Today we have a very special member of the media Ms. Toni Yates the New Jersey Reporter & anchor for ABC 7 Eyewitness News. Yates who hails from Jacksonville, Florida has been with Eyewitness News since 2005. Yates has three children, Austyn, Alexis, and Gabriel. Take a look and read about ace reporter, Toni Yates and get your Jersey on!!!
When did you know or realize you wanted to have a career in the media and why?
A:1. When I was in the 6th grade, I had an opportunity to meet the only African American woman in my hometown who was a TV reporter at her studio as she interviewed my parents. I was amazed at how fun it was...and that's when I decided I wanted to do the same thing...to be like her.
2: You have worked at a few prominent ,high profile stations around the country and covered numerous stories. What was the one story that left an indelible impression and perhaps changed you or your way of thinking?
A: My most memorable story was in Baltimore, Maryland. I was working for a station in Philadelphia, and I was covering the story of an 8-year old girl who was going to die unless she received an operation that required half her brain to be removed. I went to Johns Hopkins University Hospital and met the great surgeon Ben Carson, who grew up in the ghettos of Detroit, and overcame a life headed towards crime..to become a world renowned doctor. He allowed me and my crew to view the 14 hour surgery from the window outside the operating room. He stood and worked on the child all those hours without ever stopping. He was so confident, he was so passionate and skilled..I'll never forget that. The child is now a college graduate.
3. Hurricane Sandy or Superstorm Sandy is probably going to be the story of this decade that will define the decade. How do you think you and ABC 7 covered this enormous storm? Do you think it could have been covered any differently in hindsight?
A:The storm, in my opinion, got the kind of coverage it needed, and still needs. Key warnings were issued constantly. Any public official that needed to get information out, we got it to the public. Because the media was so thorough, very few lives were lost because people listened, and adjusted early enough. In the aftermath, we told stories of the material things that were lost, and the needs of the victims. Donations continued to pour in: clothes, food, any supplies needed. And we also told stories of how many people came to realize what's important in life, and how materials can be replaced. We are also following how difficult the systems like insurance, are to maneuver through. We need to change as a world, and focus more on making sure everyone is okay ABOVE money.
4.Do you feel ABC 7 and the media in general cover New Jersey fairly?
A: I think 'fairness' lies in perspective. There are as many opinions as there are people. Many of us do what we think is fair... many of us realize that what we say and how we say it needs to grow with our understanding of how each person and every story can help change the world. And everyone needs to become aware of that much, much more...not just reporters, but all of us in whatever roles we have chosen
.5. Over the past decade, we have seen Social Media and other technologies such as Skype play a prominent role in the media. How do you see broadcast media evolving even further with all the new technologies ? Do you feel it is good or bad for broadcast media?
A: Growth, in any format, is good. Media in any and all forms, have made it easier for all of us to access the world..t make our say more know...to learn more, grow more...IF we choose to use it in the correct way. We all have a voice now. The question is: What do you want to say? How do you want to improve life for all? Will you choose?
6. What advice would you give communication majors who want to break into the tv news business?
A: Know WHY you want to be a journalist. If it rings true to your heart, you will succeed. If its because you think its glamorous, and will make you money..and those are the only reasons, you may find disappointment.
7. As I know you are very involved in the community at charity events, Town Hall meetings,health awareness fairs and the like. Even animal abuse awareness and protection, Why do you feel as someone well known it is important to be involved in community outreach events?
A: I don't. I follow my heart. Do your passions because you care. Care because it is a Divine Gift to do so. Love is the answer. You can choose to judge and criticize, or you can choose to act and make LIFE lovely for yourself and others. One choice is Higher than the other, and your heart will be your guide.
Exclusive Toni Yates Banana Pudding: