Objective

My objective is to tell stories, whether those stories are about people, politics, or perceptions. I write about the human spirit and the human condition. I write about the good in society as well as the evil. 

What platform I use doesn't matter. What audience I have doesn't matter. I am a writer. My objective is to write. I want to continue to make a difference.

Summary

 I have been a journalist since I was 18 years old. I started as a copy clerk at The Anniston Star in 1971. I worked my way up to Saturday receptionist, writing obituaries and television schedules. When I graduated college in 1975, I went to work full time at The Star on the state desk. I worked there a total of six years, then moved to a sister paper in Talladega. 

Through the years, I worked in a hospital marketing department, at a city magazine, and at two universities. My husband, Joey Kennedy, and I eventually settled in Birmingham. He has worked at The Birmingham News 30 years; I have been there 27 years.

We both teach part time at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well, and we both work with dog rescue groups in Birmingham.

Personal interests

I am interested in reading, movies, good (or bad) television. I am extremely interested in interior design. I love animals, and I enjoy traveling. I like to cook, and I enjoy fine foods and wines.

Recommendations

Tiffany Bunt, Graphics Specialist/Public Relations, University of Montevallo:

“I was excited to hear that Veronica had returned to reporting and that she was now covering areas in Shelby County. Her coverage of the University of : has been welcomed. We appreciate her willingness to cover stories in southern Shelby County. In her visits at UM, many staff members have commented on how approachable and knowledgeable she is. Keep it up Veronica, we appreciate you!”

Amy E. Kilpatrick, Director of Student Media, UAB: 

“The University of Alabama at Birmingham is fortunate to have such a well-qualified instructor in English. Veronica brings a love of literature, a skilled eye for grammar and a practiced pen in editing for clarity and style. I'm sure she is the most well-read current events teacher at UAB after serving on the copydesk of The Birmingham News for years. What does she do on break from copyediting? She reads. That is the kind of English teacher we all love.”

Sue Kim, Assistant Professor, UAB:

“Veronica Kennedy is one of the best instructors I have had the pleasure to work with. She really cares about her students and goes the extra mile to help them. In return, they are inspired to do their best. Veronica Kennedy is an experienced instructor, having taught at UAB and tutored in the English Resource Center for a number of years. We are fortunate to have her teaching for us, so I give her my highest recommendation for this position.” 

Brett Blackledge, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, The Birmingham News:

“Veronica is a diligent, hard-working and detail-oriented editor, a great value to any newsroom.” 

Dave Sharp, News and Features Designer, TV Blogger, The Birmingham News: 

“Veronica's work at The Birmingham News is about maintaining a standard of excellence that our readers and advertisers have come to expect in our daily newspaper - largely due to a precedent she help set over her years of employment with the company. Whether she's shepherding copy, editing stories, or writing headlines, Veronica puts quality first and it shows in the final product.” 

David Knox, Assistant Sports Editor, The Birmingham News:

“Veronica is a top-notch copy editor and expert on grammar and style, a go-to person whenever I had a question about those areas. She is thorough, gives exceptional attention to detail and was an extremely valued colleague who made everything she edited better than it was before it got to her. She's a complete professional. When she ran the slot on the copy desk we could count on efficiency and a great edit. She saved us from mistakes too many times to count and made suggestions that made our work better. I give her my highest recommendation.” 

Terry Abbott, chairman, Drive West Communications:

“Veronica Kennedy was instrumental to my successful career as a newspaper reporter, which led me to become Press Secretary to the Governor of Alabama and later Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education. I was a very green, very young beat reporter in Talladega, Alabama but was fortunate enough to find Veronica Kennedy at the editor's desk. Her very patient and professional guidance dramatically improved my skills as a reporter and writer. I wouldn't have been successful without Veronica's leadership."

Skills

Search Engine Optimization 1-2 Years Experience (Currently in use)

In addition to using SEO in my job as a newspaper reporter, I also provide content and Internet advertising for Clark Antiques Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama. The gallery opened in August, 2011. In the early months, it consistently showed up in Google searches on the fifth or sixth page; currently, it is consistently on the second page.

