Alum Abigail Anderson, News Producer, Shares Her Experiences with Journalism Students

Olivia Blumb, Staff Writer

Abigail Anderson, Class of 1999, returned to NDA to speak to a journalism class about life after NDA and then ending up back in Green Bay as a news producer at WFRV, Channel 5.

After Anderson left NDA, she did many different jobs like working as an arborist (tree doctor) in Colorado, becoming a firefighter in Maine, working for National Geographic in the Arctic and producing reality TV programs.

While at NDA, Anderson recalled asking Sister Pat, the principal, about what she should do with her life after high school. Sister Pat responded, “You can do anything you want.”

Anderson said that Sister Pat and her upbringing at NDA inspired her. “Little moments do matter,” she told the class.

Anderson joined the work force after high school and did not attend college. “Each individual should assess his strengths and weaknesses and make the decision,” she said,  about whether or not to attend college.

One of Anderson’s many jobs included working in reality television. Some shows that she worked on included:  The Real Housewives of New York, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Cupcake Wars, and Giuliana and Bill.

Some factors that play into reality television are that every minute is at cost and money can be lost if there is no plan. Anderson said, “We go in with a purpose and we leave at wrap.”

Now back in Green Bay as a news producer and associate producer of a political show, Anderson said, “Channel 5 felt like a perfect match.” Anderson was also approached by Channel 26 after she returned.

Anderson’s typical day now is quite a change from reality TV work. A typical day for Anderson at WFRV is looking at national news and writing about 20 stories per day. Anderson also said that listening to different sources helps with finding information for a story.

Anderson explained that reporters today are becoming “MMJ’s.” This term stand for multimedia journalist.

MMJ’s have to light, shoot, edit and post their stories. This can also include having to do voiceovers in the booth and incorporating that with the timing of the shot.

Anderson emphasized that every journalist should access his skill set appropriately. “I do not set myself up for failure,” she told the class.