A passion for storytelling…
Like many reporters, I knew this was what I wanted to do from a very young age. My passion for journalism began with reading and writing. I’ve always loved a good story. Now, as a weekday reporter in Springfield, Massachusetts, I get to tell stories each and every day.
My day usually begins with a morning workout, accompanied by a good read, followed by a cup of coffee and, finally, my search for stories. My goal is to arrive at work with a handful of quality story pitches. I pitch stories that both lead newscasts and are exclusive. That one interesting character, those lengthy court documents, a 911 call, some unique video – these are the details that can make a good story a great one.
There’s no typical day in news, but mine usually consist of a live VO/SOT at noon followed by two packages fronted live in our early evening shows at 4, 5 and 6. While I’m often out in the field with a fabulous photographer, sometimes, I get the chance to shoot and edit my own packages.
When I hear, “I don’t have the time today,” or a receptionist takes down my phone number and says, “we’ll see,” I don’t give up. I see that as a challenge. Sometimes, all it takes is a knock on a door inside city hall. Or, a text that reads, “I’m right around the corner – do you have 30 seconds to chat?”
As a journalist, it can be easy to get caught up in the circus. That’s why I always remind myself: I’m human first. In February 2017, a local woman named Jo Ringer went missing. Her 19-year-old daughter agreed, on numerous occasions, to give me exclusive interviews about her family’s search. She’d turn down our competitors, claiming they didn’t try to understand what she was going through.
When it comes to finding those people-y stories, there is always a way. If I’m working on a story about an apartment rental scam, I’ll use Facebook to find people who lost money. If one person tells me about his or her bad experience at an addiction treatment center, I’ll look for a trend – sifting through comments on Yelp to find someone who’s had a similar experience. My contacts are always just a text message away and are always willing to help me search.