LIFE IN THE SMALL MARKET
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
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
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.