Job Shadow: Tom Giffey, Managing Editor: Volume One


Tom Giffey working at his desk at Volume One magazine.

Volume One Magazine is a culture and entertainment magazine in the Chippewa. They keep the community updated on music, events, restaurants, and more online and in a print magazine that comes out every two weeks. They release a magazine full of the cultural happenings in Eau Claire as well as stories about the people who live here.

The owner of the magazine, Nick Meyer, also owns many other businesses in Eau Claire including being a partner in the new Oxbow Hotel and The Lakely. Along with Volume One there is also The Local Store and the Volume One Gallery which all coexist in the same building, creating a fun and creative atmosphere. The company is quite unlike anything else in the area. While most print media has decreased in recent years Volume One continues to get more popular, one of the magazine’s managing editors said.

Tom Giffey is one of the managing editors and a writer. Listen to how he got his start in journalism and became the managing editor for Volume One.

When I first arrived to Volume One Tom showed me around the office, showing me how the magazine runs. The first thing I noticed was the swing in the middle of the room, and the young age of everyone who worked there. Tom introduced himself as “the old guy” in the office, because he said that most people who worked there were right out of college. After showing me around the office he talked to me about how get got his start in journalism.

Tom also explained to me a little bit about his process of how he interviews people for stories and then I got to see it in action. I got sit in on an interview that he had with a couple of guys who publish a magazine full of art work and writings from inmates in prisons around the country. As they talked about what they were doing, how they were doing, and how it was a good thing for so many people. Tom asked questions and took notes on everything important that they said. He asked questions that kept the story moving and so they could clear up anything that was unclear. After the interview he told me that before he talked to them he didn’t know if he could make a story out of it but afterwards he thought that it would be something that people in the community would be really interested in. He also told me that the photographer from Volume One would be taking pictures for when the story would be published.

Tom also invited me to be a contributing writer for Volume One once I get more experience in writing. My experience job shadowing for Tom was great. It was really wonderful to get to see a real journalist in action getting the story and to hear what it’s like to work for such a unique publication.

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News Industry Fails to Hire Minority Journalists


Photo credit:

By Kiersten Clifford

There is a lack of minority journalists. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact. According to the American Society for New Editors diversity report, in 2016 only 17 percent of journalists were a minority (this only includes news organizations that participated in the survey). While white males being the majority of the work force is not new for any industry, in journalism it’s different. Journalism’s main ambition is to inform a large and diverse public.

This problem starts while they’re still a student enrolled at a University. In a study published in the Columbia Journalism Review, Alex T. Williams, a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania addressed why there are so few minority journalists. There simply aren’t as many minority journalism students. Between 2004 and 2014 only 21.4 percent of journalism graduates were minorities. In addition to that only half of those students actually got a full-time job. While two-thirds of their white peers received a full time journalist job.

This then becomes a problem for more than just the journalists who aren’t getting hired. In an article for The Atlantic Riva Gold said, “Fewer minorities are getting the opportunity to work in news, and news organizations are losing their ability to empower, represent, and—especially in cases where language ability is crucial— even to report on minority populations in their communities”. Though this article is from 2012 it can still be applied to what is happening today. This can lead to news coverage being biased and incomplete. At a time in our country when relationships with different races, religions, and cultures are complex at best it is crucial that our news comes from people who understand our widely diverse country.

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Russian journalists risk safety to cover news

New Russian President Vladimir Putin walks as he attends the inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin in Moscow. © 2012 Alexsey Druginyn

By Rachyl Houterman

As Russian government officials continue to curtail freedom of speech across the nation, journalists risk their safety and lives to cover the critical issues and fulfill their roles as the “watchdog,” according to investigations conducted by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Imprisonment, poisonings, physical attacks and even murder are not uncommon among bloggers, journalists, political activists or even citizens who oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration, according to the reports from the Committee to Protect Journalists.   

According to an article from ABC News, a recent case is that of 35-year-old Vladimir Kara-Murza, a former journalist and Putin critic, who woke up from a week-long coma on Feb. 9, 2017, after being supposedly poisoned.

It is apparently the second time he has been poisoned in two years, the last time being in 2015 when the alleged poisoning left him with severe nerve damage, according to the article. It also said he suspected it was his work that made him a target, although he was unsure of who carried out the attack.

Coverage on sensitive topics has generally been a suspected contributing factor in such punishments. The International Human Rights Group Agora, a group of 50 lawyers fighting for human rights in Russia, published a report in 2015 citing the riskiest issues to talk about on the internet as Ukraine, Crimea or anti-government statements.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 36 confirmed murders of Russian journalists have been recorded since 1992, most of whom covered beats on politics, war or corruption.

One example is the 2006 murder of reporter Anna Politkovskaya. She was well-known for her anti-Putin sentiment and coverage of the Chechen conflict, a region formerly fighting for independence from Russia.

Some journalists and bloggers face imprisonment. According to an article from NPR, Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption blogger and political activist, was arrested in 2011 for leading rallies that condemned the recent parliamentary elections for the Kremlin.

It is a journalist’s job to fulfill the “watchdog” role, but with the threat of persecution or murder, it brings into question the effect it will have on future political coverage by independent journalists and Russian news outlets.

