10 Questions with Reuters' Kia Johnson
How Kia Johnson became a producer for Reuters had a lot to do with the process of elimination.
“My strategy was to rule out math and science based careers, naturally.” Johnson said. “I then evaluated what I enjoyed studying and excelled in.”
She loved studying history and current events, and would pursue communications, hoping one day to cover historic news events. She would go on to excel in sports as well, playing four years on the Temple University women’s basketball team.
In the end, she didn’t end up with a career in professional sports, but working in the news media allowed her to witness significant news and sporting events first hand.
Learn more about Johnson as we ask her 10 questions:
1. If you weren't working in journalism, what would you be doing?
If I weren't working in the news media, I see myself working with a sports team in some capacity, maybe as a community liaison with a professional sports team, organizing community events for youth groups and charities, or possibly in an administration capacity on the collegiate level. I have always had an interest in organized sports and it played a sizable role in my early years.
2. Who's your favorite journalist or writer - living or dead?
Growing up, I was always a huge fan of Ed Bradley. I appreciated his interviewing style and his storytelling ability and the fact he was paving the way for other African American broadcast journalists.
3. What could the news business use more of?
I believe the news industry would benefit from more diverse newsrooms on the local, national, and international levels. The coverage would be broader and more creative if newsrooms looked more like the communities they cover. If all decision-makers are cut from similar cloth, it's difficult to have collaborative "quilt" of ideas.
4. Less of?
I believe the need to feed the 24-hour beast leads to an unending loop of repetition. So, I'd like to see less repetition and less cookie-cutter coverage.
5. How did you end up in journalism?
My strategy was to rule out math and science based careers...naturally. I then evaluated what I enjoyed studying and excelled in. I always loved studying history and following current events and pursued a career communications with the hopes that I would one day have the opportunity to cover historic news events. I'm proud to say that my career has afford me the opportunity to see countless historic news and sporting events first hand.
6. What makes you hopeful about the future of journalism?
The current political climate is indicative of why the future of journalism is so important. Working to report the facts and holding officials accountable is why good journalists are and will continue to play a vital role in our society. Journalism is changing, but not going out of style!
7. What worries you?
The fact that there are people who do not believe factual reporting, and choose to believe fake news reports posted on social media and various websites is disturbing and worrisome.
8. When you're not reporting, what occupies your time?
When I'm not working, I'm gardening, walking in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., attending college football games, keeping up with my kids, and listening to all types of music. I can't resist a "Law and Order" marathon on a lazy weekend.
9. Why is being in the Guild better than not being in the Guild?
Guild membership is important to push back on management policies that affect our members’ financial well-being, health care, and work-life balance.
10. If you could give someone starting out in journalism one piece of advice what would it be?
Starting out, I think it's often a good idea to take the road less traveled. I see young people gravitating to the big networks. I think it’s a good idea to look for less traditional choices where competition is less intense and the opportunity to have more hands on experience is greater.
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