Katelyn Mattingly is a 2011 graduate of Towson University and currently is an anchor for HMTV6 of Hagerstown, MD.
Q: Having grown up with social media, what is it like using it both personally and now professionally?
A: “At first when I started using social media it was for fun – a way to keep in touch with friends from high school/college, post pictures and keep people up to date with your life. Now as a professional, social media has a whole new meaning in my life. Social media is a fast and easy way to share news and get the word out fast to the community. Not only that but it helps me to stay connected to viewers of my tv station. I can interact with viewers, get their opinions and therefore create a relationship with them. Why do you watch a specific television station? Because you like a certain reporter, anchor or meteorologist, you feel like you know them. Social media allows me to reach out to these people not only to promote myself but to make them want to watch my station because they know me.”
Between your personal and professional pages, how do you keep track of all of your sites?
“Sometimes it can be confusing but good time management skills helps me to keep track of all of my sites. I have all of my personal and professional social media sites connected to my iPhone so I am always in the loop. I tend to focus more on my professional pages and keep them as up to date as possible. News never sleeps and sometimes it can be overwhelming, but as a news team we all keep our social media sites up to date.”
You’re very well connected online, how would your reporting be different if you couldn’t use social media?
“Reporting would be completely different without social media. Social media allows the viewers to interact with the reporters delivering the news. Although the viewers opinions will not change the news story, it makes the community more connected that everyone can interact. Plus social media is a great way to promote our station. Our station was just launched in July and social media has given us a great advantage to promoting the station and local news.”
What are some benefits to using Twitter and Facebook (among others) with reporting?
“I have my Facebook and Twitter pages connected so the information is going to both places. This way I don’t have to worry if someone missed a piece of information. Some people tend to follow Facebook more than Twitter, or vice versa, so this way I know everyone is in the loop. The benefits for Twitter and Facebook with reporting is being able to promote the stories I am working on. It’s a great way to have a teaser for a newscast. For example, what are local officials saying about the proposed bill on the Maryland death penalty? I’ll have full details on that coming up tonight at 5… Posting teasers like this interests the viewers and hopefully draws them to watch the 5pm newscast.”
You had a coveted internship with ABC2 news while as an undergrad; any advice for aspiring journalists?
“My best advice would to be get as many internships as possible!! Not only to make sure that this is the right career path for you, but because there are so many things you learn at your internship that you will not learn in the classroom. Going in for an entire day and spending it with a reporter will open your eyes to what is expected of you in this industry. It will better prepare you for your future career. I think I say, “When I was interning at ABC2 I learned this…” at least once a week. Not only that but they give great advice and feedback (even after I graduated)!”
It looks like you and your team has a great time together. What’s the best part of your day?
“The best part of my day is shooting the newscast. I love being on the desk and having my producer and floor director on set with me. Because we are at a small market this is a first job for many of us. We’re all still learning and growing everyday and I think that’s the best part of the job. But I also think with this career path I will continu[e] learning something new everyday.”