Victoria Shirley is an AP award-winning journalist and was hired to be the lead investigative journalist at WDBJ7.
Prior to moving to Roanoke, she served as the chief investigative journalist at KSLA News 12 in Shreveport, Louisiana. She helped the station launch the first investigative bureau they’ve had in more than a decade. Victoria also was the producer/anchor for the Sunday morning 30-minute newscast.
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.
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 constantly thinks 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.
Victoria moved back to her home state of Virginia after spending six years in Louisiana launching her career. She joined the KSLA News 12 news team 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. In June of 2016, after three years at the station, Victoria was promoted to lead investigative journalist .
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 nine years in business, she has shot more than 100 weddings in North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, and even one in the Bahamas.