Nikki Jimenez Featured as Member of the Month by Asian American Journalists Association

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nikki Jimenez, a PLNU broadcast journalism major, was featured on the Asian American Journalists Association website.
Story & Interview by Regina Ip - View the story here as well.

Each month, The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) San Diego is featuring a member of the chapter and the work they do. This is the fourth profile.

For anyone going into the journalism field right now, it’s a stressful time. Nikki Jimenez senses the concerns, but cherishes the indisputable value of journalism.

“The need for people to share their stories will never go away,” she said through e-mail. “So for me, I’m trying to stay positive and see it as a way to find creative ways to tell stories and serve my community.”

A senior at Point Loma Nazarene University, Jimenez aspires to be a broadcast journalist and is prepped for post-grad life.

Pursuing a career in television, Jimenez sees herself working in front of the camera as a news or entertainment/feature reporter, or behind the scenes as a producer. She says she enjoys all aspects of television, and said her “outgoing personality and motivation would allow me to excel at anything I am challenged with.”

The broadcast journalism major and public relations minor has been involved in two channels at Point Loma Nazarene, where she has produced and done some on-air reporting and interview shows.

For Channel 2, she hosts Cup ‘O News, a 4-5 minute news segment about Point Loma and local news she enjoys because of its “casual presence and delivery.” At another campus cable station, Channel 3, Jimenez has been serving as the news manager of Coastline News, where she is in charge of every aspect of live television reporting. Her main job is producing, but she is also involved in writing, editing and anchoring. She also hosts other studio-based shows: Reel Students, which highlights student filmmakers, and Acoustic Sessions, which features musicians.

The future journalist is already prepared and well on her way toward a successful career. She has interned at three different companies. Her first internship was during the summer of last year at Channel 4, where she was mentored by AAJA San Diego President Jessica Chang. This was also where Jimenez learned about the behind-the-scenes production aspects of television stations.

In fall 2008, she interned at NBC 7/39, where she practiced her reporting skills and got a feel for daily news. Currently Jimenez is an intern at West Public Relations in La Mesa.

Despite her busy schedule, Jimenez stays involved with AAJA. She received an AAJA scholarship to attend last year’s hands-on multimedia workshop. She has also participated in several AAJA mixers and forums where she had the opportunity not only to network with professional journalists, but to share a common culture where she can further relate to people on other levels. It is through AAJA that Jimenez met Chang, with whom she formed a “wonderful mentorship and friendship” and obtained her Channel 4 internship.

Jimenez answered some questions about her life behind and in front of the camera via e-mail:

How did you get started in journalism? What do you enjoy most about it? What’s your least favorite part?
I was always a writer. Whether it was writing for my school’s newspaper or recording my thoughts in a journal, I was constantly in hand with a pen and paper. It wasn’t until high school when I was intrigued by the visual aspect of it and decided I wanted to major in broadcast journalism. I really enjoy the interviewing part of journalism. I like meeting new and different people, finding out what kind of story they have to tell, and how I can help them share it. My least favorite part of broadcast journalism is the short amount of airtime a story may actually get.

Do you have classes or lessons aimed at dealing with new media at Point Loma? Should there be more or less? Is there a topic you wish was covered?
I’ve taken a lot of writing and media classes while at PLNU. Unfortunately, there have not been too many multimedia classes offered. But that is changing next year when the broadcast journalism major embraces the ins and outs of convergence media that will help students understand the union of print, broadcast, and web media. As the world of journalism and how people communicate news is changing, PLNU professors are guiding students through the evolving process of journalism.

How do you get most of your news? How do your friends get their news? What do you read or view regularly?
I get most of my news online through station web sites and their online videos. I’m sure most of my friends get their sources of news from online as well. But I also still pick up a newspaper most mornings as I head into the cafeteria to eat breakfast. Reading the paper during breakfast is a great way to take time and read.

As both a young journalist and news consumer, do you have any ideas as to how traditional media should change that aren’t being considered or don’t receive enough attention?
I think it’s interesting how news stations are having such a big Facebook presence! They have vlogs, discussion forums, news webcasts, and constant status updates. While it’s different that people are getting their news from a social network, at least the content is still up to par as if it was being broadcasted or printed through traditional means.

Do you have any plans after graduation?
Directly after graduation, I am taking my summer to travel abroad. On the Monday after graduation, I will be headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand, on PLNU’s short-term mission program, LoveWorks. We’ll be working with a church out there, teaching English, and working on Vacation Bible Schools with kids. I am excited to be part of something so enriching and culturally diverse. Then from there, I will be flying to the Philippines to visit family! I am especially excited for that because I’ve never been and my Filipino culture means a lot to me. I don’t think there’s anything like visiting your homeland and experiencing little things that your parents and grandparents grew up doing and seeing. After that, I will be going to Los Cabos, Mexico, to be a high school camp counselor for PLNU’s program, YouthWorks.

After my summer travels, I will be returning to San Diego and continue working as an intern with Mia West at West Public Relations. During this time, I’ll continue getting hands-on experience in public relations and work on developing my portofolio and reel.

A lot of professional journalists have been worried about their future in journalism. As a student journalist, does the state of the industry worry you?
Oh, definitely. There are many times I’ve asked myself why I’m going into this industry because of the lack of jobs, but at the same time, it’s a little exciting and interesting to see how it’s evolving. I don’t think, however, the need for people to share their stories will ever go away. So for me, I’m trying to stay positive and see it as a way to find creative ways to tell stories and serve my community.

Check out some of Jimenez’s video clips here: Cup ‘O News, Reel Students and Acoustic Sessions.