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Weekly Features
Life in the Small Market
A collaborative weekly feature, Life in the Small Market offers up thoughts and views from small town broadcasters across America.
Stella Inger reports for KBZK in Bozeman Montana. Her stories can be seen across the state on CBS affilliates, known as Montana's News Stations. Prior to being on the air Stella spent five years working as a personal banker, for a leading (top 50) Fortune 500 company. She's won numerous awards for her performance and excellence. As a college student at the University of Southern California she was on the National Deans List. You can contact Stell at

By Stella Inger

Reporting from Bozeman Montana

I came to the Big Sky state from Southern California where I grew up.
My dream was always to become a reporter, and not just any kind, but a hard news reporter.
After graduating from USC with a degree in broadcast journalism I immediately began my job search.

With a few offers on my lap I decided to go to Montana, a state that is amazingly beautiful. I got a job reporting for KXLF, a CBS affiliate in Butte, a small mining town rich in history. Within a month I was promoted to a bureau reporter for a sister station, KBZK in Bozeman, and that is where I am now.

This is the first time I have been away from my friends and family, and that is the toughest part of it all. But I am up for the challenge, knowing nothing comes easy in life. We have to make sacrifices if we want to succeed.

So far I've been fortunate to report on stories that have aired state wide on all the CBS affiliates in Montana. I live by the saying you are only as good as your last performance.
On my first day on the job I spend 14 hours (seven of them on the road) covering a story about a 9-year-old boy who fell into a hot springs pool at Yellowstone National Park.
I've also covered stories that have made national headlines. I've interviewed pop culture icon and Montana native, Evel Knievel, about his deadly lung condition.
I also cover stories about crime and city issue. People are always surprised when I tell them we have no problem filling in a newscast. There's news everywhere, even in small town USA.

Before I became a reporter I interned at CNN in Los Angeles and KABC (twice) I got a taste of what it's like in the number two market, a far cry from market 193.

Here I am a one man band. I enterprise my own stories, I do the research, set up the shoots, write the stories and edit, all under a tight deadline.
It's not easy carrying around a heavy camera and even heavier tripod, but you learn to manage. Just as challenging, is filming your own stand-ups.

For those who are trying to get a foot in the door, aim high, and remember if you believe in yourself so will others. Be persistent and it pays off. Once you get an offer, research the city you'll be living in. See if the money they are offering is enough to pay your rent. Remember, this is your first job and there's not much room for negotiating. However, when reviewing the contract see if they're willing to add money for relocation (take what you can get). Asking is free, but keep in mind that there are thousands who want your job.