Covering news in South Dakota is not without its challenges for recent broadcast journalism graduate

by Terrin Bates
Reporting Student

Some students find their passion right away when they enroll in college. For 2014 Bowling Green State University journalism graduate Adam King, it took a while for him to realize what he was pursuing wasn’t right for him.

King spent two years as an electrical engineering major, before having an epiphany that would change the course of his collegiate education.

“I had a major moment one day where I realized that engineering wasn’t giving me the outlets that I needed in life,” he said.

After taking a class called “Broadcast Speaking” in community college, King found his true passion and pursued it wholeheartedly.

He soon found himself at BGSU, whose journalism department sparked his interest.

“BGSU appealed to me mostly because of the strength of the program,” he said. “I hadn’t spent a lot of time there before attending and it was far enough away from home that I could be independent, but not too far that I couldn’t stay in contact with my family and friends.”

While at BGSU, he tackled various on-campus positions, including Vice President and Head of Player Development of the Club Tennis Team, as well as a reporter and anchor for BG24 News and its sports show.

As an avid fan of sports, King hoped to pursue a career in sports broadcasting, but was encouraged by faculty member Kathy Bradshaw to focus on news.

“I started with the idea of sports broadcasting and sports journalism,” he said. “After more than 275 applications and some advice from Dr. Bradshaw, I decided to pursue news.”

King is now a daily assignment reporter for KOTA Territory News in South Dakota, where he writes, edits and shoots his own stories.

“I work Saturday through Wednesday, covering different news stories through the day,” he said.

He has covered a variety of stories, ranging in proximity and uniqueness.

“Some of the more fun stories that I’ve covered have been related to the Mountain Pine beetle and how it damages the state forests in South Dakota,” he said.

But King will never forget his first experience with KOTA, where he spent hours in frigid weather getting his first remote live on location.

“I remember shooting the story during the day and the high was 3 degrees,” he said. “By the time the live shot happened, the sun had went down and it was minus 10 with wind chill.”

King is also a political correspondent for the station. He gets to travel to the state capital, where he attends legislative sessions and hears the State of the State Address.

When he’s not working, King remains active and spends his time having as much fun as possible.

“My hobbies are tennis and ice hockey, and I spend a lot of time in the gym,” King said. “Other than that, I’m still just like any other college kid.”

With a positive attitude and good humor, King has managed to form connections and make strides in his career.

“If you carry yourself and interact with others in a positive way, then they will do the same to you and others and create a positive environment,” he said.

King’s values and good character has left a mark on those around him, as seen by his close friend from high school, Doug Benzel. Benzel said King has had a positive impact on his life just by being himself.

“He has given me the push to become the strongest version of myself,” Benzel said. “Adam is the type of person who makes people believe the best about themselves.”

Benzel also admires King’s work ethic and how he manages his professional and personal life.

“Since high school, he always balanced work, sports, working out, school and his social life,” Benzel said. “The drive, determination and hard work he has displayed to balance these things has truly lead to the successful path that he is now on.”

King has also left a good impression with past instructors, including Bradshaw.

“He was the only student who did exactly what a professional would do when his work was critiqued,” she said. “He said ‘thank you for your help.’”

The journalism field may be a tough one to enter, but King encourages aspiring journalists to learn as much as you can and be hopeful.

“Learn everything,” he said. “Write, edit, produce, shoot, run cameras and prompters, learn graphics… anything you do will benefit you in the future.”

As he continues to pursue his goals and conquer new territory, King never forgets the lessons he has learned as a BGSU student.

“Face fear,” he said. “If it scares you, you need to do it. You won’t know your real limits until you fail, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

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