Name: Marissa Mitchell
Title: Multimedia Reporter, FOX 5 News
Education (School/Degree): MA, broadcast journalism, Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University; BA, political science/journalism, Emory University
How did you land your current job?
I worked as a multimedia journalist at two other TV stations, and the position allowed me to gain experience so I could compete in a major market. As a multimedia journalist, I shoot, write and produce my own stories. I’m also committed to digital storytelling by providing updates on my coverage on multiple social media channels throughout the day.
How long have you been in your current position?
I’ve been at FOX 5 as an employee for one year. I interned at the station while attending Emory University.
What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
No two days are the same. My career allows me to meet new people and cover new events each day. I often meet people at pivotal moments in their lives. I consider it an honor to be able to share their stories, which in many cases, provides them comfort, relief or a broader scope of understanding. The most enjoyable part of my job is feeling like I make a difference at the end of my shift.
When did you know that you wanted to be in media?
I knew at the age of nine. I used to participate in oratorical, poetry and writing competitions throughout grade school. I’ve always enjoyed using the written word to express myself. It just so happens that my experiences in speaking in front of large crowds prepared me to do what I do today. I’m not shy.
What was your first job in media?
My first job in media was with rolling out magazine. I worked for the publication as a writer. My first on-air, television job was at WTVC in Chattanooga, [Tennessee].
What is your philosophy about reporting and journalism?
Keep a compassionate heart as a truth-seeker. At the end of the day, the story is always there if you do the work to tell it. However, we must approach our stories each day with accuracy, understanding and grace if we truly aim to benefit our communities. At the core of what I do is being a public servant.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
Success is knowing that something changed for the better because I had a part in it.
What do colleagues say is your best quality?
My optimism. I understand things may not always go my way, or anyone’s way for that matter, but I make every effort to see the silver lining in all that I do. It keeps me going.
How do you use social media? How has social media impacted the way you report?
I use social media to interact with friends and to make new ones. It’s such a great resource for storytelling. So often, social media frames our news conversations. At other times, people may share the news on social media as a starter for dialogues. I like to use social media to get a feel of what’s on people’s hearts and minds.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My parents have always been my biggest inspiration in life. They have supported me from the beginning. I lost my father at the beginning of this year. But I know he’s with me every step of the way. He and my mother will remain my rocks.
How do you define success and how do you measure it?
Success is measured by the way you help others. Do you show you care? Do you give back? Do you give your time? You can change someone’s life by simply being a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or a calm voice. So often we get caught up in chasing success, which some may define by your level of fame and fortune. I’m not interested in the picture of success. It’s more important for me to feel good inside about what I’m doing. Self-realization and satisfaction are the makings of true success.
What’s on your playlist?
Anything by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé.
What’s the title of the last book you read?
Gather Together in My Name by Dr. Maya Angelou
What’s the title of the last movie you saw?
Queen of Katwe
What’s on your bucket list of places to travel?
Egypt, Brazil, South Africa
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would want people to look beyond their differences and understand we are more alike than anything. Perhaps, so many of our societal ills will go away if we find common ground and stick to it!
If we’re sitting here a few years from now celebrating what a great career it’s been for you in this role, what did you achieve? is there something you dreamed of doing but haven’t done yet?
I would like to travel the country on a motivational speaking tour, write books, produce television shows and host live events on national and international multimedia platforms. I would also like to create a non-profit geared towards uplifting girls’ self-esteem.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I love to watch lots of reality TV in my pajamas while downing junk food.