RealJobs: Aundrea Cline-Thomas

Sundays and Mondays are my days off. In news that only means that you don’t get paid but the work continues. In the five years that I’ve been doing this I’ve never had a straight Monday to Friday 9-5 shift. One of the first things I do when I wake up is to logon to my twitter account to get a sense about what people are talking about. I spent my Monday morning responding to viewer e-mails, making phone calls and trying to develop relationships with contacts. It’s not mandatory, after all I’m not getting paid for it. This business is all about relationships. The connections you form with viewers and the connections you can develop with key sources. It’s something that isn’t just given to you. It’s earned. Especially now with the divisive political discourse, the credibility of the media has  taken a huge hit. There used to be a time when people would make an appointment to turn on their TV’s to learn what happened that day. That’s what my parents did every night. Those days are long gone. The pervasive nature of the internet makes it diffuclt to tell anyone anything “new” by 4, 5 and 6 in the evening. Still it’s my job to do so. That’s when a tip from a viewer or source can differentiate you from everyone else.

As someone who is new to the market, people are still developing an opinion about me. My bosses are still developing an opinion about me. It’s important to be prepared everyday and to always put my best foot forward. I’ll be the first to say that I’m horrible at this whole work/life balance thing. Since I don’t have a family of my own, I’m not forced to be even decent at it. So for now, my plan to reach my lofty goals includes me taking time out of my day off to get some work done. I know it will pay off.

I also ate lunch with a reporter from a competing station who lives in my building. It seems like a minute detail to add to this blog. But I add it because I want to continue to stress the importance of relationships. This is a business that can be extremly demanding and judgemental. That’s why it’s important to make friends along the way. No one will understand the complicated nature of your day unless you’re in it, reporter to reporter. So although we had never hung out before there was a lot to talk about. Again it’s about relationships, supporting you through the process. As we both develop in our individual careers you never know when a good word from your friend can put you over the top. I now work with a friend I met at my first job in Macon, Georgia six years ago. I got the job on my own merits, but you better believe that it didn’t hurt when the bosses asked her about me.

I don’t want you to think that everything is always so serious. News people are a fun bunch too. Sometimes we have too much fun to be honest! Trust  me I’m having a lot of fun in Nashville, but it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work too.

Thanks for reading!!!

Until tomorrow,
Aundrea

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