Story by Madison Hyleman
A reporter and multimedia journalist for WBTV Channel 3 news in Charlotte spoke to a group of Gardner-Webb communication students on Tuesday, January 24.
Sarah-Blake Morgan, originally from Tampa, Fla., has been a reporter and multimedia reporter [MJJ] for five years. She attended Lee University, a private university in Cleveland, Tenn., where she studied telecommunications as an undergraduate. “We didn’t really have a huge broadcast program, so my internships really helped me out,” she said.
After graduating, Morgan began applying to at least 70 different jobs. “It [was] overwhelming at first,” she said. “It’s a process you have to work your way through, but it’s very rewarding.” Over three months she only received three offers, one of which was in Lubbock, Texas at KCBD. In hindsight, she remarked that taking that job was one of the best decisions of her life, regardless of not knowing where it was located. “In the beginning you have to be flexible and willing to step out of your comfort zone,” Morgan said. “I had to figure it out myself, but I think there’s something good about that because you figure out what works for you.”
Throughout her career, Morgan has garnered numerous recognition for her work as an MMJ. She received a Lone Star Emmy Award for covering the South Plains Honor Flight organization, which gives veterans a chance to see memorials built in their honor. Morgan was also recently nominated to receive the MidSouth Emmy Award for video journalism this past weekend in Nashville, Tenn. “Being an MMJ, you have to challenge yourself,” she said. “You grow up a lot, become more responsible and buttoned down.”
Although she is content with her current career progress, Morgan’s goals are still growing. Someday she hopes to travel to the Middle East and tell the stories of its people. “I always had a heart for the third world and people that were hurting,” said Morgan. “Eventually, I would like to end up over in the Middle East and be some type of correspondent. I’d love to work in refugee camps, but I would also consider working for a non-profit.”
“My best advice,” Morgan finished,” is for you to completely embrace and accept what this business has turned into, and that is multimedia journalism. If you take one thing from me, my best recommendation would be to go on an adventure, stretch yourself, do something that makes yourself a little nervous and scared. You can always go home after that.”
To learn more about Sarah-Blake Morgan or being an MMJ, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.