Staff Q&As: Meet reporter Brandie Kessler
To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer posts with each journalist will run on Mondays. This morning, meet general assignment reporter Brandie Kessler. She covers assignments from a Burger King funerals to museums preparing for Gettysburg’s 150th.
Name: Brandie Kessler
Lives in: York
Hometown: Bethlehem, Pa.
Position at the YDR: General assignment reporter
Years with the YDR: I started in December 2012
Graduated from: Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
With a degree in: Journalism and mass communications
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I came to the York Daily Record/Sunday News after working for 6.5 years as a reporter for The Mercury newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. As a newcomer to York County, I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can get my kayak out and explore some of the local waterways. I love playing and watching soccer. I wish I could travel more.
1. What made you want to become a journalist? I didn’t always know I wanted to be a journalist, but I have always asking questions. I love going to work knowing anything can happen and I could get to tell the story about it.
2. How do you see journalism changing? It’s changing tremendously, particularly in the way we engage our audience and the mediums our audience uses to reach out to us.
3. What do you like most about your job? The least? There is no greater feeling than having your work not only inform people, but affect positive change. The thing I like least about my job is when I know there is a great story in front of me, but I can’t get people to talk to me or I can’t get the necessary paperwork for attribution. There is no greater frustration than having those stories go untold.
4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Depends on the day of the week and the weather. Ideally, I’m outside or getting ready to go do something fun outside.
5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? Why? One of the first Sunday features I wrote was about a man named Al Rose. He’s a veteran, and a devoted volunteer at the York County Heritage Trust. He spent months putting together a map of veterans’ memorials in York County. I enjoyed talking with Mr. Rose and hearing his story. Like most veterans I’ve interviewed over the years, he is humble about his own service. After the story was published, I enjoyed getting phone calls and emails from readers who wanted to share other memorials that weren’t on Mr. Rose’s map. It was awesome to see that reader engagement.
6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: Coffee and water.
7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: In addition to some of the more professional blogs and Twitter feeds I follow, I enjoy seeing the posts from Overheard in the Newsroom. Newsrooms are interesting places.
8. What’s your favorite movie? Book? I don’t know how people can answer these questions by just naming one.
9. What’s your favorite place in York County? I am still exploring York County, and hope to explore more when the weather is a little warmer. If you have any suggestions on where to kayak or hike (or if you have any other suggestions on where to have an adventure), please share!
10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? I can’t recall having issues with newsroom jargon so much as needing clarification with legal terms. My first solid reporting beat was police news.
Last week, we ran a Q&A with editorial assistant Susan Mafnas. To read all of the staff Q&A interviews we’ve done so far, click on the “Staff Q&As” under “About us” at the top of the homepage.