Updating my cyberspace journalist ‘brand’ and writing in third person

10903989_597202870412582_1533738777533068657_oIn the news business, every couple of years, there comes that time to shake the dust off the resume, spruce up the personal website, and update that LinkedIn profile. Whether you plan on moving on to another market or stay put where you are, it’s just smart to update your “brand” as a journalist out in cyberspace.

For me, that means updating the “about me” section of my blog. I haven’t touched it in 2 years! My bio was mostly generic and explained where I had worked and interned, but it didn’t really explain the type of worker I am or where my passions lie in the newsroom. So I decided to take out some time to update the bio, but in the process I realized how awkward writing in third person can be. It made me stop and wonder why I was even writing in third person, like why is that a thing? I guess I was doing it because that is what we do on our station bios, so I committed to it and added several more paragraphs.

In case you don’t have much to do, feel free to read it below, or click the “about” section above to read it, please leave any constructive criticism about it in the comments section below.

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My bio:

Victoria Shirley is an AP award-winning journalist, born and raised in the Washington D.C. area, but she’s called Louisiana home for the past three and a half years.

She is a multimedia journalist and the producer/anchor for the Sunday morning 30 minute newscast, she is also the regular fill-in producer/anchor for the weekend evening newscasts.

Newsroom roles

Victoria loves every part of putting a story together and truly enjoys being a one man band. In fact, she fell in love with shooting and editing as she closely watched the award-winning photographers at her 3 television internships in the Hampton Roads Region of Virginia.  At those internships, she learned from the best and continually remembers the valuable reporting, shooting, and editing knowledge they passed on to her. She considers herself not just an MMJ, but a photojournalist and reporter, because she takes pride in what her video looks like. After all, in the visual medium of television, words on a script is only one part of storytelling, so in turn, she strongly believes shooting video should be done in creative and professional looking ways.

As far as reporting goes, she values watchdog journalism. You can find her regularly pouring over audits, meeting agendas, minutes, or live tweeting government meetings. She also keeps a close eye on government projects and follows where tax dollars are being used. Victoria also loves a great feature story, where she can get creative with not just her writing, but also photojournalism skills.

Victoria loves wearing many hats at her station and also enjoys producing and anchoring. She looks at any empty rundown and is excited about the possibilities of what the show may look like. Victoria embraces the challenge of putting together an interesting, fast paced show, with as much new information as possible. Re-airing old news that has already run in other shows is avoided at all costs unless it is still relevant and in that case it is rewritten. For Victoria, anchoring the copy she wrote is a rewarding way to be able to tell many stories all at once and really connect with the viewers.

The ways in which news is consumed in this digital age is constantly evolving and as a member of the ‘millennial generation’, Victoria fully understands the idea of “digital first”. Her station facebook page and twitter handle, which are updated several times each day, are evidence to the fact that she considers social media an effective tool when it comes to sharing news updates with viewers. She also is constantly think of ways to expand her coverage on the website, whether it be posting raw interviews, adding full documents, or even just links as web extras. Victoria recognizes that the 90 second stories that air each day can only serve as the bare bones of the story, that is why often when she is posting her story to the web, she rewrites it, not only to be written in proper AP style, but also to add meat to the story with additional quotes and information that couldn’t fit into the broadcast version. In this way, she is combining her print journalism background with her current broadcast journalism experience to effectively converge the online print and video experience for viewers.

History

Victoria started at KSLA News 12 in March of 2013 from just down the interstate in Monroe, where she worked at fellow CBS affiliate, KNOE 8 News as a multimedia journalist and fill-in anchor. While in the Ark-La-Miss, Victoria specialized in covering politics and investigating political corruption, including following the corruption trials of several public officials.

Victoria knew she wanted to work in TV news ever since she anchored her 5th grade school announcements. Her dreams of working in the business were solidified after interning at Newport News TV, WAVY NBC 10, and WTKR News Channel 3, all located in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

Victoria graduated from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia (Go Captains!) with a degree in Communications and Political Science. During college, she was the Editor in Chief of the campus newspaper and the founder of the TV news program, CNU TV. During her tenure, she led her staff to successfully converge print and online media to drive thousands of readers to their website daily. As a senior in college, she had the opportunity to work with a team of students to produce a full length documentary telling the story of student journalists who covered the Virginia Tech Massacre. The documentary has been viewed more than 5,000 times and has been incorporated into journalism curriculum’s at colleges across the nation.

Victoria also started her own video production business at age 19 in 2008. During her six years in business, she has shot more than 100 weddings in North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, and even one in the Bahamas.

Personal Life

Victoria is happily and newly married to Clay Ostarly, a meteorologist/reporter at KSLA News 12. They met in their early 20’s while both employed at KNOE 8 News. They have two rescue dogs, a cockapoo named Ruby and a shih tzu/schnauzer mix named Beaux. They both love traveling and meeting new people.

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