Ever since I was old enough to know what a job was, I knew that I wanted to be on the news.
Growing up in a family who watched the news at the dinner table every night, I began to admire the anchors behind the desk. From a very young age, my dream was to be in their seat.
Fast forward to college graduation. I was a young 21-year-old who had no idea what I was in for. While I dreamt to be in that big seat, I didn't have the guts to get myself there. I applied to 50, maybe 100 different Multimedia Journalist positions (a news reporter without a camera man, AKA a "one man band"). After hearing one rejection after another I realized the problem; all the positions I applied to were within hours of my hometown (Rye, New York). The state of New York is considered the number one market on a list of over 200 news stations ranked by markets. The way it works in the broadcast world is that you start small, gradually working your way up, and end big. Sounds like many other jobs, except this one entails a small town, most of which are hours away from my home.
I started my career off at ABC News in New York City. It was truly amazing working along big time anchors and correspondents that I've admired for years. The only set back was that I was behind the scenes, rather than being in front of the camera. All because, I was hesitant to branch out of my surroundings and move away.
Fast forward again, nearly a year after graduation. That year flew by at ABC News but I slowly realized that the job I was doing wasn't my dream. So I applied to more stations, this time to more remote areas. Within a couple of days, I heard back from a station in West Virginia, WVNS TV. I didn't even know Virginia had a West. I know how silly that may sound, but now I can say I know more about West Virginia than I do about myself.
Fast forward once more to present day, 8 months into my career as a Multimedia Journalist in West Virginia. I work in a rural area of "the mountain state" for a CBS/FOX affiliated station with a news team of about 20 people. In these past months, I have learned more than I ever thought I would know about the broadcast world. I've learned that you need to be independent and more importantly, you need to be driven. Not only have these 8 months been the hardest 8 months of my life, but they have also been the best, all because I am living my dream. For anyone who may be that young and lost college student (like I was) but has a dream, don't be afraid to take opportunities and chances. As Suzy Kassem once said, "Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will." You have to remember that nothing is forever.
We all have dreams and for us broadcasters they may be just a little harder to aspire to, but that doesn't mean we won't.
Shannon Clowe is a Multimedia Journalist in West Virginia for WVNS TV. As a true New Yorker Shannon made the big move down south to persue her dreams. Since she's been with the station since April she has learned a tremendous amount and wants to share that with aspiring journalists. If you have any questions about what the broadcast life entails, feel free to email her at [email protected]