Almost a year has passed since my career as a broadcast journalist came to an abrupt end. In 2017, after dedicating 25 years to being a stay-at-home mom while also pursuing freelance writing, journalism, and photography, I took on the role of a multimedia journalist at Gray Media. My journey had been one of self-discovery and determination, culminating in the completion of my bachelor’s degree in leadership, followed by a master’s degree in international security and intelligence from Bellevue University. I was also in the midst of pursuing a Ph.D. in forensic psychology when life took an unexpected turn.
While my career was advancing, my personal life was marked by immense hardship. Just three months into my new role, my mother succumbed to cancer, and in 2019, I tragically lost my 25-year-old daughter and her unborn son. These devastating losses became a backdrop to my relentless pursuit of knowledge and career growth.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, I faced the challenges it brought head-on. I had taken on the role of news director at KNOP-TV in North Platte, Nebraska, in June 2020, and I continued to produce, anchor, and sometimes even deliver weather reports for the station. The pandemic created a tumultuous environment, leading to the departure of employees, some of whom relocated or left due to vaccine mandates. I stepped up to fill the gaps, teaching myself weather reporting with the assistance of our weatherman.
For an entire year, I had minimal contact with the outside world due to pandemic restrictions, handling all aspects of station management and broadcasting. I was responsible for hiring, firing, managing payroll, overseeing office operations, and more. This period of isolation and immense responsibility was both challenging and rewarding, and I never missed a day of work during the pandemic.
Living in Curtis, Nebraska, where the KNOP-TV signal does not reach, the extent of my job responsibilities in North Platte was not widely understood. In 2022, a petition to designate Curtis as a sanctuary city for the unborn stirred controversy. When asked about my involvement by a reporter from “Omaha’s Flatwater Free Press,” I openly shared my active role in my church and my pro-life stance. I had notarized petitions and witnessed signatures, which I believed was consistent with my personal beliefs and community involvement.
However, the reporter cautioned me about the perceived breach of journalistic ethics, implying that as a journalist, I should not have been directly involved in such activities. In a moment of frustration, I acknowledged her perspective, even though I felt I had done nothing wrong. Regrettably, her offhand comment, taken out of context, became the sole quote attributed to me in her story.
The repercussions of that conversation were swift and severe. On September 30, 2022, a news article featuring my quote crossed desks in Nebraska, and by evening, I had lost my job at Gray Media. The company cited “practicing partisan politics” as the reason for my termination, despite my non-partisan approach to reporting on pro-life issues. To my dismay, nearly 30 articles I had written about abortion were removed from the company’s website shortly after my dismissal.
Undeterred, I continue to write stories on my own platform and have garnered a following of around 8,500 followers on Facebook. I remain resolutely pro-life and committed to making a difference where I can. While my activities may not be financially rewarding, I have been deeply encouraged by the support of the North Platte community and beyond. I have had opportunities to speak out on various platforms and received awards recognizing my dedication.
Currently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is reviewing my case, and I anticipate receiving a “right to sue” letter. As I navigate the uncertain path ahead, I find solace in daily prayers for guidance and clarity. I trust that God has a purpose for me and is using my experiences to strengthen and draw me closer to Him.
Through the trials and tribulations, I remain steadfast in my faith and my commitment to the sanctity of life. To deny the value of life from conception to natural death would be to deny the principles I hold dear. My ultimate dream now is to be a source of light and hope in a world often shrouded in darkness, using my voice and words to inspire and uplift others. In the end, I look forward to an eternity where I can praise God alongside my family in Heaven.