As the sun pushes the clouds apart and makes its daily strut out into Downtown Oakland, Kimberly Veklerov is beginning her day at the SF Chronicle writing stories on the East Bay, cops and crime, press conferences, and arraignments.
Veklerov aspires to be working on a beat story in the next five to ten years, but for now she is trying to inject respect and an honorable reputation into her byline.
Veklerov says, “she just wants to be an established reporter”, whether in the “middle of America, or the middle of nowhere”. However, her age and gender often obstruct her from her goal.
She started at the Chronicle, straight out of college at UC Berkeley, at the age of 21.
She says sometimes her age dominates interviewees’ beliefs and approaches to her and her journalism skills.
“Sometimes on the phone, people ask how old I am. Then they’re impressed I work at the chronicle,” Veklerov says.
She also says she will “sometimes disguise her voice to sound older” than she really is, so people she interacts with at her job take her more seriously.
Being a female journalist also impacts her career.
Veklerov’s gender has impacted the workplace and the interviewing world for her.
“Grizzly men in the newsroom can talk in a certain way that I feel like I cant,” Veklerov said.
She also admitted interviewees sometimes become flirtatious.
“Male sources, especially police, have a flirty and friendly demeanor around you,” Veklerov admitted. But, the on-street interviews are “more gross”.
However, she says sometimes it works in her favor when she can get the best information possible for her story.
So, although Veklerov’s gender and age produce some barriers in her journalism career, there are ways it is an advantage.
“Sometimes people see how young you are and they want to help you. They want to see you succeed,” Veklerov smiled.
Veklerov went to UC Berkeley, where she majored in Economics.
Although she spent time around numbers and graphs, which she said she “didn’t enjoy that much”, she mainly focused on the student newspaper- The Daily Cal.
At the Daily Cal, she worked as the Editor.
Now, she is on the “Go Team” at the Chronicle where she makes $41,000 a year before tax.
She graduated a semester early from Berkeley to grab the job opening at the Chronicle.
For those interested in pursuing a career in Journalism, Veklerov recommends:
- To have added on skills on your resume in: multimedia, basic reporting and writing, a second language, and intern experience.
- Know the job and the company, including reading their paper
- Be professional, polite, and confident.
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