About Me

Who I am

Hello! My name is Rachel Wente, and I am a photojournalist for WOI Local 5 News in Des Moines, Iowa. 

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from Drake University in Spring 2021. I majored in Digital Media Production with a minor in Rhetoric, Media, and Social Change.

What I care about

I’m a storyteller and educator at heart. My original career plan was to be an elementary school teacher, and while I realized that being a school teacher isn’t for me, it doesn’t change the fact I love to teach. As a journalist, I want people to know anything and everything about the community around them. My favorite stories, like Rare Disease Day, or the Positive power of social media, have been about amplifying the voices of people in my community.

When I started

My journey with video production started in my sophomore year of high school. Janesville’s public library participated in the ‘Teen Video Challenge,’ a way to advertise the summer reading program. We collaborated with the local PEG station (Public-Education-Government), JATV Media Services. After the production completed, I was asked to be an intern there.

I worked at JATV for 3.5 years. While I was there, I recorded, edited, and produced videos for the community. Some of my favorite videos were ones where I went to an event hosted by a non-profit and produced videos showcasing the event. These programs include the YWCA Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, or a Comic-Con-esque event at the library.

Where I am now

In addition to video and photography, I have experience with marketing and marketing material. I was in charge of publicity and social media for some organizations at Drake, including the Honors Student Council, and Drake Broadcasting System. 

During Summer 2019, I worked in Promotions and Marketing at the Des Moines Radio Group.  In this position, I worked at remote events in setting up equipment and interacting with listeners, as well as a bit of work behind-the-scenes for large events. Some of those events were the KIOA Car Giveaway, More 104.1 (now 104.1 EZFM) Christmas in July, Star 102.5 State Fair Scramble. 

During Summer 2020, I worked as the Social Media Intern at the Beaverdale Farmers Market. I was responsible for creating weekly Facebook and Instagram posts advertising our Vendors of the Week, providing updates on market events, and informing patrons of policies. Even with the pandemic, the market had one of its most successful seasons. Most weeks we had over 1,000 visitors.

From September 2021 through the end of 2022, I worked at American Color Imaging, a photography lab in Waterloo, Iowa. In my role in customer service, I communicated with photographers and photography studios regarding products and questions that production had about their orders, and interacted with production staff to ensure orders would get out of the lab. I also collaborated with the marketing department for trade shows and tutorials for the help desk.

All of these experiences have given me opportunities to learn more about the communities that I live in. I’ve truly enjoyed being able to learn about the different needs of different people and how to best work with them to ensure that people are receiving the services that they deserve.