McKiernan is one of the best, if not THE best, radio
reporters in the Twin Cities. But he never intended
to become a broadcast journalist. His medium
how did a visually-oriented journalist end up working
was with a film company in Bloomington," McKiernan
explained, "when I decided I wanted to do some documentary
filming of the Wounded Knee takeover by the American
Indian Movement, back in '73.
company was doing film work for trade associations
and local industry and such...and I just felt I wanted
I thought I'd ask some radio station around town if
they wanted me to file some reports from Wounded Knee,
as long as I was out there, and I asked a friend of
mine how to go about getting a radio job.
made some tape recordings and I started taking them
around. WCCO almost hired me, but they backed
out, and then someone told me I should try out KSJN-FM
over in St. Paul.
remember saying that I never heard of it. But
I went over, interviewed and they said I should file
a few reports and they'd pay me.
once I got to Wounded Knee, I started filing longer
and longer reports...and I had that great format "All
Things Considered" to work with, which really opened
me up on the story."
it to say that KSJN-FM carried the finest, most sensitive
broadcasts from Wounded Knee of any radio or television
station in the land. And it's not just my opinion. McKiernan
received national acclaim for his dispatches and was
awarded the broadcast industry's most coveted prizes
for his efforts in South Dakota.
manages to double his output on any story these days
by taking photographs and marketing that work through
a New York agent.
has developed into a fine working arrangement for McKiernan
and he plans to stay on with KSJN for a long, long