Being a journalist of Russian descent has always inspired jokes. The drinking ones. Good news -with recent world developments the jokes have been diversified and I’ve been able to take advantage of the situation to break the ice during tough-to-start interviews.
Tough-to-start interviews, or difficult-to-get ones, somehow became my specialty during 12 years at KUSA/9NEWS in Denver. I spent about 7 of those years as a Crime and Justice Reporter. People not wanting to talk to me was a “thing.”
I went on to use my skills in a national project KUSA’s parent company TEGNA had with Facebook, called An Imperfect Union, where we traveled the country, brought two people together to discuss a complicated topic they disagreed on and then had them do a community project.
I was able to mesh the local news lessons with the national experience for the Texas Deep Dive Team I went on to be a part of for over a year. Our little group did stories of state-wide importance and once the pandemic began. Our work felt different, big and very impactful.
Since March of 2021, I’ve been covering the Texas Mexico border and what’s going on there.
I work with a partner, a photojournalist who’s from a border community and lives there.
Over the 22 years I’ve been in the business, I’ve learned what’s important about the work we get to do. To me, it’s about giving people a voice, telling their story. Sometimes it means giving them their power back, sometimes it’s about education, but it’s always about the truth.
I am also passionate about self-care. Covering crime for many years, and now a humanitarian crisis of huge proportions have taught me that I must take care of me and talk to others about it being ok to be impacted by what we see and hear.
Working with great journalists at the best station leads to some awards. That’s what you’re supposed to mention in the bio. So here, I did.
As hard, frustrating, cuss-across-the-newsroom as this job is – I can’t imagine doing anything else, not yet.