Amara Sohn is the weekend evening anchor and a reporter for Fox 32 in Chicago. Prior to Fox 32, she joined the WTVJ news team in Miami during the most active hurricane season on record in 2005. She traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi down to Key West for Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. During her time at WTVJ, she has reported on a variety of major local and national stories, including the 2008 Presidential election, the death of Anna Nicole Smith, the murder of former UM and Washington Redskins player Sean Taylor, and Superbowl XLI.
In addition to covering politics, crime and various breaking news stories, Amara has co-hosted several lifestyle and entertainment shows for NBCMiami, including "Best In Show," showcasing the best attractions, shopping, restaurants and hotels south Florida has to offer and the "Best In Show: Holiday Edition." She also co-hosted a live one-hour special, "Access Miami Vice," for the red-carpet movie premiere of "Miami Vice" in Miami Beach.
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Amara began her career at KMIR-TV in Palm Springs, CA. She is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association and a proud alumna of the University of Southern California. Amara graduated Magna Cum Laude with a dual degree in political science and broadcast journalism.Survey
What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:
1.) Listening: Often times we forget to listen. A great listener makes a great interviewer....which leads to a better story...and in turn makes you a better journalist.
2.) Writing: You can present the best live shots but can you tell a story without simply spewing out the facts? Its your writing style that will separate you from the rest. Anyone can list the facts, but are you able to make a mundane event...sound fresh and interesting to your viewers? You can refer to broadcast writing books for examples of creative writing. Also, you’d be surprised at how many grammatical errors TV reporters and anchors (including myself) make all the time. Keep on top of your English. Do you know when to use nauseated vs. nauseous? Or further vs. farther?
3.) Enterprising: Its typically the most curious person who’s constantly questioning everything and everyone that digs up fascinating stories or breaks stories. I admit, I’m guilty of getting lazy and not moving beyond the newspaper’s headlines. But always push yourself to enterprise your own stories. Learn to go out into the community, meet people and ask questions. There are infinite stories out there...that have yet to be uncovered.
What were your duties at ATVN? :
I started on the assignment desk and then did a little bit of everything including shooting, editing, reporting, and anchoring both news and weather.
How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:
Because ATVN operates almost like a real news station, I felt well prepared for my job. You’ll find that you probably won’t need training on editing or the news systems when you start your first job.
What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:
Make it your life. Being a journalist isn’t just what you do, its WHO you are. Of course, watch your favorite reporters, try to emulate them, jot down some great lines from memorable packages; always be in learning mode. The best advice I can give you, read voraciously! Reading the newspaper is just scratching the surface. If you read about the latest events in Darfur, Sudan on the front page of the LA Times, but you’re not clear on the background, go buy a book on the history and politics of that troubled region. Read biographies about people you admire, including news men and women and news makers. Being well read not only helps you understand the big picture, but it also widens your perspective on the world, and allows you to be an open-minded journalist. Also, talk to people. Always be in networking mode to cultivate future stories...and connections for future job openings. Lastly never give up. People will tell you all kinds of things, encouraging and discouraging. But it boils down to believing in yourself and in your passion. And whenever in doubt, remind yourself of your passion. And follow your heart, and go after what you want. It’s not about where you are right now, Its about where you’re headed.
What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:
Try not to sign more than 2 years for your first contract. Someone once told me, always be on the move, until you’ve made it to your goal destination.