During my career as a journalist I have covered all types of news stories. Once I reported on a marijuana farm for two weeks. I dressed up as a mermaid and swam with other ‘mermaids.’ I traveled on a bus across the country for Good Morning America. And I have covered countless fires and other major events like solar eclipses and presidential elections.
But one thing that was important to me was getting the experience to cover news on three scales. That’s why I made sure to get experience with local, national and international outlets.
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My first job was reporting for my town newspaper. I made local connections and told the stories of my community. It gave me a good perspective on hyperlocal angles. In college, I interned at CNN and 60 Minutes, where I focused on national news. I loved the stories with a wide reach. After grad school at Columbia and a fellowship at CNN, I returned to local news as an on-camera reporter for NY1, a local station in New York City.
Then I started working in international news with Al Jazeera America. From there I went to ABC News, back to national news. And then wound up back in local at ABC7 in Los Angeles (my hometown and favorite city in the world).
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So yes, I have had plenty of experience in all types of news. And I’ve written for newspapers, made videos for TV and created content for digital.
I think all forms of news are equally important. You should stay informed about where you live, what your country is doing and what is happening abroad.
The skills have also crossed over, from one to another – whether it’s knocking on a door to tell a story about a local incident to flying across the state to report on a kidnapping. I have used my experiences from each job to add to the storytelling.
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I’m often asked which I like the most, but I truly can’t decide. I love to travel and learn about the world (and see things from different perspectives), I really enjoyed national news for a number of years and now that I live in my favorite city I am happy to be in local news again.
In the end, they all matter. Watch, read and consume all of them. And whether you work in the news or not – pay attention and stay informed.