A new rebellious spirit

Here's a photograph of a dog, because if you read the blog post below, you'll understand why I don't have art from the event I'm talking about.

Here’s a photograph of a dog, because if you read the blog post below, you’ll understand why I don’t have art from the event I’m talking about.

If you’d have met my father in his prime as a teenager and young adult, you would have thought of him as a hell-raiser.

He was redneck, police-ditching, “I let a Vaseline-smeared pig loose in the school as a prank” sort of rebel, one of which I’m glad I never met.

It’s absolutely safe to assume that this redneck rebel’s daughter, a bookworm with dreams of being a writer instead of a nurse – like HE wanted her to be – did not have that same streak of “FU, authority” running through her veins.

That is, until 4:30 p.m. this last Tuesday. My father’s long tenure of being the only one to fight the power was finally passed on to me.

It was aimed straight at our Chancellor, and the Campus Climate Working Group, who so conveniently decided that it was a good idea to prevent student journalists from photographing and taking video of the Action Forum held this last week.

The Action Forum was held as a way for the Working Group to gain perspective on how to fix injustices on campus. It was advertised as a public meeting, where anyone could walk in and listen.

Yet I (a student who could have gained full rights, had she not been branded with the negativity of being a journalist) was not allowed to do my job. The reasoning: allowing students to speak freely without “fear” of cameras.

Student journalists also had to sit in the back of the Hamilton Room, and could not walk through the tables of attendees, as another method of “protection” in a public setting.

With last week’s media coverage of the facial mask controversy, I can understand why administration felt the need to censor journalists. The first result when you Google UW-W is the Snapchat photo of the two students. From a PR standpoint, it doesn’t look great.

So I complied, because it’s more important to get the story and pick my battles, over not be allowed to cover it at all. That doesn’t mean I agree with the policy.

And by “policy,” I mean denial of First Amendment rights. The media and the public are one in the same; if students have the right to speak freely to the public, I have the right to report on it. Anyone who’s taken an American history class should know that.

If the university wants to look open and responsive to students following the acts of racism, cutting out the people who can help them most do that is detrimental to them. Furthermore, it proves to me that they care about their image more than their own students. If they truly wanted their students to be heard, they would have allowed photos and video to be taken to help spread their messages.

They don’t want that, because it shows the truth – race relations have been an ongoing problem for years, and they’ve only just started paying attention.

This was the first time that I truly felt rebel spirit my father has always had. I wanted to fight them, and their decision. I wanted to stand up for myself, and for those whose stories were at risk of never being told to anyone outside of the Hamilton Room. They wanted silence, unless they could moderate the noise.

And I am, by telling people. By making others aware of the injustices served to the students discriminated against, whether it be their skin color, their sexual or gender identity or their career choice.

Maybe my father’s rebellious spirit isn’t so bad after all.

Making changes

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I found this assignment to be incredibly frustrating, because it gave me unrealistic expectations as to what a college kid could do.
I read over all of the reading material and thought each concept was a no brainer.
And then I tried to implement it.
I had to close my laptop a few times because I felt I was spinning my tires deep in code I didn’t understand.
I’d look at the home page of my blog in disgust each and every time I reopened it.
I needed a reality check: I shouldn’t expect to click a few buttons and gaze upon a CNN-esque homepage. They’ve paid for their page to look a certain way, every element syncing up in harmony.
I found myself trying out the looks of different themes, settings within those themes, the coloring. Nothing made it look like what I envisioned it could.

I tried to change a few things, though; here’s what I managed to do:


  1. Added more to my menu

-Instead of having just an “About Kimberly” tab, I decided to put news, features on it as well, as well as a search bar. Other news websites had a menu full of different tabs, so that’ll be something to continue to work on as I go throughout the class.

  1. Made my pictures bigger along the left side of the page

-This is a pretty common occurrence and a consistent layout design for websites and newspapers alike. Just makes sense for me to continue to do that with my stories and posts from now on.

  1. Added an external link to my blog

-My blog now has a link to my external website (one I have to pay for), just as a way to link it with to a satellite site. CNN does this often, with CNNMoney, as an example.

