Why I Love my Job: Multimedia Journalist

We have all heard celebrities during their Oscar acceptance speech say how lucky they are do to what they love. Those speeches always made me want to lose my lunch until I realized on a smaller scale, I feel the same way. It is not the glitz and glamor (both are non-existent in local tv news as a one-woman-band) that keeps me coming back for more.

This past week, I have been sitting in the media room at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center watching a murder trial via video feed a pool camera person is piping down four floors. The media room is a bunch of sad chairs, tables that have seen better days and a wall full of electrical outlets. But, it is the in between banter at the table among journalists and reporters from differing generations that reminded me why I love my job.

In this group, there is energy and passion. You can see it in the glare of an eye or the way one smiles over getting to be at events and seeing things unfold others won’t ever be privy to. We have encountered numerous instances in this case where the defense attorney has referenced his client’s underwear and the judge subsequently putting it on record that he could not believe underwear was being discussed in open court. Sounds cooky, no? It is something everyone of us here will remember and retell at a later gathering–oh and lets not forget most of us wrote about it in an online sidebar!

Reporters are like a secret fraternity and we all speak the same secret language. When one of our comrades reminisces about a judge that insisted he wore a cowboy hat during all trials in his courtroom or discovering a celibate man of the cloth was secretly married (both things I have heard this week), we feed off it, understand and impulse kicks in. Sometimes I think reporters are born and there is something in our DNA that is different than the rest of the world. Why else would we essentially be starving artists, shop the sale racks for our next on-air look, work odd hours, have tattered shoes, live states away from family and submit to a Ramon noodle budget?

I have told news directors before, take me off camera and I will be happy. But, take me away from getting my hands dirty in the field and ban me from the web and you will see me wither. I need the rush, I need the interaction and I need to be under the gun.

Working in broadcast news is not at all rosy. Admittedly, I have a love hate relationship at times with my job. Sometimes you ask yourself, why am I doing this to myself? Why am I spending every holiday at a news station without family? But what evens out the field…being there to relay the verdict to thousands, getting close to the front line in a wildfire, etc.

Bottom line, I love my job for the opportunity to experience life from a front row seat.

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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