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Membership Spotlight: Jummy Olabanji
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NAME: Jummy Olabanji

CITY: Washington, DC 

LOCAL CHAPTER AFFILIATION :  Former member of Hampton Roads (VA) chapter, in transition to WABJ 



LEADERSHIP ROLES WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION: Former Vice President-Broadcast of the Hampton Roads chapter for almost 3 years.

EDUCATION: BA in Communication – Virginia Tech (May '06), MA in Communication – Gonzaga

CAREER MILESTONES/ HIGHLIGHTS: Recently named 2010 Virginia Associated Press (Broadcast) Most Outstanding Reporter of the Year; was one of the first reporters on the scene of the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007; broke national news of Virginia native Michael Vick signing to the Philadelphia Eagles (along with NABJ member Barbara Ciara).

About Jummy Olabanji:

Jummy Olabanji joined the ABC7 news team in March 2011. She’s thrilled to be back home in the Washington area. Jummy was raised in Fairfax and graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly. Jummy comes home after several years of working as a reporter and anchor at WTKR in Norfolk, Virginia. While living near the world’s largest naval base she covered dozens of stories affecting our service men and women. Living on the coast also gave her the opportunity to cover several hurricanes, tropical storms, and snowstorms. Before the move to southeastern Virginia, Jummy worked in Central Virginia as a reporter and anchor at WCAV in Charlottesville. While working in Charlottesville in 2007, Jummy was one of the first reporters to the scene of the mass shooting that left 33 people dead on the campus of her alma mater, Virginia Tech.

Jummy started her career in Washington as a news assistant at CNN. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from Virginia Tech and is currently completing her master’s degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University. Jummy is also an active member of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the National Association of Black Journalists. While in Norfolk, Jummy served on the Board of Directors of the Hampton Teen Center, a local non-profit for youth. She also volunteered with Dress for Success and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. When she’s not working you can find Jummy with family and friends. She’s also a huge football fanatic and a die-hard Virginia Tech Hokies and Washington Redskins fan.

What inspired you to work in journalism/ media related profession?

 My broadcast writing professor John Carlin, back in 2005. I was going in public relations track and took his class as my writing elective. He told me I had a great voice and should try my hand at broadcast journalism. Never looked back! Once I got into the field with my first internship I realized this was what I wanted to do.

How has NABJ benefitted you professionally? 

NABJ is the foundation, without a doubt. Mr. Carlin told me to join NABJ since the broadcast program at Virginia Tech was very small. A few weeks later I got accepted to the broadcast short course at A&T. It was there where I met the majority of my current mentors who helped me write, shoot, edit and produce my first story ever. That was March of 2005. In August of 2005 I got selected for student projects in Atlanta where I did my first ever live shot – at one of the greatest stations in the country mind you, WSB-TV. After I graduated in 2006, I got my first job at the NABJ convention in Indy -- from CNN. Like hired at the booth!!! HELLO! I owe my entire career to this organization. 

What advice do you have for aspiring young journalists/ media related professionals?

Network, network, network. I’ve gotten every job since my first job as a result of a connection who put me in contact with the right person. Also, never for one minute think that success is limited…there is enough for everyone. Lift each other up, support each other, and hustle together. We can all make it.

What are your thoughts on the future of journalism? 

I’m excited. Yes, budgets are shrinking- that’s happening in every industry but Congress (haha) – but seriously, we all at some point are going to have to do more with less. But it’s also getting really fun. When you are forced to do more on your own, you take more ownership in your work. We are able to connect with our viewers, readers and audiences in whole new ways. I love it. As long as everyone remembers their journalism foundation we are in for a bright future.

What's the one tool you can't live without as a journalist/ media related professional?

My smart phone, laptop, notepad, pen, and IFB (broadcast ear piece; I’m naked without it).

Who do you admire in the field of journalism and why? 

Soledad O’Brien. She does it all. Anchor. Reporter. Mother. Wife. Motivator. She is the epitome of a woman who hasn’t let her job impact her personal life, and her personal life impact her job. So many women in our profession give up one for the other. I love her. I’m also a huge fan of Tamron Hall, Richelle Carey, and Hoda Kotb.
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