For Chelsie Burroughs, being a reporter means serving as a lens into other people’s lives. As a Black woman, she knows that her job is especially crucial given the dearth of women and people of color in high-ranking positions in the media.
“Reporters and news anchors are representative of everyday society,” said the 23-year-old who is enrolled in a master’s program at the University of North Texas. “We as Black people and women are left out because there are fewer Black reporters and producers to tell these stories, and we have to push harder to get news directors to see why they are important. We need to tell these stories about African Americans in our society. Period.”
Burroughs is one of is one of thousands of highly skilled, diverse job candidates who have signed up for the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s 365-days-a-year Virtual Hiring Platform, available through the PATHWAY app, officially launching on August 17.
For as long as she can remember, Burroughs has wanted to be a news reporter and anchor. She recalls being six or seven at a career day at school and listening to a classmate’s father talk about what it was like to be a reporter and anchor. From that day forward, Burroughs has worked toward following the same path.
Despite her young age, Burroughs has already amassed considerable experience. Last year, she received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications from Dallas Baptist University. After graduation, she was offered a job with a local news station in Sherman, Texas, but soon discovered that the job offer didn’t match the actual assignment. She decided to return home and enroll in a master’s program, where she could focus on reporting, producing and anchoring.
“It was an unfortunate situation but I’m glad I went through it because now I know what to avoid in the future,” Burroughs said. “Never take someone’s word. Get everything in writing.”
While an undergraduate, Burroughs completed her first internship with KABB FOX29 in San Antonio, where she learned editing, Adobe Premiere and iMovie and shadowed reporters during stand-ups and interviews. Subsequently, she interned with Tracey Mitchell’s Life from DFW, a talk show catering to Christian women.
Today, Burroughs maintains a full schedule with school and outside work, which includes writing stories for North Texas Daily, the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas; contributing to the the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) through its student multimedia project; and reporting for a News Break, an app that delivers local news.
When asked how she juggles so many different assignments, Burroughs had two words: time management.
Ideally, she’d like to find a full-time job as a reporter or producer. After graduation, she has her sights set on going straight into anchoring at a news station, big or small.
“I’m a hard worker and naturally driven,” she said. “I want this for my future.”
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