Yep, ABC 15 reporter Lauren Gilger is a true Renaissance woman with journalism in her blood, literally. Today, we are thrilled to profile her as part of our weekly #MediaMonday series of blogs all about our favorite members of the media.
(New to #MediaMonday – full list of our nearly-100 past profiles here. Each week, we profile a member of the media by simply asking them one question – “what do you want to tell the blogosphere today?”)
But I digress.
So, Lauren, what do YOU want to tell the blogosphere today?
I am not your average journalist. I began as an artist. At Fordham University, I earned my undergraduate degree in Visual Arts with a concentration in photography – the kind that takes place in a dark room, not on a computer screen.
But, faced with impending graduation, I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life and the answer to that question became clear rather quickly.
For one, I grew up in newsrooms. I spent countless hours after school waiting for my mother to finish editing stories so I could get to soccer practice; tons of nights helping her write headlines in between bedtime stories. We moved from New Orleans to Oregon to Phoenix throughout my childhood as she made her way up the ranks in newspapers. I guess you could say journalism is in my blood.
I also knew that whatever it was I ended up doing with my life, it would have to mean something. It would have to matter. I wanted my work to move people – to action, to tears or to smile.
So, I became a journalist -- and I haven’t looked back.
Over the past six years, I have worked as a de-facto crime reporter for The East Valley Tribune and as a community organizer in the Bronx. I have interned at ABCNews.com and CNN as well as for the Phoenix New Times. I have conducted interviews from Guadalajara to Santo Domingo in various languages that I don’t speak. And I have learned the ins and outs of the European independent film world in Paris – in French.
Last May, I earned my Master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and then took off for New York to work as a fellow under Brian Ross in ABC News’ investigative unit. (The story I helped produce from those four months is about to air on Nightline this week).
Now, I am happy to say I am an Investigative Producer at ABC15 here in Phoenix. I’m still the newbie in the investigative team, but there hasn’t been a day yet when I don’t think to myself: “I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!”
I get to report everyday; I get to tell people’s stories. And, in the end, reporting – especially investigative reporting – is about one thing: the pursuit of truth. It’s the thing that drives most journalists to do what we do and it’s just about all I can think about most days at my job. Like I said, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!”