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News & Press: Member Spotlight

Herbie Smith's Passion for Journalism Began Early

Monday, January 24, 2011   (2 Comments)
Posted by: staff
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Herbie Smith is currently a news reporter at KATC-TV in Lafayette, LA.  Prior to working in at Louisiana she was a reporter/anchor at WOAY in Beckley, West Virginia.  There she had the opportunity to cover some of the most significant events in the "Mountain State” such as the Upper Big Branch Mine Explosion, the arrival of President Obama, and the death of the longest serving senator in U.S. history, Robert C. Byrd.

Herbie began her career as an associate producer at KIAH-TV, Ch. 39 in Houston, Texas.

This Galveston, TX native is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. While in college Herbie completed several television internships, reported for the Sam Houston’s television station and served as president of the university's chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Herbie is also an alumna of the Poynter Institute's Fellowship for Young Journalists.


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

My grandfather (Roy Hill) played a major role in my career path.  My passion for the media industry began in my childhood.  My grandfather was partially blind and I remember reading the newspaper to him daily when I was a kid.  At the time I thought I was doing him a favor by reading news and current events to him, but now as an adult I’ve realized that he did me a favor by introducing me to my destiny early.


How has NABJ benefitted you professionally?

NABJ has helped me from day one.  Through NABJ I was able to get my first internship which led to my first job which then has aided me to get my first and second on air job.  Since I became a member of NABJ I have gained so many wonderful mentors who have taught me what this business is all about while teaching me skills that have enhanced me a reporter and professional.

What advice do you have for aspiring young journalists/ media related professionals? Perseverance pays off! I would like for every aspiring journalist to know that sometimes you will fail, but it’s not the end of the world! Never give up on your dreams and aspirations.  And above all seek people who will be in your corner (mentors, friends and supportive family members).

What are your thoughts on the future of journalism?

I believe the future of journalism is changing rapidly as for the way people get their news and the way journalists gather news.  As people are depending on online sources more to get news, journalist are also depending on online sources more to share information to their audience. Everything mobile and online is our future.

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

I can’t live without my smart-phone.  As a reporter who’s pressed against deadlines daily, a smart phone make a world of difference. I take notes with my phone, send a picture message of breaking news and so much more!

Please tell us who in journalism/your profession you admire and why?

I admire Soledad O’Brien.  She’s an amazing journalist! I have so much respect for the way she tells stories. It’s very simple but compelling at the same time.  The average person can grasp the "big picture” of stories done by Obrien while relating in some way to the people in her story (from her "Black in America pieces to around the world in Hati).



Heather A. Hope says...
Posted Friday, January 28, 2011
Yey Go Student Projects NABJ Babies! Like Denise said, Keep it up Herbie!!!
Denise M. James says...
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2011
What... no reference to student projects? Keep making us proud.

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