News, an ever Evolving Industry


DENVER – 2:00 P.M. Friday, May 13, 2016

By Philip R. Wilkinson


Tim Ryan at 9News Denver, CO  Image by Philip R. Wilkinson

Walking through the doors to 9News I was met by Tim Ryan, a News Manager for 9News Denver.  As we walked through the news floor there was a sense that employees were counting down till the weekend.  However, Ryan was calm and collected as he explained the basics of his operation.

As a News Manager Ryan is responsible for helping his new staff develop their stories and news shows while keeping a general eye on the reporting staff.  He first became a news director 25 years ago after being an on-air reporter and while he enjoyed reporting, Ryan wanted to have a larger influence on the news so he switched over to the managerial side of 9News.

Ryan is not afraid of reporting controversial news from any beat even if it involves sponsors.  This freedom is what makes Ryan enjoy his profession, which in turn makes him good at it.

Freedom to explore expression is important to Ryan, to the point where he would not be happy;

“If I worked for an organization that only covered politics, or only covered entertainment, or only covered sports, or only covered a particular thing.” – Tim Ryan

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Saralyn Howard on her inspirations as a yoga instructor

DENVER – The Corepower Yoga studio off of E Hampden Ave is filled with life and music that sets an inviting and blissful tone. Upon entering your nose becomes filled with appealing scents and greetings from everyone in the room. Instructor Saralyn Howard sits at the front desk, greeting everyone by their first name as they enter the studio.

On average yoga instructors in the U.S. make about $20,000 a year, this rate does vary depending on the location, studio, and level of experience the instructor has. For instructors in places like New York the yearly salary can be $62,400 a year. According to reports by CNN yoga may be a low paying field for many but it is growing rapidly as health and wellness are becoming higher lifestyle priorities throughout the U.S.

Howard; yogi, yoga instructor, and studio assistant at Corepower Yoga in Cherry Hills has been teaching the art of yoga for nearly a year and a half now. Howard fell in love with yoga when she began doing it as a form of training for tae kwon do and had continued with it out of the love of teaching others and the rewarding responses she gets from her students. Continue reading

Fox31 photojournalist shared insight into news industry


People filter in and out of the Fox31 Denver lobby on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. [photo by Jessica Johnson]

Though modern technology has changed many aspects of news and media occupations, Fox31 News photojournalist, Cody White, has been able to utilize people skills, quality composition in photography and videography, and overall high caliber products for the news station, in order to maintain his success as a photojournalist, according to White on May 10 at Fox31 News, Denver.

Photojournalism is a type of journalism that utilizes images, whether moving or still, to convey a news event.  Though many people think of photojournalists and photographers as being one and the same, photojournalists in the field of broadcast journalism are heavily video based, according to White.

A media study by the Pew Research Center revealed a widespread trend of declining newsroom personnel.  In order to combat this decline, those still working in the newsroom are required to be versatile and take on a vast array of tasks that were not always demanded of their profession.  White, a veteran photojournalist for 18 years, is not immune to the increased demands in his profession.  Continue reading

Diane Stevens shares her experience as a real estate agent

Diane Stevens, a realtor from the Silicon Valley, fills us in on what it’s like breaking into the real estate field and working full-time as a real estate agent.

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Diane Stevens, Realtor at Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation

Earlier this week, I was able to catch up with Diane over the phone from her home in San Jose, CA. Diane is a San Jose native, and informed me that it’s never too late to break into the real estate business. In fact, she didn’t enter the profession until she was 42 years old.

Diane earned her BS in business/marketing from CSU Chico immediately following high school, although she informed me that to become a real estate agent you only need a high school degree. After that you must take a few classes in order to pass the real estate exam. Requirements vary per state, but are similar where ever you go. Continue reading

Optician Amy Munnell opens our eyes to the optical world


Optician Amy Munnell [Photo by Hayley Knoph]

Imagine not being able to see your world clearly. Everything in life shifts out of focus. Movement manifests as a distorted blur. Words on pages and screens appear obscure and unreadable. It is the passion of opticians like Amy Munnell to improve your quality of life through your eyes.

With a degree from the University of Northern Colorado, Munnell used to work as a restaurant manager. Overworked and miserable, she sought an office job and found one with Dr. Mark Maybury, O.D., an optometrist and the husband of a friend.

“I’d never even had my eyes checked,” Munnell remembered, softly laughing as she spoke.

