Imagine coming to work everyday only to rush out the door and chase a story. Your mission is to inform the public of what is going on around them. This may mean covering an accident, reporting from a courtroom or broadcasting live from the scene of a crime. One thing is certain, your day will definitely be filled with action.
I had the chance to job shadow WRAL-TV reporter/anchor Kathryn Brown. She allowed me to follow her around for the day and let me ask her an insane amount of questions. Luckily for me, she was glad to answer every one and give me a tour of the station. She explained to me how the typical day works from gathering information at the beginning of the day to constant updates on the story at every broadcast segment.
Kathryn shared with me her story of how she made the jump to anchor from reporter. “Everyone’s path is different. I moved out to New York with no job and became a freelance reporter. I was working crazy hours and would work with the local station every chance I got. I finally got a break when one of the anchors went on maternity leave and was offered her position.” She would not have been given this opportunity if it had not been for her drive and work ethic. “When I interned in New York I was in a group of 20 interns and we had to fight for the chance to work on assignments. I would make friends with the reporters at the station and when it came time to go out in the field, they would invite me along. By the end there were only 3 interns left because they all became bored from not doing anything all day.”
Now she works at WRAL-TV and says that she loves her job. She is able to still go out into the field as a reporter and anchor within the studio. A great team of producers, tech crew, and fellow reporters and anchors surrounds her. The state of the art station, equip with high tech cameras and control rooms makes for an amazing experience.
When asked if she had any kind of advice for someone wanting to get into the industry, she did not disappoint. “Remember that this is a small industry. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. Do not burn any bridges or make any enemies. Someone you worked with previously could become your boss in the future at a different station. Stay on everyone’s good side.“
Her last words of wisdom were ones that I will definitely be keeping in mind as I further my career. “If you don’t take anything else away from today at least take this advice for in the field. Always back your bag full of food like your going to Everest. Never miss out on an opportunity to use the bathroom. Stop at every convenience store if you have to. You will be our reporting for hours straight with no break so always be prepared.”
It is safe to say that this experience was like one I had never had before. I was able to get an insight into what my future might hold a reporter at a renowned news station getting to the bottom of things.