Fake It Till You Make It: Struggles of Being A Journalist

BOSTON—-On October 9th, 7 years after graduating, graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication class of 2006, Kira Klapper, sat in a former classroom at BU and reflected on her times there in the early 2000’s where technology was ancient and finding a job was difficult. She seemed hesitant to tell eager, upcoming journalists her horror stories, but she continued anyway.

Klapper recalled how she recorded her reels on VHS tapes and had to transfer them to hard drives, but did not save any copies. Unfortunately, her hard drive and laptop were stolen right out of her own apartment after graduation.

“Make sure to back up your reels. People want to see you on tape. They want to know you can perform on camera,” said Klapper. She had nothing to show for herself after four, long years at BU. With all of her television confidence gone, Klapper reluctantly moved back to her mom’s LA home with no hope for the future.

Klapper had to figure out how to reproduce four years of material in order to get a job. She fortunately started a paid internship at an ABC affiliate in San Francisco, where she worked at 3 a.m., printing scripts, running tapes, and getting coffee. Despite these trivial tasks, Klapper used this experience to her advantage. She followed reporters to scenes and would record her own reports off-air after the professionals were done.

“I didn’t sleep for 9 long months,” said Klapper. Finally after finishing and sending her reel, she received her first job in snowy Mankato, Minnesota, stationed in lowly market 199.

Sitting quietly behind her in the front of the classroom, Klapper’s husband cut into the conversation and said, “Her mom would say, ‘At least it is in the ones.’” This was not the market Klapper had envisioned for herself, but she had to start somewhere.

After jobs at different stations, in Santa Barbara and Chico, California, Klapper came full circle and now works as a reporter/substitute anchor in the same ABC affiliate she interned in five years before, and still doesn’t sleep, with her day starting at 4 a.m.

“I am blessed that people let you into their homes to tell them what’s going on in their own community,” said Klapper. All of her struggles and hard work paid off, because she loves reporting, especially inspirational and uplifting stories. Klapper attempts to live a “normal life,” a saying she hates, but going to the gym and eating with friends seem to go at the end of the reel of her busy life.

“Fake it until you make it,” said Klapper reluctantly. She knew she just provided bad advice to a group of journalism students who were always taught to report with precision and accuracy. Klapper then clarified saying that sometimes it is hard to prepare for a report that happens under short notice, but make it work. Klapper faced many difficulties in her career, but she says that she ultimately made it work.