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Meet Avery Kleinman: POGO’s Beth Daley Impact Fund Fellow

Avery Kleinman

From the time she was a young girl growing up in a Connecticut suburb, Avery Kleinman knew she wanted to make a difference through journalism – a craft she could use to not only inform people of current events but to move and inspire them.

She honed her passion for story-telling and truth-telling at the University of North Carolina, where she graduated this past summer with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. Now, she brings her talents to Washington, D.C., where she has joined us at the Project On Government Oversight as our second Beth Daley Impact Fund Fellow.

Kleinman is part of the communications staff, writing for the blog, working on advocacy campaigns and promoting the organization’s work through the strategic use of social media. She’s also carrying on the legacy of Beth Daley, a former POGO staff member who passed away in 2010 after a long battle with breast cancer.

Daley’s work touched every part of POGO’s mission to create a more accountable and effective federal government. Following in her footsteps is an honor, Kleinman said.

“I’m really excited to be here and I’m proud to have received this fellowship that bears the name of someone who was so vital to POGO’s growth and success,” she said. “I only hope I can continue to spread the message she believed in with the same positivity and determination.”

POGO: How did you become interested in journalism?

Kleinman: I actually remember the exact day I became interested in journalism. I was in seventh grade and it was the day after Saddam Hussein was captured. My social studies teacher told us to use information from the copy of the New York Times sitting on each of our desks to rewrite our own articles about what happened. I became so engrossed in the task I even stayed through lunch and recess to finish! That day, I realized I love how journalism sits at the intersection between current events and creativity. I knew I would never get bored and would always be learning something new.

POGO: What attracted you to working at POGO, and what is it you hope to accomplish here?

Kleinman: I was attracted to POGO because of the opportunity I would have to use my journalism skills to promote POGO’s work. I spent four years learning about how to effectively write and produce video and audio. I was excited about being able to use everything I’ve learned to actually further a mission I believe in, rather than just for entertainment or to receive a grade. I hope that I am able to spread POGO’s word and make more people aware of how important it is to keep a watchful eye on the government that we, the public, pay for. 

POGO: What is the most interesting story or news piece you’ve covered in your time here so far?

Click here to see Avery's infographic.

Kleinman: I think the most interesting news piece I covered was about an inspector general audit that found Boeing had overcharged the military. I like this story so much not because of the content (although that is interestingand disturbingto read about) but because I had the opportunity to turn the information into an infographic. It was one of my first times using Photoshop here at POGO, and I think I was able to use the story to create a visually appealing graphic that strikes the viewer more than reading a blog post might. It got lots of likes and shares on Facebook, so we were able to spread POGO’s message very far.

POGO: What has been your favorite part about Washington, D.C.?

Kleinman: Definitely the big city feel. I grew up about an hour outside of New York City and I’ve always felt myself drawn to city life. I love the diversity and how many different places there are to explore. I’ve been here since September, and I feel like I’ve hardly done or seen anything yet!

POGO: What do you like to do in your free time?

Kleinman: My favorite thing to do has always been readingI didn’t feel at home in D.C. until I got my library card. I try to strike the perfect balance between classic and contemporary novels. I just finished Outlander, which was recommended by one of my POGO coworkers, Pam. I also love going to concerts and I’m excited to explore the D.C. music scene. It’s great to be in a place where almost every tour makes a stop. 

You can follow Avery on Twitter at @AveryJCK and keep up with her blog posts here.

Photo by Joe Newman.

By: Jamie Neikrie
Intern, POGO

Photograph of Jamie Neikrie Jamie Neikrie is an intern with the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Interviews, Blog Business

Authors: Jamie Neikrie

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