Taylor Tucker graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media in May of 2020, but she did not have an ideal graduation due to COVID-19. After graduation, Tucker became a news reporter at WTVA in Tupelo, where she works on the weekend interviewing, shooting and editing stories.
When interning as a freshman, Tucker said she felt as if she was not in the right career field because she didn’t know much about news stations and reporting in general.
“They were so much more advanced,” she said.
This made her feel behind and not in the right field. As a freshman, she became discouraged until she realized she was just getting started and still had more work to do. The most difficult thing was stepping out of her comfort zone.
When Tucker became a junior at UM, she received another internship. She knew what to expect and felt more confident because she realized she would learn as she goes. Her advice is to research internships and jobs so you understand what you are getting yourself into.
While Tucker encountered some difficulties as an undergraduate on the road to becoming a journalist, she has also faced challenges as a new reporter. The most recent was Sunday, Feb. 14, when the winter storm began.
She said she was frustrated and did not know what to do because this would be her first time reporting in those weather conditions. She had to drive on the roads and was afraid what might happen. However, she managed to overcome that obstacle and get the job done.
“You never know what you are getting yourself into,” she said.
Each day, her job is different. On Feb. 13th, she was giving a report about grocery stores, and the next day, she was reporting about the winter storm. Tucker said she has to be mentally prepared because some days are challenging, but she wouldn’t want to do anything else. She hopes to someday become a news anchor.
DeAndria Turner, friend and classmate of Tucker, graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2020 and now works as a news reporter at WAFF 48 News in Hunstville, Alabama. She described Tucker as a hardworking person who never gives up and is always willing to learn more about her career so she can improve as a journalist. Turner said those qualities are what she admires most about Tucker.
“She is always looking for ways to improve her craft,” said Turner. “She is always looking for ways to become more creative and engage the audience.”
Turner said Tucker feels she can never be too good or know enough. Therefore, she watches other journalists and learns from them. Tucker knows one of the most important tips is to engage her audience.
“She isn’t afraid to ask questions, and she holds herself and others accountable,” Turner said.
Not only is Tucker a hard worker; she is also a leader. Holding herself accountable will only push her to work hard and cause her to not settle for anything less than what she is working for.
“I think we all need continual growth and lessons to keep becoming better journalists,” Turner said. “Especially so we don’t get complacent in our craft.”
Turner believes Tucker is a good fit for the journalism world because of her drive to become good at what she does and her willingness to improve as a journalist.