Shannon Longworth '14, an investigative reporter and anchor for Straight Arrow News, visited the Sacred Heart Multimedia Journalism via Zoom on October 1. She spoke to students and coached the anchors.
Sacred Heart Greenwich seniors Olivia Christensen, Lé-Anne Johnson, Eloise Moulton, Isabelle Pipher, Sofia Pye, and Lilly Thompson will study film, journalism, and media at their respective universities next year. These five seniors will utilize the skills they have learned in Sacred Heart’s media programs to pursue their passions in the news and communications industry.
The Sacred Heart Greenwich Alumnae Media Network presented the “Mix and Mingle: Navigating the Media Industry” event on November 18. Panelists included five Sacred Heart Greenwich alumnae, Ms. Kate Benjamin '11, Ms. Caroline Keller '13, Ms. Erica Jorgensen '04, Ms. Erin Manning '13, and the emcee of the event, Ms. Caroline Burch '15.
Grace Sutherland '16 graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from USC. She said, “The Broadcast Journalism department was the greatest outlet for me. Yes, it was a class, but I always looked at it as the peak of my day. Because of the Broadcast department, I was able to find my loves of news, politics, and film. I learned the unpredictable nature of the news is what I love. I love that every day is different. I learned the basic ideals of patience, spontaneity and quick thinking.”
Written by Leah Principe
Shannon Longworth '14, an investigative reporter and anchor for Straight Arrow News, visited the Sacred Heart Multimedia Journalism via Zoom on October 1. She spoke to students and coached the anchors. While at Sacred Heart Greenwich, she was an active member of the "Today from the Heart" show in the Media Studies program. Ms. Longworth went on to attend Boston College where she got a BA in English and Communications, and later received a MS in Journalism from Northwestern.
Students were able to get academic and career driven advice from Ms. Longworth in a question and answer session. She shared a behind the scenes look at how she got to the position she is in today, which included training with voice lessons and studio time. She emphasized the importance of having mentors. Specifically for Ms. Longworth, her mentors included producers in local news and in the documentary field.
Ms. Longworth’s journey to becoming an investigative reporter and anchor took a few turns along the way. She had always imagined herself as a lawyer, and even signed up for the LSATs but when it came time to buy the books, she found herself hesitating. She decided to follow her heart and dive deeper into the field of journalism and writing and get more industry level experience at Northwestern where she ended up being in front of the camera.
“I couldn’t really imagine myself [anchoring] in high school. It didn’t align with my personality. …I remembered being happiest when I was editing in Final Cut, and filming creative narratives and telling stories, so that kind of stuck out in my head, and I kept going back to it. So then I had to push past my fears," Ms. Longworth said.
Prior to her career at Straight Arrow News, she worked in local news as a multimedia journalist in both California and New York. Her job as a multimedia journalist pushed her to get experience with all aspects of production.
She advised the students, “If you want to be on camera these days, you have to start out as a multimedia journalist, which means you shoot, edit, write and perform everything yourself."
Ms. Longworth spent one-on-one time with the anchors of the Today from the Heart news show. She offered feedback on the script for the show and gave tips that will help the anchors feel more comfortable on air.
Director of Media Studies Ms. Ellyn Stewart said, "I am grateful to Shannon for taking the time to speak to our students. She is a role model who showed students how it is possible to converge multiple interests including law, history, and politics into a successful media career. On a personal note, it was inspiring to see how Shannon transformed from a quiet student who preferred to work behind the scenes to the confident on-air anchor and reporter she is today."
For more content from Ms. Longworth, watch the interview she conducted with History Department Chair Mr. Vinny Badagliacca last spring.