Jackie YooOctober 2, 2018
Jackie Yoo is multinational journalist specializing in video and multimedia production, broadcast and radio. She has experience working in newsrooms, documentaries, directing on-air live shows and field production. Currently, she is a desk assistant/production assistant at ABC News in Washington, DC. Prior to joining ABC News, Jackie worked for Radio Free Asia in DC and Arirang TV in South Korea, covering politics, breaking news, North Korea’s foreign policy, and much more.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
I was a reporter, videographer, and anchor at Truman Media Network TV (then News 36) my first three years, and then I worked as a producer my last year at Truman. I was also a co-captain of Illusion Danz Team, a multicultural hip-hop dance team on campus.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait? Why?
I did, but I took a year to work in the field before I went to Georgetown University to pursue a Master’s Degree in journalism. I worked in South Korea right after graduating from Truman.
What was your first job after graduation?
I worked as a television script writer and an assistant director for Arirang TV, an English-based global television network in South Korea.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
Right now, I work as a desk assistant/production assistant for ABC News in the DC Bureau, covering everything politics related! I assist in producing and coordinating ABC’s Good Morning America and World New Tonight shows. Sometimes I’ll be out in the field producing correspondent’s live shots and other times I will be inside helping coordinate and produce correspondent’s packages.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
Studying Communication is about more than just “being able to communicate.” While in school, the COMM classes that I took gave me skill sets that I could apply to other classes, presentations and projects.
When I entered the work force, the COMM classes I took helped prepare me to succeed — from writing professional e-mails, to contributing a deeper level of communication and interpersonal skills in every environment. The COMM education especially helped me to connect better with people who I met for the first time during interviews. I didn’t realize it then, but now I know the importance of these core COMM classes.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
To be honest, I did not understand how Communication Ethics added to my journalistic skill sets. I always questioned myself on how ethics would play a role in my journalism career. After a year in the workplace, I realize the important role ethics plays in my profession. In graduate school, I was able to recall the case studies we analyzed at Truman with a new perspective.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
Definitely taking part in redesigning the entire Truman Media Network TV — from the new logo designs, training, segments, team, schedule and so much more. Every item in TMN-TV crossed my desk during the production process. I was honored to be a part of a team that coordinated and launched creative, original segments including our first ever talk show, Yoo and Me Tonight (Editor’s note – check out an episode here). These efforts opened up opportunities for future journalism students to create their own shows. I am forever grateful for this experience at Truman.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
To this day, I thank Truman for giving me hands-on experience beyond writing. I have been able to excel in challenging roles throughout my six year career because of the rigor I experienced working in the Truman studio. To this day, I regularly communicate with professors at Truman that challenged me as a student and now mentor me in my career. Their endless support and guidance has been foundational in helping me become the journalist I am now.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
First of all, get involved with TMN! Write, produce, or DJ for one of the TMN outlets.
Second, dedicate time to actually connect with the world-class professors we have available at Truman. Truman professors truly care about each student being successful. Professors will see your hard work and guide you to the right opportunities for your growth.
A perfect example would be when Dr. Smith asked me to be a TA for COMM 355: Broadcast Production (now called Digital Video Production) back in Spring 2014. I was excited to be back in the same class — this time, as a teacher’s assistant. I was able to gain even more knowledge by mentoring students and assisting Dr. Smith during that class.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
Be a one-woman (or -man) band. I cannot stress that enough. In this moment of time, journalism isn’t just about writing or being in front of the camera anymore. You need to learn all aspects of journalism for all platforms (digital, broadcast, radio, etc.), so that when you are put on spot, you will be able to show your versatility.
Other than that, be a go-getter, team player, and a leader that can be proactive in any situation or story that comes your way. In the end, those who create opportunities for themselves will get the chance to showcase their skills.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
Sometimes I miss walking out of Barnett Hall the next morning after staying up all night editing or doing work in the computer lab. That morning air was actually really nice. I used to joke around telling everyone that my dorm room was in Barnett Hall and that my suite-mate was Jess, our then editor-in-chief of Detours magazine. Professors would often ask us what time we went home and we would say, “We are already at home, in Barnett Hall.”
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“Show, don’t tell!” – A famous quote from Dr. Yaquinto!
Perhaps a little better – “Find your voice.”
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
I would teach Multimedia Documentary Storytelling.
Journalists should be able to tell stories in a multimedia platform. You should constantly be asking yourself, “How can I rewrite this headline on Twitter?” “What element of this story could be turned into a video?” “Which photos best represent the story?” Any story can be developed into various angles. It is important that journalists are able to show versatility to reach global audiences. For this reason, I truly believe a multimedia storytelling class is essential!
For students who are more interested in telling compelling profile stories, I would highly recommend teaching the documentary style of storytelling. This would require not only strong journalistic skills, but also filming and editing skills.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
Being a female minority in this industry can be tough. At times, you feel underestimated as a female or that you are not getting the same opportunities as others. Sometimes you feel like you need to try ten times harder than others to even reach the standard level. Do not ever let anyone doubt your abilities. Speak up, be proactive make mistakes, and then learn from them! Don’t ever do the bare minimum, seek and create opportunities that help you grow into the professional you dream to be!
Want to see some of Jackie’s work at ABC? Here is a story about the TV show Madam Secretary and here is a story on Facebook removing Alex Jones and Info Wars.
If you would like to learn more of Jackie’s story, you can follow her on Twitter.