Welcome to Journalist Spotlight, where we go behind the scenes with a journalist and ProfNet user. This installment features Kasia Fejklowicz, an associate editor with Consumers Digest.
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Kasia Fejklowicz left Poland when she was only four years old.
“Given my background, I always felt it was my duty to speak for those who have been silenced,” she says. “This is because for decades my family lived through countless wars and oppression. News media was nonexistent under the Soviet Union unless it was approved by the state. People were even arrested for voicing their opinions.”
As an associate editor with Consumers Digest (@ConsumersDigest), Fejklowicz covers automobiles, consumer scams, health and wellness, shopping, travel, new products and technologies, scientific breakthroughs and more.
“Ever since I can remember, I would tell my family and friends that I would one day change the world by writing and exposing the truth,” she said. “I still feel this way today.”
Where was your first “real job” in journalism?
My first “real job” in journalism is the one I have right now. I graduated with my M.A. in Journalism in June 2014.
What type of stories do you like to cover the most?
I really like to cover health. I have a lot of fun finding story ideas and interviewing sources. The Healthy Living items in Consumers Digest are some of my favorite pieces.
Do you make suggestions regarding the stories you cover or are they assigned to you most of the time?
Every issue, I’m in charge of writing 41 items. Of those 41 stories, I’m assigned maybe one or two story ideas that I must include in the magazine. I pitch the rest to my editor. I think this is the most challenging part of my job. However, it allows me to be creative and write about what I believe is important to our readers.
Is there a best part to being a journalist and having your specific role?
The best part of being a journalist is having the opportunity to inform the public.
What type of experts do you prefer to work with?
I prefer to work with experts who are patient and who can explain complex topics in layman’s terms.
Do you have advice for members who respond to ProfNet queries?
Members who reach out to me should provide me with their background information, and why they are experts in that particular field.
Can you tell us about your favorite or most challenging assignment?
My favorite assignment so far has been to come up with a feature pitch idea. All my colleagues told me that nobody ever gets their first pitch approved, but I proved them all wrong! I can’t share any details yet because it’s going to be published this summer.
How do use social media at work?
Actually, I don’t use social media at work because I’m not in charge of our social media accounts. I wish I had a Twitter account so I could live-tweet while I’m out in the field. That would be a lot of fun!
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Evelyn Tipacti is a community relations specialist at ProfNet, a service that connects journalists with expert sources. She is a former broadcast journalist with years of experience behind the television camera and radio mic.