'The city and the state make a journalist’s job easy' - Kim Holland
Holland, 44, had been a reporter in New Mexico since 2000
BY DAN VUKELICH
New Mexico lost another one.
Kim Holland, an investigative reporter for KRQE-TV Channel 13, quit earlier this month to return to Reno, Nev., to marry her grade-school sweetheart.
“I can remember that day in fourth grade in Reno,” she said. “He held my hand in a movie theater.”
Holland, 44, had been a reporter in New Mexico since 2000. She started as a general assignment reporter at KOB-TV, then moved on to anchor weekends for KOB and weekdays KASA-TV when that station was operated by KOB. In 2006, she moved across the street to KRQE-TV and most recently worked on the station’s “Special Assignment” Team. She’s won two regional Emmys for reporting excellence.
“I’m not the girl you see on TV,” she said during a phone interview from Reno as she sat in her parents’ back yard, watching her 8-year-old son, Rylan, climb a tree.
“I have this image and I have work to do and when I see someone taken advantage of, I take it personally and want answers,” she said. “But I’m actually a nice person.”
Holland came to New Mexico after working in broadcast news in Duluth, Minn., Fort Collins, Colo., and Omaha, where she spent three years chasing tornadoes. She went to journalism school at Colorado State University.
During her time in New Mexico, Holland became an avid skydiver. She has 300 jumps under her belt, most of them with Skydive New Mexico, a jump school operating out of the Belen Alexander Airport. “When you’re in the air, floating, nothing matters, not work, not bills,” she said.
Aside from the weather, balloons and green chile, which she concedes sounds like a cliché, she said, “I’ll miss the work. New Mexico is a great place for news.”
“The city and the state make a journalist’s job easy,” she said. “There’s so much to cover. So much back-door politics, somebody getting a sweet deal, someone misspending money and someone thinking they can get away with it.”
“I can honestly say that I loved every single story, and I loved getting results. I probably spent a quarter of my time calling on things that would never become stories, like the little old lady who prepaid to have a stump in her yard removed. It’s sad that people can’t get results unless they call an investigative reporter.”
Holland is troubled by a trend in TV journalism toward the “one-man band” where a reporter both shoots video and reports. “We’re losing the art of storytelling. These one-man bands don’t have the time to do good storytelling.”
“I’m pretty straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is girl,” she said. “If you want sugar and spice and telling it nice, I’m not your girl.”
“I’m not leaving exhausted or bitter,” she said. “Giving it up when you still love it makes it hard to leave.”
Holland doesn’t know what she’s going to do after she gets married next month and once Rylan starts school and gets acclimated to living with her fiancé’s twin 12-year-old daughters. Whether she leaves TV for good is up in the air.
“I don’t know if I can give it up,” she said.
Dan Vukelich is the editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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