Goodbye & Hello in Broadcast News
By Jacqueline Ingles
The past four weeks of my life have been a whirlwind thanks to work. Following 2 1/2 years at the NBC affiliate in Austin, Texas, I am now reporting at WFTS in Tampa. These broadcast moves are not easy and your entire life ends up in boxes that you are lugging across multiple states. You can trace my steps from Chicago, to Georgia, then to Texas and now to Florida–I am tired just thinking of all the miles I have trekked!
Transitioning between jobs is never easy. You pretty much end on-air in one market and show up on-air in another market. If you are lucky, you are heading to somewhere you are somewhat familiar with. Believe me, I am thanking my parents endlessly for taking me to South Florida multiple times a year growing up. If you are headed into the unknown, it is like tackling a bear. You must learn the local lingo, what matters, who the go to people are, etc. (Where is the easy button?)
But, there is a way to go about things when closing one door and opening another. Even though I was turning packages and going live while trying to cram in packing, I still found the time to hand write more than 30 thank you notes to people who helped me at KXAN. By the end of the night, my hand felt like it was going to fall off and my tongue was numb from licking envelope glue. I didn’t let anyone know what I was up to and on the sly dropped them in their mailboxes. I tried to reflect on a time we shared, how they helped me or just how meeting them added to my life.
Although I felt ready to take that next step in my career, walking out of the newsroom was bittersweet. Looking at my colleagues made me realize that some had become family members, others frenemies and others mentors. Our business is small and the likelihood is that you will run into a few people again. But, the group we had will likely never be together again.
There were hard times at my job. Times where I wanted to quit, swore and even dreamt of the day I would move on. Let’s face it, no job is perfect. As I walked away from Austin, I realized what I was leaving behind were growing pains of becoming a better reporter. However, no matter how hard things get, how much you disagree with people, etc, there is a right way to leave a station and that is with class. Always remember to say thank you, shake hands and wish the people who helped you learn the best in the future.
As quick as I was off the air in Austin, I was on the air in Tampa. I will tell you with pride that I successfully started reporting while sleeping on a sub par air mattress at night. For those just entering this business, consider sleeping on an air mattress a rite of passage in this industry.
My station wasted no time throwing me on to a high profile murder trial. OK–I begged to hit the streets and my training was sped up.
Right now, my life is in transition. At work, I am learning a new camera, new editing software, etc. At home, I am trying to figure out where to get my clothes dry cleaned, what Publix is the best to shop at and a vet for my new kitty.
When I walked into my two previous markets, I was scared of what was coming around the corner. My approach in Florida is different. I matured in Austin and now, I like not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I want to get out there. I want to explore and I want to enjoy living in a new city–a city that is also just getting to know Jacqueline.
Jacqueline Ingles is a multimedia journalist for WFTS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Tampa, Florida. She specializes in crime and courts in Pinellas County. She writes, shoots, edits, and fronts her own work while doing also doing all of her own web work. Prior to WFTS, Jacqueline worked for almost three years at KXAN in Austin, Texas, as a one-woman-band MPJ. While in Texas, she covered the devastating drought and wildfires. Jacqueline’s work appeared numerous times on CNN during her time in Austin. Jacqueline also worked at WCTV’s Valdosta, Georgia, bureau and at MTV News as a political correspondent during President Barack Obama’s campaign. A native of Chicago, Jacqueline received a masters in broadcast journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude from Loyola University-Chicago. She held two internships at WBBM and WLS in Chicago. Her print journalism work been published in the Northwest Indiana Times, Chicago Syndicate, Beep!, and the New Mexico Free Press.
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