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Reporter Inspires Students to Follow Their Passions

Fox 61 Reporter Aisha Mbowe makes a great WHHS guest as she teaches the fundamentals of broadcast journalism

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“Who wants to be a journalist?” Aisha Mbowe asked a small classroom crowded with students. Everyone averted their attention from their phones to the stranger standing in the front of the room. Some students raised their hands. Some muttered, “No.”

Ms. Mbowe, a guest speaker in WHHS’ Digital Media and Journalism class on Feb. 25, proceeded to show video clips of her work, including a feature story on Curtis Robinson–one of the most successful businessmen in Hartford. She talked about the parts that make up a daily news broadcast: weather, voice-overs, tossing to reporters, and news packages. She also gave tips about being on the air. She stressed that it’s okay to make mistakes and then correct them.

Fox News 61 reporter/anchor Aisha Mbowe (in navy shirt) spoke to WHHS journalism students on Feb. 26.

“We’re all human,” she said.

Ms. Mbowe has a very busy schedule. She has to interview people, come up with at least one story a day, and then get to the studio early to report it live.

“[On weekdays,] I wake up at 2:00 in the morning. I get to work at three,” she said.

She edits stories, too. They need to fit properly in a slot for television, so timing is crucial. Typically a lot of footage goes unused. Material must be hand-picked for a news package or feature story so that it is fitting for the audience.

“Your job is to put all that into something that the everyday person can understand,” she said.

Ms. Mbowe emphasized the importance of angles in news stories. She advised aspiring journalists to always remember the phrase: “Why do I care?” This helps writers and reporters formulate a way to get their viewers’ attention.

Ms. Mbowe listed special skills that reporters need to have to produce quality journalism.

“You need to know how to talk to people,… you have to be a curious person,… [and] you have to know how to write,” she said.

Ms. Mbowe draws inspiration from some well-known people in the journalism world. She looks up to CNN News Anchor Brooke Baldwin and Oprah Winfrey, whom she called “Mama Oprah!”

She inspired students herself through her passion and tremendous enthusiasm. All eyes were on her, and questions came in like a flood. I think more students wanted to be a journalist after her visit.

 

Aisha Mbowe gave a shout-out to WHHS in a live-newscast following her visit.

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