ABC News reporter inspired by faith

Taylor University Multimedia Journalism the majors craft messages with consumer insight, Christian ethics and a passion for truth. The program empowers budding journalists to tell stories not only through printed words, but also through design, photography, audio, and video. With courses that include news and investigative reporting, feature and magazine writing, web design, creative non-fiction writing, and PR campaign production, students enter the labor market with a wide range of storytelling tools.

Alumna Abigail Roberts ’19 is now using the skills she developed in her role as an anchor producer at ABC News. As she reflects on her time at Taylor, she also provides insight into how her faith impacted her work as a journalist.

Seize the power of history

Roberts grew up in the Middle East as the child of aid workers. Her parents worked with refugees, helping them deal with trauma, emotions and loss. In high school, on her days off, she could hang out with them and watch them do the work of gracefully holding people’s stories. These experiences have taught her to listen well and ask relevant questions. She realized that she loved the power of stories and was good at telling them.

After graduating from high school, Roberts took a year off to serve with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) to discern whether or not God was calling him to Taylor. During this season, the Lord repeatedly confirmed to him that writing was his calling. After her gap year, she decided that Taylor was where she wanted to start a career in journalism.

“I just knew education was hugely important, and I wanted it to be from a Christian perspective with teachers who really care about nurturing you and uplifting you, not just as a successful student, but also as a as a leader of both Christian and secular communities,” Roberts said. “I wanted to know that I would have skills that could apply anywhere, and go to a liberal arts college gives you such a wide range.

In addition to courses such as social media strategy, magazine and feature writing, and advanced media writing, Roberts has also worked for Taylor’s award-winning student newspaper, echo. Students who write for on-campus publications gain a wealth of experience meeting deadlines, interviewing sources, and covering true stories.

“In the journalism department at Taylor, they really teach you how to write well, and that’s the most important skill,” Roberts said. “Even though I work in broadcast, I write for our social media, I write for our scripts, and it’s about being concise and fast and AP-style…Taylor has done an incredible job of making sure I had that skill.”

Working in audiovisual media

In her role at ABC, Roberts assists in the production process for 30-minute broadcast segments. She edits and cuts footage, interviews and presents stories found on social media or through in-person reporting, in addition to various other responsibilities. Work keeps her on her toes and she loves that every day can bring something different.

Working in broadcast news was a learning experience for Roberts. With the Covid-19 pandemic making headlines for the two years, many of the sources she interviewed were families who had lost loved ones to the virus. Stepping into this widespread grief, she turned to her favorite storyteller to bring her faith to his work.

“Jesus understood and used the power of the story, and I love that,” Roberts said. “I feel like I can do that in my work and in my life when I go to share their story or choose to have compassion… If someone has just experienced a loss, how can I comfort them? If I’m doing a happy story, how can I give space to honor that person and celebrate with them? He gives the verse “Rejoice with those who rejoice; crying with those who cry,” took on a whole new meaning while working at ABC.

Sometimes Roberts has even had the opportunity to pray for families who are open about their faith. She said there are many days when she has to lean on the Lord for strength, but one of her biggest post-grad lessons was finding her primary identity in Christ instead. from his work. She takes courage knowing that God sees her as more than just a journalist, but as a beloved daughter.

She carries these truths with her as she continues to honor the image of God in those she interviews, whether they discuss the Covid-19 vaccine or share how they knit Bernie Sanders’ mittens.

“I think what I love most about Jesus is that he always met people where they were – whether it was the woman by the well, or Zacchaeus in a tree, or the disciples near of their boats, Jesus met them there,” Roberts said. . “I find so much joy in knowing that Jesus cared about the person in front of him…He was like, ‘I’m going to meet you in the middle of your story.’ He was ready to go down or was ready to go high – whether he was eating with rich tax collectors or the poorest of the poor, Jesus was focused on the person before him.

To learn more about Taylor’s multimedia journalism majors and concentration options, explore the careers they offer or speak to Dr. Alan Blanchard, Associate Professor of Journalism, at [email protected] Plan your visit today.