Looking back at my time in the news media business

My time in the news business taught me a lot. It showed me that newspapers have way more power than people often give them credit for. It showed me the ugly side of people in local politics. It showed me corrupt cops were the norm not the exception. Above all it taught me capitalism rules this country.

I started my news journey in an unconventional way. My first job was working as a photographer for a wedding company. I got lucky the person training me to become a videographer worked as a production assistant for the local TV station. It turned out there was an opening for video editor. He gave me the personal cell phone number of the news director. I got an interview and landed the job on the spot.

I worked as a news video editor for three months before I was promoted to Assistant Producer. From there I worked part time as a camera operator and part time as a video editor. Meanwhile I continued to photograph weddings on the weekends. I saw a lot of cool stuff as an AP.

That job ended badly. One of the news reporters accused me of sexually harassing her. Considering I was deeply in the closet trans and completely asexual this was impossible. But they told me I had to apologize for whatever my actions were to keep my job. I left that job and moved to Texas.

Once I arrived in Texas I immediately landed a job at another local TV station. This time as a Master Control Operator. I did this for all of three days before I got fired for cutting the feed during a national commercial break. Oops. I wasn’t out of the business for long. Turns out the local newspaper in the town where I lived had an opening for Staff Writer. I applied and was given an interview. I was hired on the spot for “wearing a suit and tie” to the interview, something apparently nobody else bothered to do. I worked as a news reporter for that company for almost three whole years. I left to pursue greater opportunities elsewhere.

Once I left the small town paper I landed a job at the local daily community newspaper. This was the big boys in town. We had a newsroom with 30 people in it, much greater than the two at my last newspaper. I worked there first as an unassigned reporter. I worked whatever beat they had need for me. Then I got my first beat, education reporter. I did that for three months and won an award for my work.

Then I was given the Government Reporter beat. In the news industry that is one of the top beats to get. It requires getting intimately familiar with top brass in all walks of life. I walked the red carpet, spent time in the VIP room, was smoozed by a local oil tycoon and the list goes on. I took over editor of the website and became digital producer for the newspaper. I ran the website and our sports podcast along side my day-to-day duties as a Government reporter. I left that job for greener pastures.

I made it back into TV after several years of being at newspapers. I was hired as a News Producer/Editor for a local TV station. This was near management level work. I say near because chain of command is fuzzy in a newsroom but I was above the reporters in the chain. I worked there for three months then finally started my transition into a female from living a lie as a male-presenting individual. Needless to say I lost my job due to things I am not legally allowed to discuss after I signed an NDA. That was my last full time paid gig in the news industry.

I ran a lot of stories during my seven year tenure in the business. I took a lot of photographs. I filmed a lot of events. I reported on big and small stories, some even becoming national stories. I served my community well. I won awards and accolades for my work. To this day I am proud of my time working in the news media industry.

Despite all that I will never go back. The most I would consider would be staff writer at a small town newspaper so long as it paid a living wage. I am perfectly happy with how my life has turned out thus far. I got to experience a lot of good times in the news business. But I also saw the dark side of it all. Look for future articles chronicling the shady stuff I had to experience and the trauma-inducing stories I was required to cover. For now know this. I was a damn good reporter. I have sources to back that up. I have top-notch references. I choose to stay out of the news business because I found peace elsewhere.

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos. If you like my writing please consider helping me survive. You can support me directly by giving money to my paypal: thetransformerscollector@yahoo.com. If you prefer CashApp my handle is @Stephaniebri22. Also feel free to donate to my Patreon. I know it's largely podcast-centric but every little bit helps. Find it by going to www.patreon.com/stephaniebri, Thank you.