Zenith Express


July 4, 1976

Kevin 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 was film.

So how did a visually-oriented journalist end up working without camera?

"I 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.

"My company was doing film work for trade associations and local industry and such...and I just felt I wanted something more.

"So 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.

"I 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.

"I 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.

"Well 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."

Suffice 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.

He manages to double his output on any story these days by taking photographs and marketing that work through a New York agent.

It has developed into a fine working arrangement for McKiernan and he plans to stay on with KSJN for a long, long time.




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