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Job shadow: Leader-Telegram Reporter Lauren French


Leader-Telegram reporter Lauren French works on writing her story while referring to her notes. © 2017 Rachyl Houterman

By Rachyl Houterman

For Leader-Telegram reporter Lauren French, journalism wasn’t always on the list of future career options. For her, she said, it was a “slow-burn love story.”

In May 2016, French graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where as a freshman, she began as a biology major. It was something she excelled at, she said, but after realizing it didn’t make her happy, she changed her path.

She tried out public relations and enrolled in the beginning journalism class, which at the time was a required course for the public relations major. In this class, French discovered her passion for journalism.

“I think I just started working on some stories that felt really powerful even if they were just in class, you know, talking to local business owners about why their business is important to them,” French said. “Small stories like that really made me start to think about how much journalism opens your eyes to the world, and once I realized that I just kind of fell in love with it.”

Following her junior year, French acquired a summer internship at the Steven’s Point Journal. During her senior year, French was selected for the Steven J. Koepp Journalism Fellowship to spend three weeks as a paid intern for Time Inc. in New York City. French also worked as a part-time reporter for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram and as the editor-in-chief of The Spectator, the UW-Eau Claire student newspaper.

Following her graduation, French completed a summer internship at the Leader-Telegram. In the fall of 2016, she took a full-time position with the Leader-Telegram as a general assignment reporter.

On the day of the job shadow, French had a relatively quiet day at the office. She was assigned a story regarding a bill being circulated by Republican legislators to expand broadband coverage in rural Wisconsin. Her editor requested that she find out how it affected schools in those rural areas.

One important piece of advice French had regarding this was to always be sure to ask veteran reporters for possible contacts they may have for a story. Often times they have tips and information on who to contact.

French showed me a few articles she’s written, including a profile piece she wrote about three women who left their religious colony for the city.

Like myself, French said she initially had doubts about her ability to be a journalist because she considered herself to be a shy person. However, she said she overcame this fear with practice.

“I think having those doubts about yourself is normal, but just forcing yourself to do something even if it feels nerve-wracking is really important,” French said.

Overall, I walked away with a better sense of the daily life of a journalist. I had a great time learning more about the reporting and writing that goes into a story, and I’m really excited to be in the field working as a journalist one day.

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Diversity invisibility in news media

By Scott Procter

This United States is a melting pot of different colors, races, ethnicities and backgrounds, so why should a news room not be as diverse as the people it serves and covers?

The American Society of News Editors does an annual study of newsroom diversity and the results should come to no surprise to someone who is familiar with the production of news. The numbers of the 2016 study show 87 percent of newsroom supervisors were white. At a time when minorities make up 37 percent of the U.S population, according to the U.S Census Bureau, no newsrooms match this. In fact, minority journalists comprised just 17 percent of the workforce in newsrooms and only 28 percent of the news organizations reported having at least one minority journalist among their top three editors in 2016.


National Public Radio’s Staff Diversity

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Women underrepresented in news media

By Kenzie Mueller

Women are prominent figures in society, but how often they are portrayed in news media may show otherwise. Not only is the amount of coverage on women in the news lacking, but how they are displayed tends to be stereotyped into specific gender roles such as housewives and mothers. According to a Global Media Monitoring Project, women make up only 24 percent of the people heard, read or seen in the news. The Global Media
Monitoring Project works to inform the public on the lack of representation of women in the media through different studies and strives to make a change on the gender biased content in the media. Women make up half of the population yet are hardly covered in the news and are focused on their roles at home, rather than their accomplishments. Women are making substantial contributions in today’s community, but society will not know the changes that are shaping our world if they are not covered in the news.


Examples of gender biased news media

News is our main source of communication throughout the world and how each individual stays connected globally. This connection is being hindered through gender-biased programming and its inadequate representation of the female population.

A potential problem with the lack of women’s coverage in news media may stem from the shortage of influential high ranked positions held by women within a newsroom according some media scholars, leaders and observers. This repetition of men making the decisions on what is shown in the media can have a  large impact on societies view of gender roles. News media keeps our world connected and this hindrance on equal coverage of genders is shaping how society views women.

In order to change this underrepresentation, small changes along the way will not be enough. A major undertaking needs to happen of the media coming together and taking a stand to create a healthy balance of content between gender roles.


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How media portrays gender roles

By Alyssa Layton

© The Huffington Post

© The Huffington Post


At the rate journalism is evolving, you’d think the gender roles in the news room would do the same. According to NiemanReports, women still don’t hold high power and do very little decision making.

“Even in the United States, figures produced by the National Federation of Press Women (1993) show that women have been increasing their share of management posts by only one percent per year since 1977,” NiemanReports said, making readers aware that it probably won’t be another 30 years until equality will balance out.

Women seem to outnumber men going into journalism, but only a few will have high up jobs. According to Suzanne Franks, an author for, says how the pay gap between men and women in journalism is still widely different.

Women have become successful in their reporting fields and are now becoming successful in television broadcasting. The only problem with broadcasting is, “They know that what the major networks want is a frontline account from a (preferably pretty) woman in a flak jacket.” Anne Sebba, a British biographer, writer, lecturer and journalist, said.

As society changes, so will gender roles in journalism. Women won’t be expected to stick to what they know and be historically confined as “pink ghettos”.

Opportunities will come about and women will be able to embrace what is usually known for men like crime and politics. As society changes, so will the roles of women in journalism.


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