—Senior Jodi Whitworth, 21, will be reporting Twin Cities local news this fall for a national newscast pilot. During a nationwide search for student reporters, an producer saw Whitworth's broadcast reel
on a YouTube sidebar and emailed asking her to consider joining the newscast. After one phone interview, Jodi accepted the offer and her next step is introducing herself on a video blog.
“It’s funny, I had just reposted my demo reel with my contact information, and that’s how they got my email address,” said Whitworth.
After she finishes a summer internship with WCIA-TV in Illinois, Whitworth will enter her last semester at Northwestern, tackling the Twin Cities beat while she prepares to graduate. The newscast pilot is a new effort by Viacom's college network to produce content by students for students, according to Whitworth, and will reach 15 schools.
As a freelancer, Jodi faces the challenge of covering a large region, solo-producing every story and reporting in a presidential election year.
“I’m excited to do it—it will be really fun. I definitely know that I can do it.”
While Whitworth's broadcasting finesse was turning talking heads, Minnesota’s Alliance for Women in Media (AWM-MN) was eyeing her application for their annual Diamond Awards Diversity Scholarship
. On June 21, AWM presented her with the $2,000 scholarship at an evening award ceremony. Jodi was later told that her broadcast reel and personal application turn-in lifted her above applicants across the state.
“When stuff like this happens, I don’t know how to respond,” she said. “All of these things have fallen into my lap, and it’s such a blessing.”
Her father Dick Whitworth, Assistant VP of Northwestern Media, expressed a similar reaction to his daughter’s at this recent success.
“Jayne and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of Jodi,” he said, “And while we are proud of her and her accomplishments, we are most grateful for God’s blessing on her life.”