  1. Saved white space by removing my page’s title

-Instead, I placed it in the header photo. The title header itself was taking up too much space and left a lot of white on the top of my blog page, so I decided to get rid of it.

Peaked, and piqued


My collegiate journalism career peaked last night – and all I could think about what search engine optimization.

I found myself waltzing in a room lined with Facebook-blue covered tables and large screen TVs yesterday afternoon surrounded by the state and the nation’s greatest journalists. We were all there, in a press filing room in UW-Milwaukee’s Student Union while anxiously waiting to hear what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) were going to squabble about tonight.

I was a lowly peasant from the Royal Purple in a room of royalty reporters, photographers and videographers from the AP, CNN and the likes. It gave me hope I would someday return after making a name for myself, while humbling me the instant I walked into the room.

I got physically and mentally swept up in student activists protesting for a student worker’s union. I talked those holding signs in all-caps, “Hillary for Jail 2016.” It was dumb luck that my news team and I happened to be interviewing a member of the UW-M College Republicans as the police forced them to move their table – for the third time that night.

Doing all of this in high heels, may I add.

And this whole time, I was thinking about search engine optimization.

This week’s content could not have come at a better time.

In the beginning of the week, I was looking to figure out how I could optimize my stories when posted to the Royal Purple news page. Last night I was figuring out how I could tweet out the messages of the people around me so they could be seen by the outside world. I consciously thought about how I could write my story in order to get the most viewers possible to the Royal Purple’s website.

I actually pondered the headline I was going to write, in order to make sure it was searchable. Thirteen hours later, I’m studying the analytics.

While I’m pretty sure my college career peaked, my interest in how to increase my online presence piqued, too.

Why I’m a workaholic – and unapologetic about it

A single lamp shines on in a darkened high-rise office building in the middle of Manhattan. A man in a three-piece suit is silhouetted in the dim light of the bulb, as he types for a few minutes, signs a few legal forms and then moves back to typing again. He’s got a photograph of his family of five framed up on the wall, below it five bottles of liquor and a set of tumblers loosely situated around it, one of them still containing three millimeters of whiskey in the bottom.

There’s signs of life outside the four walls of his office, but there seems to be none inside. He’s a lonely, desolate man, replacing legal forms for his children’s love and long hours for the longing he feels for his wife’s intimacy.


Up until I started at college four semesters ago, this was my mental snapshot of a workaholic. It wasn’t until I got going at the Royal Purple and UWW-TV I realized the real depiction of a workaholic could be easily obtained by turning my front camera on in Snapchat or walking past a reflective window in the TV studio.

I never thought I would become that. I wasn’t a middle-aged man (nor will I ever be) who cut the throats of his colleagues to climb to the top. I didn’t plan on majoring in business or being an account executive. I didn’t plan on “hating myself” into a mid-life crisis where the only prescribable medication is a once-monthly car payment for a new Ferrari.

Nobody ever told me being in a creative field would result in being a workaholic.

But it does. It takes a lot of time to be a photographer, a writer, an editor, a videographer. One of those alone all take up so much of one’s time.

Being the News Editor of the Royal Purple has kept me in the office until 3 a.m. each Tuesday morning of production night and scheduling my week full of interviews, back to back. Juggling the multiple responsibilities at the TV station has had me there every day of the week, starting early and ending late.

I don’t mind any of it as I lock up the doors at the end of the night.

I’ll admit, it gets to me sometimes. I spend so much time in the studio and the newsroom that somedays, it takes effort to get back to my pre-journalism personality and remember who I used to be. I have a hard time discussing anything other than my work and the news. I have yet to strike a balance, which is okay for now. I’ll get there.

I was once told if you have extra time as a journalism major in college, you’re not taking full advantage of the resources available to you. You should be a workaholic, because it’s the work ethic you put forth that will get you hired. Being a workaholic has helped me build confidence in my work and allowed me to learn in excess from others around me. I’ll be a workaholic until I can’t sustain it anymore.

That being said, my sincerest apology goes out to all those business execs I’ve scoffed at in years past. You drink your whiskey with your monogrammed stones off Etsy and I’ll drink a juice pouch of fake fruit juice, and we’ll both burn the midnight oil together.