- The Salt Lake City LGBT community wants equal rights
- When it comes to the University of Utah, pride has no borders
- Berlin Schlegel takes the good with the bad
When I first began reporting on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender beat, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I hadn’t actually taken the time to get to know anyone who is lesbian or gay. Reporting on the topic helped me have an open mind towards the beat. Coming from a Catholic family with strong religious beliefs I always thought that the LGBT community would never affect me or be a part of my life.
At first I thought to myself, how am I going to do this?
Will I be able to report on the topic without adding my own opinion?
How will this benefit my career as a journalist?
As I began brainstorming my first article I wasn’t sure where I was going with it. I found sources and I wrote down some questions. As I conducted my interviews I realized that reporting on the LGBT community was better than I imagined. It opened my views towards people who are lesbian or gay and it helped me realize that they are just regular people who want to have equal rights.
I began my interview with a lesbian couple from Logan. As I interviewed them, I realized that they were just like any other couple I had met. They had life goals, a home, regular jobs, they were full time students — the only thing that was different was that they don’t have the opportunity to have equal rights, like any straight person in Utah does.
This made me want to learn more about the LGBT community, it made me want to participate in events and offer my help in any way that I could. Living with a person who is gay also helped open my views towards the beat. I loved that I had someone to directly go to to ask questions when I didn’t understand what someone said or what the issues were with receiving equal rights.
The fact that we had to report on only one beat was nice. I loved that I was able to do a follow-up story on one of the sources I had interviewed. I liked getting to know the new people, getting to know their environment and understanding their sexual orientation.
This beat helped improve my professional development as a journalist because it taught me not to judge people by their cover. It taught me that no matter what your sexual orientation may be, everyone should be treated equally and as a journalist it helped me understand the life of the source I was reporting about. I learned to report without choosing a side. I learned to look at both sides of the story.
I am very grateful for the opportunity I had. Being able to report for the LGBT community helped build me as a better person. I met multiple people who are some of the most interesting humans that I have met. To be honest, I would like to continue getting involved in the LGBT community. Reporting for them helped me realize that they do deserve equal rights and that something needs to be done.
I attended Utah State University Eastern in Price, Utah, during 2010-2012, where I studied communications and took general courses. My original intent was to study cosmetology and after a year I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted, it was what my parents wanted. I enrolled in a media writing class where I was introduced to The Eagle newspaper and that is when I fell in love with journalism. I wrote many different articles, such as profiles, news, sports and on some occasions opinions.
I continued writing for The Eagle newspaper during those two years. My sophomore year I was chosen to be the features editor on the staff, where I became proficient in InDesign and Photoshop.
I transferred to the University of Utah in August 2012, where I continue working on my associate’s degree and began my communications major. My current writing is published on Voices of Utah.
My goals for the future are to continue my education until I receive my masters’ degree and pursue a career in broadcasting. I plan on leaning toward news broadcasting, although I am interested in sports broadcasting as well.
My dream job is to be a news anchor on the Hispanic channel, Univision. Growing up I always watched the women on the news and imagined myself in their position.
Journalism allows me to express myself in ways that I haven’t been able to before. I love being able to interview new people, learn about their lives, showcase them through photography and inform my audience about the subject.