Four female anchors discuss balancing life in the journalism industry

Female journalists find it difficult yet manageable to balance work and family life, said a panel of four news anchors on Monday to a full crowd of journalism students at Arizona State University.

“Sacrifices are something that you have to be able to do with your family. It is really hard to find a balance, but you make it work,” Kim Tobin with ABC15 said.

Fellow panelist Linda Williams with Fox 10, Clara Colmenero with Univision and Kris Pickle with CBS 5 agreed with Tobin at the first Must-See Monday of the fall 2015 season moderated by former 12News reporter Lin Sue Cooney.

“Family knows they are the priority,” said Williams. “It is a juggling act but you figure it out.”

According to a 2014 poll conducted by the Women Media Center, women only make up 36 percent of the media industry in the male-dominated field.

“You are not always in charge of your career. The people who run the stations make the calls,” said Pickle.“You don’t always have the choice of where you want to live, work where you want to work, or be around the people who you want to be around. That is a sacrifice that you sometimes have to make.”

Pickle said she has been fortunate enough to have a supportive husband who has put his videography career on hold to take care of their two children.

All of the panelists agreed holidays are tough to work, but are sometimes a necessity.

Tobin said she gets through the holidays with her family by understanding that her life doesn’t revolve around the calendar. She celebrates holidays at different times of the year with her family.

“You can work around the calendar. You don’t need a calendar to tell you when to visit the ones you love. You must be willing to embrace journalism in all parts of your life,” said Tobin.

Colmenero advised students to keep supervisors involved and to let them know what is happening in their personal lives. She said that having open communication with one’s managers is key when a person needs to leave early or switch a schedule.

Sophia Fredy, a Cronkite student, said she was glad she attended the panel. She said she was thankful the panel of female journalists focused on their successful careers.

“It was refreshing to hear from the panel of successful female journalists and to hear what is important to them,” said Fredy.

The panelists also agreed the most rewarding part of being a journalist is seeing the story through to the end and helping people.

“I like making little differences. I live for those little stories that prove we are mostly good, kind people,” said Williams.

The next Must-See Monday will take place on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in the First Amendment Forum at the Cronkite School. The topic will be “Journalism in the Age of Personal Media.” The guest speaker will be Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News.


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