By MELISA FINK ’14
Karen Ali, a 1988 University of Connecticut graduate, discovered her passion for journalism while writing for The Daily Campus. Ever since, she has immersed herself in the journalism world. After stints at the Waterbury Republican-American, The (Danbury) News-Times and Patch.com, Ali now works for the Connecticut Law Tribune in Hartford.
As the CT Law Tribune’s web editor, Ali manages the website, handles the social media accounts, writes and copy edits articles, and takes photographs.
Ali also keeps busy blogging for a wellness website and writing freelance pieces for an indie book reviewing company.
In an email interview, Ali recalls her experience at UConn as a positive one, including the nerve-wracking “sudden death” assignment all j-majors face.
Can you share some details about your previous positions?
I was a crime reporter for quite a while at a Danbury newspaper, The News-Times, where I covered many high profile trials, including the trial of Kennedy-cousin Michael Skakel. I was also the Sunday Editor at The News-Times, and an advice columnist (I was known as the Goddess of Truth).
How has your UConn education helped you in your career?
The education there was super. Great teachers and curriculum. I have often compared it to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where I also have a degree from. I think the curriculum and teachers at UConn were just as good as at Columbia.
Why did you choose to major in journalism?
I had started working at the school paper, The Daily Campus, where I was a proofreader, reporter, and then news editor, and I realized I loved the life of a journalist.
Do you remember your sudden death story in Newswriting I? If so, what did you write about?
OMG, yes. And I often tell this story because it was so great! I went to a building, which I believe was called The Field House. It was where [legendary UConn Men’s Basketball Coach] Jim Calhoun had his offices. I didn’t go there thinking I would run into him, but went there looking for a sports-related article or event to write about. I was terrified of this assignment for weeks beforehand. Calhoun was one of the first people I ran into, in an office, and frankly, I don’t even think I knew who he was at that point. I asked him if he knew of any good events coming up and he told me about some sort of charity, I believe, that his athletes were taking part in. That turned into a great feature.
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