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5 minutes with Shaul Turner

May 15, 2012
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I recently spent 5 minutes with Fox 31 reporter Shaul Turner to discuss her career in journalism, embarrassing moments, and advice on getting started in the business.

JG: Thank you, Shaul for your time. What made you want to start a career in journalism?

ST: I saw the impact television journalism had on the world and wanted to be a part of that amazing synergy. When people learn about one another or learn more about the world in which they live incredible things happen. I also wanted to be immersed in that intense “slice of life” that every journalist experiences from day to day. When I was just a little girl my role models were Jayne Kennedy, Barbara Walters, Dan Rather and later Tom Brokaw. My professional role models today are Anderson Cooper and Monica Kaufman in Atlanta.

JG: Thinking back to the beginning. What do you remember about watching yourself on television for the first time and do you still have that clip?

ST: Ha! Yes I believe those old tapes are in a box at my parent’s house! The first time I saw myself on screen practicing journalism was in college at Michigan State University. When I got a “real job” I, of course, hated seeing myself on TV. I was like many newbies who still have yet to find a way to translate what looks real in person to how a television “makes” you look. Believe me, it was much simpler back then. Today’s widescreens and HD show a girl NO MERCY!

JG: Do you still get nervous going live?

ST: I never get nervous going live with the exception of two situations: someone is loitering around in back of me during a protest that’s getting out of control or if I think my Mom and Dad are watching (LOL).

JG: I’m curious about this and I’ve asked other reporters and anchor’s this same question. There are unfortunately horrible and tragic stories that need reporting seemingly everyday. Have you ever been moved to tears while reporting live?

ST: Many of us compartmentalize our feelings when we are on the air just enough to make sure we do a professional job and making sure the story is clearly reported. We know that when people learn of these tragedies, change for the better can result in many situations. That means the story must be told in a professional manner. In addition to that reason, the story is about those affected by the tragedy, not about me, so I never want to take the focus off of that. That said, after getting off the air, many of us are indeed moved to tears, for me it’s horrible stories about kids and animals.

JG: On a lighter note. What’s your most embarrassing moment you’ve had on-air?

ST: For me, those are like Lay’s potato chips, you can’t have just one. I’ve had earrings fall off on the air and worn a blouse backward after having to change clothes in a dark news truck, but the funniest was probably showing up at a press conference with two mismatched shoes on..they were both black and high heeled..but still different and I was BEYOND embarrassed because I couldn’t leave.

JG: You work with a lot of awareness programs such as the Denver Dumb Friends League; you help promote breast cancer awareness with the Denver Polo Club and also the Reading Is Cool program just to name a few. What do these organizations and programs mean to you?

ST: Being a television journalist goes hand in hand with community service. You have an amazing tool (television) that can be used to help an incredible number of people. Working with community groups means using your skillset and resources to amplify the call to action. Everyone can do this in their own way. I do it in mine. Helping someone completes not only your day, but your life.

JG: The “broadcasting” industry, be it radio or television is a tough industry to break into. What advice can you offer a young aspiring television journalist?

ST: Strive to be a journalist, not a TV star.

JG: Anything you’d like to leave your faithful followers with?

ST: A great big THANK YOU. I can’t tell you how nice people have been over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that everyone can relate to positivity no matter your walk of life. One constant in this world is that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I love this borrowed quote, “people are like tea bags, you’ll never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water”. Stay strong and enjoy all life has to offer.

Shaul Turner everyone! You can follow Shaul on Fox 31 news and www.kdvr.com. Shaul also invites you to her facebook page which is www.facebook.com/shaul.turner and her twitter page @shaulturner.

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