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Journalism offers Cronkite student many life lessons

Cronkite Outstanding Undergraduate Katie Bieri loves learning about range of subjects as a part of being a reporter

Katie Bieri

April 28, 2017

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2017 commencement. See more graduates here.

Cronkite student Katie Bieri has worked hard throughout her college career to make her journalistic dreams come true.

In her eight semesters at ASU, Bieri has completed seven internships at news organizations in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and New York. She has worked for CBS’ National News Political Unit, reported live on Arizona politics from Capitol Hill and earned bylines for the Arizona Republic writing breaking-news stories.

And she’s loved every minute of it.

“It’s so much fun being a reporter,” Bieri said. “The fact that you get to learn so much and become a mini expert in all sorts of things. It’s what I’m meant to do.”

Bieri, who is graduating May 8 with a bachelor’s from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, believes journalism is more than just a craft.

“It’s taught me so much about life,” Bieri said. “Sure, there’s pressure and stress, but it also teaches you how accountable journalists have to be for their stories.”

The 21-year-old has covered courts and cops, business and consumer news, border issues, and last semester assisted political reporters on the 12 News Watchdog team in Phoenix.  

After graduation, Bieri will work for El Paso’s KVIA ABC-7 as a bureau reporter, covering Las Cruces and southern New Mexico for the TV station.

The New Mexico native, who is receiving the Cronkite Outstanding Undergraduate Award, answered some questions about her experience at ASU.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I found my niche while working in my high school's weekly television broadcast. Everyone else wanted to pursue film school, but I loved shooting, writing and editing my own news packages. I was able to produce packages for New Mexico State University, but after visiting ASU, I knew I was moving out of state for college.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: The wonderful thing about attending college is that suddenly, you're surrounded by different perspectives, cultures and beliefs. I have definitely been challenged by my closest friends to become more willing to accept criticism. As a journalist, one quote that will always stay with me is, "There is no good writing, only good rewriting." Sometimes, it's so difficult to just begin writing a story. We have to remember that the stories of the people that we're telling are more important than our fears of inadequacy. You just have to put pencil to paper and get ready to rewrite as many times as necessary.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: The sole reason I chose ASU was to attend the Cronkite School. As soon as I visited, I knew this would be my home for the next four years. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to study border reporting, report on politics from Washington, D.C., and interned for a number of wonderful local news companies as well as CBS News in New York.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Sign up for as many opportunities you can (without overwhelming yourself), even activities that don't necessarily relate to your major. Explore all aspects of being a college student while remembering the end goal: getting a job. It's perfectly fine to have the occasional sleepless night — find a set "schedule" in college is extremely challenging. Just focus on making great memories. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: While I eventually moved out, I loved living in Taylor Place on campus. I highly recommend it for incoming students. I made such wonderful friends and acquaintances living in the dorms. Furthermore, it was so close to Cronkite and allowed me to be as involved as I could be in the school.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I will be working as the Las Cruces correspondent for KVIA in El Paso, Texas. I interned at this station four years ago. Las Cruces is also my hometown. Very excited.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle? 

A: I would invest the money in sustainable resources and infrastructure that could bring clean water to people in impoverished countries.

Top photo: Katie Bieri will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and then head to a job at the Las Cruces bureau of the El Paso station KVIA. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now 

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