The London School of Journalism

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Student case study - Karen B

Karen

For Chicago journalism student Karen B entertainment reporting was always a first love - even though that didn't prevent her from developing a nose for news during her time at the LSJ.

By the time she flew back to the States at the end of her three month course in 2003, one of her proudest moments was a review of a gig at the Brixton Academy for the South London Press.

But it was her news reporting skills that were to give her a first big break into journalism, when she landed a job with the Chicago Tribune-owned City News Service back in her home town. The 100-year-old wire service provides news to the paper, along with major radio and TV stations, and she covered the police beat before moving up to the position of midwatch editor.

After a year, the time seemed right to pursue her passion for entertainment writing, and she landed a job as an intern at Metromix, an entertainment site also owned by the Chicago Tribune.

Three months later she was promoted to nightlife producer and bars and clubs editor - and three years on, counterparts to the website are being launched in New York and Los Angeles, with sites planned for other US cities.

Her main duties involve covering the newest bars and nightclubs - currently opening at six a month - as well as providing online viewers with a sneak peek of new spots with a web-only video column.

She is the "go-to" girl for spas, gyms and the occasional reality show audition, with a regular daily presence in RedEye, a commuter paper version of the Chicaco Tribune, and a weekly column in the Tribune's At Play section every Thursday.

With regular appearances on local cable TV via Metromix TV, it's an ideal mix of online and print journalism - and one which has given her the opportunity to specialise in an area she loves.

"I had a really amazing time in London," she recalls. "Having the LSJ programme and time in London on my resume - I lived there for two years before returning to my home town - has really helped open a few doors for me as people are always fascinated to hear what I did across the pond."