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 turn a good story into a great one.
There’s no typical day in news, but my days 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 clinic, I’ll look for a trend by sifting through comments on Yelp to find out if anyone else has had a similar experience. And, I have excellent contacts who are just a text message away, always willing to help me search.
Connecting with viewers…
My favorite part of the job is meeting new people. How many jobs are there where you can say, this week, I had a conversation with 20 people I’d never met before?!
When I’m out in the field, it gives me a chance to get to know the people who invite me into their homes (through a television screen) every night. Whether they’re young, budding journalists or people I’ve just gotten the chance to interview, I always like to snap a selfie – and let the kids hold the mic!