Social Media Optimization 7-9 Years Experience (Currently in use)

I joined Facebook in 2005, and I currently have 1,414 friends. I joined Twitter in 2008, and I currently have 343 followers. I am a member of LinkedIn; I have 416 connections. I joined Klout in mid-May; my current score is 50. I use Facebook and Twitter in my reporting.

I also use Facebook and Twitter to promote Clark Antiques Gallery; it currently has 1,862 friends.

In addition, I promote my Wordpress blog, "Miss Lillian and the Compound," through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I currently have 1,750 followers.

Internet research 10+ Years Experience (Currently in use)

Successfully finding information and documentation on the Internet comes naturally to me. As a veteran reporter as well as a longtime college instructor, my research skills are top-notch.

Work History

Work History
Jul 1985 - Present

Staff Writer

The Birmingham News

I started work at The News as a feature writer concentrating on the fashion beat. I wrote a column, offered makeovers to readers, and kept everyone in the Birmingham metro area as stylish as possible. In 1991, I received an Aldo award for fashion writing. Later that year, my mother suffered a series of strokes and needed a caregiver. Working as a reporter meant working erratic hours, so I requested a transfer to the newspaper's copy desk so that I would have a stable schedule.

When I moved to the copy desk, reporters and editors alike realized that my attention to detail and technical knowledge of the English language made their work better. Unfortunately, that kept me on the copy desk much longer than I ever intended. I wasn't "allowed" to return to my first love of reporting until March 2010.

Now, I write breaking news and news feature stories from Shelby County. My beat includes the cities of Alabaster and Calera (two of the fastest-growing cities in Alabama) as well as the Shelby County school system (consistently honored as having an innovative approach to education) and the University of Montevallo, a small, top-shelf liberal arts college in the county.

2005 - Present

Adjunct instructor

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

I regularly teach American Literature, and I occasionally teach English Composition. I also tutored in the English Department writing lab until it closed earlier this year.

Oct 2010 - Present

Marketing developer

Clark Antiques Gallery

I have worked with Infomedia, a website development firm in Birmingham, Alabama, to create the various elements of the gallery website. I have provided the content for the home page.

In addition, I plan, design, and write the copy for print advertisements for the gallery.

I handle the search engine optimization for the gallery as well as the social media optimization. I plan Facebook status updates, Twitter updates and blog posts for the website.

1990 - 2005

Adjunct instructor

Faulkner University

I regularly taught English Composition as well as American and British literature.

1982 - 1985

Copy writer

Carraway Methodist Medical Center

At the time, Carraway Methodist Medical Center was one of two Level 1 trauma centers in Birmingham and the only one with an emergency helicopter transport service. As a member of the marketing department staff, I wrote the copy for radio and television commercials, billboards and other advertising, and scripts for video productions. I also wrote the copy and designed an in-house employee newsletter.

1981 - 1982

Staff writer

Birmingham magazine

I wrote feature stories for the magazine and edited stories written by others.

1977 - 1981

Associate editor

The Daily Home

I managed a staff of 10 reporters in three bureaus. Edited stories, designed pages, and oversaw paste-up and printing of the newspaper.

1981 - 1977

Associate Editor

The Daily Home

I started at The Daily Home as a general assignments reporter. Within a few months, I had been promoted to associate editor. I was in charge of planning coverage for the six-day-a-week paper as well as managing a team of about 12 reporters in three bureaus.

1971 - 1977

Reporter

The Anniston Star

I started at The Anniston Star as the Saturday morning copy clerk, and eventually worked into a part-time newsroom assistant position while attending college full time. Upon graduation from college, I worked as a full-time reporter on the newspaper's State Desk, covering Talladega and Randolph counties.

Education

Education
Aug 1971 - Dec 1981

BA, MA

Jacksonville State University

Portfolio