Chinese student, I had a great time talking about language, food, and culture with Al Ross. I can see his passion for broadcast journalism by watching his facial expression and gestures, especially when he was doing the program. He was really into it.
After the radio show I did an interview with Kallenbach about being the senior regional manager of WPR. We discussed his educational background, pre-professional experiences and advice for others who want to do a similar job in the future.
Kallenbach told me that his favorite work experience is sports reporting.
“That’s a lot of fun, I enjoy that,” he said.
Then we continued to talk about a future career. I expressed my worries about language. I love journalism stuff, but I am also afraid listeners will have difficulty understanding me. As we talked about it, I figured out that even English speakers on radio struggle with being understood sometimes, because each person grows up in a certain community with certain accent and certain way to communicate.
“It can be difficult for people from another community to understand you, even with English,” Kallenbach said. “But being on the radio is a chance for you to get feedback.”
Later on, Dean Kallenbach introduced me to Kiri Salinas, who is the president of Society of Professional Journalists-Eau Claire Chapter (SPJ), and Taylor Pomasl, the Blugold Radio News Director via email, to help me reach some campus working opportunities. The good thing is I have already contacted and we met and talked.
While doing my job shadow at WPR in Eau Claire, I finally figured out what broadcast journalism is, and it sparked my interest more in broadcasting radio. I really appreciated what Kallenbach taught me and the opportunity I got with his help. I will continue my journalism journey and never stop learning.
This is a part of the interview with Dean Kallenbach, who is the Senior Regional Manager of WPR, in Eau Claire, shared something about Resume.