Three months into the job, she completed the certification process for opticianry. For the last 17 years, she has worked as an optician at several offices and frame companies, and she has recently returned to work at Maybury’s office, Eclipse Vision Source in Aurora, Colorado. Continue reading

Career as a Web Designer

Web design involves a lot of skills, expertise and wide range of areas to successfully produce, run and maintain websites and applications. Web designers are often employed in various industries although they may also prefer to work as independent contractors. Continuous growth of Information Technology Industry has seen an upsurge in the web design career.

Furthermore, most people view it as a lucrative field. As a career, the salary of a web designer ranges from $39,000 to 100,000 per year. The salary scale usually varies with the level of experience the designer possesses and the type of website he is designing. On average, they earn about $50,000 per year which translates to almost 20-50 dollars an hour. In terms of education, web designer can easily enter the field through his own acquired design and programming knowledge. However, the level of competition continues to grow everyday hence they may be required to be in possession of a college degree to horn their skills. Website design companies prefer employing website designers who have attained a degree programs connected to Computer Science. Importantly, web designers are required to be proficient in programming and scripting languages, have a high level of creativity and have the capability to be creative all the time.

Students are about to join college and as a consequence, the last few weeks have been centered towards helping them make a career choice. In fact, I have received numerous emails from a number of them inquiring about their career paths. Web design being one of the careers they asked about. Therefore, I took it upon myself to undertake a comprehensive research on the career so that I can acquire the relevant information on this field. I conducted an interview on a successful web designer and studied available material on the prospects of the job.

DingYi is a web design and development company that is centered in Beijing which is often seen as one of the best web design companies in China. San Zhang has worked at DingYi as a web designer for over ten years. San got his first job by working as a freelance web designer after teaching himself web design skills while he was still a teenager. Later, he attended college to undertake a degree in computer science. Upon completion, he was employed as an intern at Going Clear where he was able to secure his first job due to his hard work, skill and ability to produce results. Consequently, he became the lead web designer at Going Clear although he left to join DingYi after 3 years. Most importantly, San has over 15 years of experience and he asserts that the secret to success of a prospective web designer is hard work, creativity and ability to learn. Clearly, these skills enable a web designer to be dynamic and survive the highly competitive market. Moreover, one should have programming knowledge and have a clear understanding of existing web design applications that are in existence.

In a typical week, a web designers work for 37 to 40 hours. However, this may vary depending on the amount of work they are partaking and the deadlines which have to be met. San further states that a typical day for a web designer involves waking up for work, checking mails, attend office meeting with fellow designers and developers and start working on existing or new available projects. In addition, web designer also solves any emerging issues during the day. San simply could not hold back the urge to talk about the most memorable project he has overseen while working at DingYi which involved designing a new website for other company. The project involved creation of a new website with the ability of moving large files and San is proud to have come up with the best solution for this successful project.

Furthermore, he states that the to find solutions to complex problems and think clearly is what entices him most about his job. He also adds that he is proud to find a platform that can enable him exercise skills he acquired both in class and out of class. San does not shy away from giving prospective web designers a piece of advice and his is that, “as technology continues to grow, competition for web design jobs also increases. Therefore, it is important for young anticipating designer to work extra hard to become among the best out there. In turn, they skill and knowledge will be key in pursuit of their dreams as web designers.”

Upon completion of college, you can take off your career by finding an internship opportunity in web design companies which exist all over the country. Although this is not mandatory, it is an easier way towards acquiring your first job. Entry level workers in this field can expect to earn about $35,000 per year while experienced workers can earn up to $100,000 per year on average. The future for web design career is extremely bright because employment of web developers is expected to rise by 27% by 2024.which is a rate much higher than the average of all other careers. In conclusion, those who have passion and creativity to survive in this field should not hesitate to commence their journey towards becoming successful web designers.

Kristy Bassuener’s experience as a public relations professional

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Kristy Bassuener, Director of Communication and Public Affairs at the Denver Art Museum, poses inside Mad Greens, directly across from the Hamilton wing of the Denver Art Museum [Photo by Palmer McGraw]

Denver, CO– Kristy Bassuener, born and raised in Naples Florida, moved to Colorado after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Comparative Literature and Environmental Policies. She then explored a multitude of various media fields such as newswriting for the Colorado Springs Gazette and PR for a Uranium Company. Currently, she serves as the Director of Communication and Public Affairs for the Denver Art Museum, where she has been working for the past nine years.

