KMOV’s Diana Zoga shares insights with journalism campers

Advisor’s Note: KMOV TV anchor Diana Zoga visited the WGHS ECHO journalism camp to talk to campers, who were in third through sixth grades, about broadcast journalism and her career.  The campers then broke into three teams and wrote stories about the visit.  These are the stories.

Diana Zoga, a T.V hero

Team 1: Written by Ivy Clark, Ben Pires, Ginny Northcott and Olivia King with guidance from Deandre Scott

KMOV TV journalist Diana Zoga shows junior journalists at the 2014 ECHO journalism camp how to use a IFB. (Photos by Olivia King)

KMOV TV journalist Diana Zoga shows junior journalists at the 2014 ECHO journalism camp how to use a IFB. (Photos by Ivy Clark)

Diana Zoga is a News Channel Four Broadcast Reporter. She started at the age of 17 in college as an anchor/reporter in Austin, Tx. She went to University of Texas and majored in journalism. She started in 2003 at KXII TV in Sherman, Tx. (for four years) making about $16,000 a year. That’s about $7.70 an hour, after getting out of college. After that she worked at KTUL in Tulsa, Ok. (for two years.)  Then she worked KMOV in St. Louis (for six years.)

Her work day is a basic of getting to work at 8:45 a.m.; she arrives at the news room and starts off by contacting the many contacts she has, to find out what’s new. At 9:30 a.m., she goes into a news meeting and tells her producers and boss what stories she has. At 10 a.m., she starts making calls to set interviews. By 3 p.m., she has a report written. At 4 p.m., her photographer should be done editing, and they get into a live truck to drive to their live location where they will film the report.  She puts on her microphone and IFB at 4:45 p.m. and makes sure she’s ready to do her report.

Some of the advice she gives to young reporters is to:

  • Study Journalism
  • Intern At a T.V Station
  • Make a Resume Tape
  • Start Working In a Small town
  • Work Your Way Up
  • And Keep Updating Your Resume Tape

She helps people she doesn’t know by reporting disasters and warning citizens about tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc. Without knowing it, Diana Zoga is a hero of the T.V.  As she said, “I wanted to be successful when I was little, and I was thinking about people who could help me already.” We believe that everyone should think like she does and know that they can do anything.

Zoga recommends developing communications skills

Team 2: Written by Jane Curtis, Celia Alexander and Evelyn Linck with guidance from Keillyn Johnson.

Diana Zoga came from humble beginnings. She grew up in Dallas, Tx. Her parents had been immigrants who came to America

KMOV TV journalist Diana Zoga shared her experiences as a broadcast journalist with junior journalists at the 2014 ECHO journalism camp.  (Photos by Olivia King)

KMOV TV journalist Diana Zoga takes questions from junior journalists at the 2014 ECHO journalism camp. (Photos by Ivy Clark)

with only $20.  Her parents didn’t always speak English very well.  Her mother started learning around the same time that Zoga did.  Her mother always said that she learned to speak English by watching “Sesame Street” with Zoga.  From a young age, she was determined to take advantage of her learning. Zoga loved to read and considered it important to become a good communicator.

She was the first person in her family to go to college, and went to college at the University of Texas. Her first job was in a small town called Sherman, Tx., at KXII TV for four years. Zoga was later employed by KTUL in Tulsa, Ok, for two years. Her current job is at KMOV TV in St. Louis, where she has been for a little over six years.

“My job every day is to learn,” Zoga said.

She described the way up into a journalism career in TV news in six steps: study journalism in college, intern at a T.V. station, make a resume tape (which she described as being a series of clips from your work before), start working in a small town, work your way up, and keep updating your resume tape.

Zoga’s advice to kids was to love to read, communicate well and have good sentence structure.

 Journalist tells about career

Team 3: Written by Nina Thompson and Gracie Hedenberg with guidance from Aerin Johnson

KMOV TV journalist Diana Zoga shared her experiences as a broadcast journalist with junior journalists at the 2014 ECHO journalism camp.  (Photos by Olivia King)

KMOV TV journalist Diana Zoga shares her experiences as a broadcast journalist with junior journalists at the 2014 ECHO journalism camp. (Photos by Ivy Clark)

Diana Zoga’s love of journalism started when her family’s home country of Kosova was at war, when American journalists started to get the information wrong.

At a young age, Zoga wanted to be as successful as she could. Her parents came from a home country with $20 in their pocket and worked minimum wage jobs most of her childhood. In her house English was the second language, and her parents could not read or write in English, which caused Zoga to want to become successful even more so.

“I learned to communicate well because I read all the time. I listened to my teachers,” Zoga explained. She was the first person in her family to go to college.

Zoga believes that to be a good journalist you have to a good communicator, and to be a good communicator you have to read books.

“I love to read books,” said Zoga.

After graduating from a local college, she found a job at KXII in Sherman, Tx. She received a salary of $7.70 an hour, totaling $16,000 a year. While at the station, Zoga had to dress nicely, but had trouble affording nice haircuts and clothes. For her birthdays, she started asking for nice clothes she could wear on the job.

Zoga started out her career in a small town, while other graduates went to LA to found jobs that they were unable to get. Zoga stated that getting a job in the journalism industry, “doesn’t really work that way.”

After four years, Zoga moved to a station in Tulsa, Ok., called KTUL where she worked two years, before going to the station where she currently works, KMOV, in St. Louis, Mo.



Categories: Features, Junior Journalists

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