Blayne Alexander is a multimedia reporter with WRDW, a CBS affiliate in Augusta, Georgia. The “multimedia” basically means she does it all – camera, editing and reporting – so she’s both in front of and behind the camera. She graduated from Duke University in 2008 where she majored in English. From day one, she’s known she wanted to go into broadcast journalism. She’s always loved to write and had an affinity for public speaking, so reporting just seemed like the logical career. That was her 6th grade logic. During her high school days in Edmond, Oklahoma, she joined the newspaper staff and got her first real taste of journalism – and absolutely loved it. She found that most stories start as a simple question or observation, then as you dig deeper, there’s something more to discover. We interviewed Blayne for this edition of successful women and here are her responses on life and her career.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
In 3rd or 4th grade, I read the children’s book Sideways Stories from Wayside School. It’s a very unlikely place to find an inspirational quote, but one stuck with me: “You need a reason to be sad; you don’t need a reason to be happy.” I choose to be happy and really try not to let little things get to me. Of course, it doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it’s a great way to live life.
What drives you to succeed?
I think it all goes back to my parents. They’re both very successful, and worked hard to build their careers. They’ve instilled the same drive and high expectations in my sister and me. They know I can do anything I set out to do, and I’d like to prove them right.
Can you briefly describe the path you took to get to your current job? Did you have to make certain career moves? Any sacrifices along the way?
Even though I’ve already made several moves, I actually still consider myself at the very beginning of my career. Throughout college, I held several media internships and after graduation, I worked as a production assistant with NBC News in Washington, DC. I spent more than a year in DC, learned a lot and absolutely loved my time there, but because I wanted an on-air career, I knew I’d have to start smaller. I’d say my first significant career move was packing up my life and moving down to Augusta, GA to start my reporting career. I didn’t know anybody and had seen the city only once, and that was during my interview. But it was an exciting change and has definitely paid off.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best part of my job is meeting new people. Hands down. Every day, I come across new, different people under a range of different circumstances. It’s such a humbling experience to have people willing to share a portion of their lives with me, whether it’s a great moment or a time of tragedy. I’ve even developed a personal connection with some of them, and kept in touch for months after the interview ended.
Where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years?
I love what I’m doing, and want to keep learning, growing and honing my craft. Right now, I don’t know exactly what my dream job would be, or where I will be five years down the road. But I do expect to be working in the business, doing what I love. It’s a vague answer, but the nature of media is that it’s ways changing, so I’m still not exactly sure where I’d like to fit in. My passion is reporting and working in local news, so I know I will continue in that line. I see myself having more of an online presence and continuing as a photojournalist and editor in some regard, too. I have a passion for politics, so I could definitely see myself back in Washington.
Any advice or words of encouragement you’d like to give to shalenadiva.com readers?
If you approach each new situation or challenge already knowing you can handle it, you generally will.
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