As Director of Communication Bassuener’s responsibilities include managing not only the public relations team but also the social media team. The director is responsible for maintaining and developing the organization’s reputation and ensuring that the organization is viewed as esteemed, satisfactory, and dependable. The director is also responsible for handling press releases, contacting media personal for interviews, developing brand initiatives, pitching announcements and strategies, featuring the organization on multiple media platforms, and launching marketing campaigns to the public. Bassuener represents the public image of the Denver Art Museum, and she explained how her role as PR and Communication Director is vital to business and growth.

PR agencies vary substantially in terms of company size, salaries offered, turnover rate, and experience requirements. The Denver Art Museum is a nonprofit organization, meaning that their payroll is substantially smaller than a for-profit PR agency or firm. Additionally, their team is much smaller, having only four employees. She explained that an entry-level PR job for a nonprofit typically pays low to mid $30,000 while an entry-level corporate job pays slightly higher in the low to mid $40,000. However she also touched on the importance of perspective, saying that employers understand that salary is negotiable to a certain extent.

“You have to demonstrate your value. No one owes you a job, and if you can demonstrate how you are the right person to get them where they need to be, you have the ability to try and negotiate, respectfully, a higher salary,” stated Bassuener.

When asked about her typical hours, Bassuener explained, “It’s whenever you have to work. My job is to get the job done, and if I need to go to the doctor’s, I can do that, but I still have to finish the job. If I’m up at 4 a.m. doing work, that happens; if I’m here on-site for an event or work, that happens; or evening events, that happens. I mean, it all evens out, but it depends on who you work for. If working for a very super corporate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. type of place or a government agency, you might have more normal hours; but when you’re doing a public facing institution, like the Art Museum, your hours are not concrete. Once you get to a point when you’re a leader, you have to lead no matter what time it is—you still have to get the job done.”

Unsure of what to do post-college, Bassuener moved to Aspen right after graduation and lived there for three years, skiing and hoping to become inspired by the mystique and appeal of Colorado. She also wanted to find a future career she was interested in. Eventually, she decided she wanted to become a reporter for the Aspen Times; however, since she did not have a degree in Journalism or Communication, she decided it would be in her best interest to pursue a Communication degree from CU Boulder. After passing her GRE, she went to work as a legislative news reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette. During that time, working as a reporter, she found that, although news was interesting, she was far more intrigued by the PR realm of media communications, specifically a PR professional’s capability to influence how people think and make decisions about the world around them.

Following her time writing for the Gazette, she wrote for a local magazine but was laid off in 2008 due to the hard-hitting recession. However, Bassuener used this unfortunate occurrence to her advantage by grabbing the bull by the horns and delving into a new profession, PR. Such a career transition would allow her to implement and synthesize her Communication degree. She eventually found work at an agency that hired former news reporters, a strategic move for this agency. They knew news reporters understand not only the media but also the appropriate and effective ways to convince reporters and producers that their messages are attention-worthy. Such crucial and appealing skills landed Bassuener a job working five years for the small, local PR agency, but then a new opportunity was presented to her, an opening at the Denver Art Museum.

Bassuener studied art history for a semester in Florence and enjoyed art immensely; therefore, the opportunity to work at an art museum as a Communication and PR Director was appealing. Bassuener found that although her past PR experiences were monumental in shaping her as a PR professional, and despite loving the diverse work she was doing, it was at times challenging for her to separate her personal feelings from her work. For example, it was difficult when certain clients and their messages did not align with her beliefs. The opportunity to work at the Denver Art Museum was exciting as it offered her a place where she would never have a conflict of interest.

Having worked in PR/Communication for such a substantial amount of time, Bassuener had some interesting and valuable insight into important skills required of a prospective worker.

“Naturally, I am a big talker, but the longer I’ve been in PR and the more experience I have gotten have taught me that listening is the most valuable skill. For me it’s more of a learned skill, especially when you’re talking to a client, there is no way you can say the right things to them if you can’t really understand what they want, what they do, what their hopes and fears are, what their worst-case scenario is, and what we can do to ultimately succeed together,” said Bassuener.

Bassuener is optimistic about the future employment outlook for the field. She believes the general PR field will undoubtedly change and evolve to our technologically evolving world, and she has already noticed a substantial difference in the way people obtain information from when she initially started out in PR. She doesn’t believe the change is a bad thing. As long as prospective workers are aware and accustomed to developing trends and technology, there will always be a need for PR and Communication professionals.