Andrew Donovan ’12 was recently hired as a reporter by WSYR-TV, the ABC affiliate in Syracuse.
“This is a great step in my career,” Donovan says. “It’s a station with a veteran staff and I’m primarily looking forward to learning from them to grow into an even better reporter.”
As a reporter, Donovan will be responsible for setting up stories through sources, finding interviewees, conducting interviews, and writing the news segment. Donovan looks forward to honing his craft, learning to make the segments interesting and emotional, and editing them.
“The hard part that people usually don’t understand is the time constraints,” Donovan says. “I usually get a maximum of 1 minute and 30 seconds to tell my story, which may include content from at least two, 10-minute or more interviews.”
Though he’s a rookie at WSYR, Donovan is experienced in the newsroom. At the age of 16, Donovan began working as a digital media producer for his hometown news station, WKTV in Utica. “It’s a true honor to work at your home television station, to cover the people and places you grew up around,” Donovan says. “I think that will certainly be a highlight of my career.”
In addition to maintaining his position at WKTV throughout his four years at HWS, Donovan also worked as a social media editor for the Office of Communications, and interned for NBC news in New York, where he had the opportunity to interview Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry.
These experiences provided Donovan with the invaluable opportunity to report his hometown news as well as interact with some of the biggest names in the industry, and more importantly, they allowed him to acquire the skills and experience necessary to take his reporting to the next level.
“At WKTV I was a hybrid position of reporter, web producer, social media manager and producer. I was in charge of a lot of logistics back at the station that kept me in the newsroom on the busiest days, so I’m certainly excited to be out in the field in Syracuse,” Donovan says. “My work at the HWS Office of Communications was also invaluable. There, I was able to hone my social media skills and try new things that news organizations all around the world use.”
He also attributes much of his recent success to his liberal arts education, noting that his studies at HWS “set the groundwork” for his professional career.
“My education was so diverse, as opposed to a degree in general communications that larger institutions offer. While some of those places prepare their students technically, my education at HWS provides me the contextual knowledge that is critical to a journalist’s work,” Donovan says. “I get immense pride in telling an interview subject, elected official, or colleague that I’m an alum of Hobart and William Smith.”
Donovan aspires to one day work as a national reporter, but for now, he’s looking forward to settling in at WSYR and taking advantage of the opportunities that reporting at the local level can provide.
“WSYR airs in Geneva, so I’m excited that my work will be seen at my alma mater,” Donovan says. “Geneva became a second home to me, so to work around the people and places that nurtured me through college is almost as humbling as my work in my home of Utica.”