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Department of

Communication Studies

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Bianca Bruno '13

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Bianca Bruno ('13)

A year after graduating from USD in 2013 with a double-major in Communication Studies & Ethnic Studies, I’m living out my dream as a local San Diego journalist. This time last year, I didn’t have a plan for what I’d do after graduation. I entertained the idea of volunteering for a year with AmeriCorps but I knew that didn’t make sense for my long-term career goals. I was eager to get on the ground and start reporting! Through an assignment with Professor Gina Lew’s Advanced Journalism class, I met with professionals in the field and conducted interviews with them. I met with journalists whose work I admired and hoped to emulate.

After meeting with Speak City Heights reporter Megan Burks, I asked if she’d be interested in taking me on as an intern, and she did! Through Gina’s class I landed an internship that put me in both the KPBS and Voice of San Diego newsrooms for six months last year. Working at Speak exposed me to the changing model of what a successful news organization could be. I worked at a non-profit, collaborative news organization between multiple local media outlets. Because of this, my stories were published on three different news sites, giving me a lot of exposure as brand new reporter. I pitched and wrote my own stories focused on Food Justice issues, which center around access to healthy, affordable food. Through my experience at KPBS, I discovered I loved radio and even producing TV news packages, something I had written off and never considered. My days as a print snob were over! I loved learning multimedia skills and hearing my voice on the radio was a huge moment for me. My dentist even told me a week later he had listened to my story.

My internship at Speak City Heights ended in December. In between jobs, I did freelance writing, producing and tape synchs for The Voice of Orange County, The Center for Investigative Reporting, NPR and BBC. In February a new opportunity with Voice of San Diego arose. I’m currently the News Literacy program manager doing outreach in my hometown of Chula Vista. I never thought I’d wind up back where I started but it’s great to give back to my own community. I help those who’ve been underrepresented leverage news to have their voices heard by elected officials and community leaders. I’ve helped parents and high school students start a blog and become citizen journalists- they’ll even moderate a debate between school board candidates this fall.

Finding my sense of community at USD was difficult- at one point I even considering transferring. Once I decided to expand my studies to include Ethnic Studies I was much happier and having a double-major has served me well. It’s not enough for journalism students to just know the mechanics of the craft- you need to have a specific subject you’re knowledgeable about that you can report on well. That’s where Ethnic Studies comes in. My long-term goal is to be a health reporter with an emphasis in food justice. I’ve been able to work towards that goal both through my work as a reporter and through community outreach for News Literacy.

The classes I took focused on journalism, media and gender with Professor Lew, Dr. del Rio and Dr. Pierson were all influential in deciding the type of stories I believe are valuable and important to report. I hope that other Communication students pursue journalism- it’s a valuable and important public service that is highly satisfying.

ContactKristin Moran, Ph.D. | kmoran@sandiego.edu | (619) 260-4805