Taylor Nichol, Guest Blogger

Our daylong experience with the Broadcast Journalism II class at WPXI changed the way I view the broadcasting world. It helped me re-think what I can do.

I had never considered that I would be interested in anything but behind the scenes work. I have a passion for producing and love the control and technique of being a director. All of my past experience relates to me setting myself up for a career in production or directing. I often direct sporting events. But when I learned more about directing and producing at WPXI, I thought perhaps these fields are not the perfect fits for me. Surprisingly, this trip showed me that my strengths may be in the one area I never considered: working in front of the camera. Sure, I have anchored a few times and done a few stand ups, but I do not have the confidence to appear on camera. It has always made me very nervous to ever consider that. I had always been closed-minded about the possibility of appearing on camera.

However, when I learned more about the work of a TV reporter, it was very appealing to me. I love the idea of going to live scenes and catching action happening. It is a very compelling job, to be able to interact with local residents and police officers.   I realized that writing and shooting my own stories is something that really appeals to me. I love storytelling and speaking publicly.  TV reporting does not always have to be about looks, I learned. I had shied away from working in front of the camera because I knew it could be a superficial business. But I learned that it is more about your talent, drive and resources. Being the best reporter is about tackling stories and getting the most accurate information as possible. Having the sources to help fill you in on stories and receive good tips can make all the difference in your reporting career.

16361319964_e3139417fe_bPeggy Finnegan, Channel 11 News anchor, is a great role model for me. She is a poised and elegant woman with a very kind spirit; she completely invalidates the stigma behind the people on TV. Many have a negative feeling about people on TV; even I had believed that these kinds of people would be very materialistic. But she is a humble and gracious person who works very hard. She was very encouraging and kind to me and gave me the push I needed to follow my heart and tackle the challenges in this field. Hearing positivity and hopeful words from a professional made a huge impact in my broadcasting experience and I’m almost certain that anchoring and reporting could be a good experience with me. Without seeing this real world model of a newsroom and studio, I don’t think I would be able to know what would be best for me: it was very eye opening and will help me better gear myself to prepare my demo reel and work harder in the reporting field in my senior year of college.

I’m very grateful to have realized this about myself before I graduate and apply to jobs. It was the experience of a lifetime. This is the first time that I had interacted with a television station, and it was incomparable to any other experience I have had in the professional world. While it was interesting for me to realize that I had invested a lot of time in jobs I probably will not choose to do in the future, it was helpful. I figured it out just in time to redirect myself on the path I am on currently, and gave me a lot of hope for the future. At this point in my life, I am super excited to move out into the professional world.