Spring has officially arrived and last month’s belated winter snow storm is a distant memory as we can now enjoy cherry blossoms, more daylight and the Washington Post’s annual Peeps Diorama contest. For anyone outside of the D.C. area, yes, this is an actual event.
There is, of course, more serious news to report on in the nation’s capital which is why I’m thrilled to introduce you to Mom in Manolos’ April Wonder Woman, Kristin Wright from NBC4 Washington!
I reached out to Kristin in December after long admiring her ability to be so poised but still maintain her personality when reporting. We finally met up after the Inauguration for coffee one morning in late February and we chatted over our beloved Starbucks. Kristin greeted me warmly with a smile and hug and I immediately felt at ease with her. Interviewing a reporter, like photographing a photographer (I can now say I’ve done both), is something you don’t take lightly but Kristin was so down-to-earth and charming that I almost forgot I was speaking to someone I see everyday on television.
If there is any doubt over whether news reporters have easy jobs, think again. Kristin is out the door everyday by 8 a.m. and embarks on the standard hour(-ish) D.C. commute to make it to the NBC4 studios in Northwest D.C. Depending on traffic, she has a few minutes to scan through emails before the editorial meeting at 9:00 a.m.
The editorial meeting is one of the most important meetings of the day and it involves everyone — all the reporters, managers, managing editors, and producers. Each member of the team is called on to pitch their story idea for the day. How’s that for being on top of current events?
Stories are assigned at the meeting and the race to get the story in before the evening news segments begins. Kristin heads to the newsroom for half an hour to catch up on email, make phone calls, and research before she’s out the door with her photographer. The pair generally spend every lunch in the news van, en route to the story while Kristin begins writing the story she’ll report. Reporters not only generate daily news ideas viewers will be interested in but reporters are also responsible for writing their stories and reporting them.
Kristin finishes her story, along with any interviews, in time to meet a 4 p.m. deadline. However, a story assigned at the editorial meeting can quickly be scrapped if breaking news occurs. In that scenario, Kristin coordinates with her managing editor to confirm any re-assignments.
The job continues well after the 4 p.m. deadline is met. Kristin then varies elements of the news feature for the 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. broadcasts. She often presents a new element at the 6 p.m. broadcast to maintain interest in the story for those viewers who may have been watching since 4 p.m.
After the 6 p.m. broadcast, Kristin leaves her reporting location. Depending on where they are located, the team may take an hour or more to return to the station. From the station, Kristin heads home to her family.
Are you as exhausted as I am??
So what leads someone to the reporter life? Kristin’s penchant for writing first led her to journalism. Kristin started her career working behind the scenes as a news writer in Detroit, her hometown. After Detroit, she worked in Binghamton, NY, Harrisburg, PA and Tampa, FL before landing here in D.C.
But for Kristin, getting to tell people’s stories is the primary reason she enjoys being a reporter. And as a journalist, nothing is the same from day to day and it’s that kind of unpredictability that keeps things fresh for her.
Kristin says she often arrives home thinking about all the different people she’s met from all different walks of life. It makes her grateful for her two daughters and husband. Especially when she has to report on tragedies.
As if we needed any more reason to be impressed, Kristin is also an Emmy-nominated news reporter. Her story “Soulville,” which she reported on in Harrisburg, PA, snagged her a nod for Best Feature. You can watch her reporting on the area’s latest and breaking news on NBC4 Washington every weekday. Read more about this lovely and consummate journalist below.
What is the best part about being a journalist?
I love hearing people’s stories. Everyone has a story.
Who are the journalists that continue to inspire you?
Boyd Huppert. He’s a reporter at KARE in Minnesota. He’s an amazing storyteller. Also, my colleague Pat Collins and former Detroit news anchor Carmen Harlan.
Describe your perfect day – what would you do and where would you go, if anywhere?The perfect day is pancakes at home with my family, spending time on the National Mall on a beautiful day, dinner anywhere with my husband, and a movie at home.
What career advice would you give someone just starting out in journalism?
Be willing to work hard. Learn to be a good writer. Be persistent.
Newspaper in print or online?
Online, although I collect print newspapers with historic headlines.
Pens or pencils?
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, no question!
4th of July or New Year’s?
Silver or gold?
Depends on my mood. Love both.
Drama or comedy?
Sand or snow?
Sand. I lived in sunny Florida for several years.
Cronuts or beignets?
Sunrise or sunset?
Call or text?
Thank you, Kristin, for all the hard work you do to keep us informed! I’m honored to have you as April’s Wonder Woman!