School of Communication Alumni Profile: Kalea Hall, Automotive Reporter, The Detroit News Alumni Profile
Meet Kalea Hall
- Job Title & Employer
- Automotive reporter, The Detroit News
- May 2013
- Presidential, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Scholarship/Internship
- Struthers, Ohio
- High School
- Struthers High School
- Now Living In
- Detroit, Mich.
- Dream Job
- Hobbies & Interests
- Exercising, baking, reading and writing
"I left Point Park as an intrepid reporter after four years of tough love from the journalism professors. They pushed me to step out of my comfort zone to get the story. When I left, I felt ready to tackle every story thrown at me from the tearjerkers to the hard-hitting investigative pieces that create change."
Briefly highlight your career path since graduating from Point Park University.
After graduation in May 2013, I started my first job at The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio’s daily newspaper for 150 years.The Vindicator, which closed in August 2019, was my scrappy hometown paper that was known for going after corrupt public officials. I worked there until April 2018 when I decided to take a job at the Battle Creek Enquirer in Battle Creek, Mich., and get my master’s degree in journalism at Michigan State University. I started working for The Detroit News in July 2019 covering General Motors Co. and the auto industry.
In what ways did your college experience prepare you for a career in journalism?
I came to Point Park University as a shy, timid girl who just knew she was curious about everything and believed deeply in the power of the press and what solid reporting and a good story could accomplish. I left Point Park as an intrepid reporter after four years of tough love from the journalism professors at Point Park. They pushed me to step out of my comfort zone to get the story. When I left Point Park, I felt ready to tackle every story thrown at me from the tearjerkers to the hard-hitting investigative pieces that create change.
What are your key responsibilities in this job?
I cover the product, practices and finances of General Motors Co. I also write about what’s happening in the auto industry. This is a very exciting and challenging time for the industry with the switch to electric and advancements being made with autonomous vehicles.
A month after I started here, I covered the United Auto Workers national strike against GM. The strike lasted 40 days and got our coverage national attention.
What are some of your favorite memories as a Point Park student?
Spending sweaty nights at The Globe office sometimes until 3 a.m. to put out a paper the next day. We published a series of stories while I was there on how the United Student Government handled funds for student organizations. The series sparked controversy on campus and caused changes at USG.
I worked at the now shuttered Innocence Institute with Bill Moushey and enjoyed every minute of learning how to investigate wrongful convictions from the Moush.
I was also a member of the Honors Program and made some lifelong friends because of the program.
Thanks to the John Fallon Travel Scholarship I was able to go to Italy with the International Media class. While there we got to explore the country and meet media professionals. It was quite the experience. I recommend every student takes that class.
What advice do you have for a prospective School of Communication student?
Take every chance you have to write and publish your work. Join the newspaper, the radio or TV stations or all of them. Start building a network of people to help get you the job you want. Remember: a squeaky wheel doesn’t go unnoticed. Put yourself in front of the people you need to know in order to work where you want.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
While our industry is struggling, we still need reporters who are ready to take on a job that isn’t easy. Be prepared for late nights, small paychecks and making people angry sometimes. But also be prepared for waking up every day knowing you are the one informing people about what’s going on in the world. It’s a tough task at times but an important one that keeps you going. We need well-trained journalists. Don’t give up.