University of Baltimore grad wins Emmy for work with ABC7-WJLA
September 19, 2019
From a young age, Michelle Richardson, B.S. '15, always knew she would grow up to be a journalist. She had the focus, the drive, and the blueprint: she just needed to learn how to navigate the path.
"That's why I chose to attend the University of Baltimore," Richardson says. "I knew my end goal, and because of UBalt's straightforward approach to education, I learned how to get there."
That path landed Richardson at WJZTV Channel 13 in Baltimore. "Six months after graduation, I started my career as a journalist with WJZ, which was huge for me because not many journalist are able to start in their hometown," Richardson says. "My time at WJZ made me the journalist I am today and will forever be my news home."
Currently, Richardson is with ABC7-WJLA in Washington, D.C., where she is an assignment desk editor. "If the newsroom was a body, then I am the heart," Richardson describes her role. "If there is breaking news, I am responsible for gathering the who, what, when, where, and why, and as reporters come in for their shifts, they come to me to figure out what they will be covering that day."
On June 28, 2018, the news coverage that day painstakingly focused on the Capital Gazette shooting. "We stayed on air for 24 hours reporting on a tragedy that affected our colleagues," Richardson says.
Because of their support and response to the news, Richardson and her team were nominated for and received the 2019 Emmy for continuing coverage within 24 hours.
"The grit and tenacity our team showed that day was to honor our colleagues," Richardson says. "I hope we did them justice, and this Emmy is dedicated to the five journalists we lost that day."
Richardson graduated with her bachelor's degree in Corporate Communication (now Digital Communication), a program that helps students develop expertise in communication strategy, writing, and design.
"Courses I took, like writing for the media and public relations, provided the necessary knowledge I needed to navigate the newsroom," Richardson says. "I also encourage students to network and make connections in the work place by interning."
During her time as a student, Richardson interned at WYPR, Edelman PR Firm, and WBAL TV Channel 11, which UBalt President Kurt Schmoke helped her land.
"President Schmoke and I did the ALS Ice Bucket challenge together on campus, and it was filmed by WBAL," Richardson says. "I mentioned to him that I was looking to intern there, and he wrote me a letter of recommendation! That's what's so great about UBalt, you aren't just a number and students receive that one-on-one attention to help them succeed."