Image courtesy of Action News Now
Moving from Red Bank, New Jersey to Chico, California wasn't just a lifestyle change for College of Communication and the Arts alumna Christina Vitale '18. It was an opportunity to start her dream career: becoming an on-screen reporter for a major news network.
As a news reporter for Action News Now—the shared brand of CBS, NBC, the CW and Telemundo—the Journalism alumna spends her days brainstorming story ideas, working in the field with cameras and microphones, and tirelessly editing in the studio to bring her stories to life for the evening newscast.
"Every day is different, and that's what I love about it," said Vitale. "I'm always thinking about the best way to tell the story…making sure I ask the right questions and gather the appropriate footage."
Post-graduation, Vitale knew she wanted a career in the news industry. She originally applied for the position of social media content coordinator for the California network, but she was hired instead as an on-screen reporter after discussing her broadcast reel and writing portfolio with news team personnel.
"I've always felt comfortable being on camera, and the interviewers could see that. They were impressed with my reel, professionalism and overall presence," said Vitale. "Being able to start my career in another part of the country is incredibly exciting."
Vitale's involvement with Pirate Television (Pirate TV) helped influence her on-screen personality and off-screen preparedness, providing her with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate a professional studio. "Every role is so important in television news, and Pirate TV gave me the chance to be a part of the crew as a manager, chyron operator, anchor and many other positions," noted Vitale. "You need every single person in the newsroom. Learning how each piece comes together made me appreciate the moving parts even more."
During her senior year, Vitale worked together with mentor and Associate Professor Dr. Jonathan Kraszewski to create an effective resume and attractive reel for her job search. "I always looked up to him because he worked in professional news studios and brought his hands-on experience to Seton Hall. Everything I learned in his courses is what I project and apply in my professional work," noted Vitale.
The College's curriculum allowed her to explore different areas of journalism beyond the written word. Broadcast News exposed her to the dynamics and expectations of a newsroom – in fact, the course directly echoes the morning meetings she has today. "From pitching ideas to assigning reporters to bringing together different elements like graphics, the class was put together in the exact same way as a professional news studio," said Vitale. The opportunity to use technical software like Adobe Premiere allowed her to learn video editing – skills she continued developing as she entered the professional environment.
"Although I never had the chance to intern with a news station, my experience is much different than a normal reporter's. Many told me to give up my dream to be on camera right out of college, but today I'm in California at a news station for NBC, CBS, and the CW11," said Vitale. "You should never give up and always believe in yourself, your abilities, and be open to take risks. I did, and I have the career opportunity of a lifetime."