Kayla Green has a passion for storytelling. While Green knew she enjoyed editing and shooting when she stepped on to the campus of The College at Brockport as a freshman, she had no idea she would leave paving the way for her peers to follow in her footsteps.
“I never really thought about [news] to be honest,” Green said. “I just kinda thought it was boring I didn’t really know anything about it.”
Green chose to major in journalism and broadcasting with a concentration media production and minor in graphic design, planning to put her skills as a videographer to good use.
“In high school and the very beginning of college I wanted to do video editing and shooting,” Green said. “My dream job would have been like making movie trailers that’s what I loved doing.”
Green recognized that no matter how much skill she had behind the camera, it was professional experience she needed in order to set her apart from her class. Looking for any opportunity to work with media, Green landed a news internship with Channel 4 in Buffalo at the end of her sophomore year.
Familiar with a T.V studio thanks to her time at the college’s Talon Television station, Green was determined to make the most out of her internship.
“I figured that they would have shooters and editors there,” Green said. “So, I decided to focus more on that.”
That same summer, Green landed another unpaid internship with a Buffalo based production company. However, the experience didn’t meet up with Green’s expectations.
“I was doing both of them at the same time and I thought I would like the production house so much more,” Green said. “But I was kind of bored.”
Though Green didn’t feel as though she was “getting out there” or getting the experience during her time at the production house, she thrived in Channel 4’s hands-on environment.
“When I got there, I was going out with reporters every day and they were letting me do my own packages and stuff,” Green said. “And I was like ‘oh, I like this.’”
That excitement was only confirmed as Green continued her time through the major, choosing classes more aligned with the multimedia journalist degree concentration rather than media production. Green’s mentor, Kim Young knows exactly when Green found her love of reporting.
“It was this moment that we do this project in that class, the live-shot, where you have to be a television reporter and do a live-shot on a story I’ve given you,” Young said. “[Kayla] loved it, she loved the experience of it.”
From that point on, Green focused on beefing up her resume with internship after impressive internship both on and off campus.
“I did the Writer’s Forum and then interned in the Communications Office in Allen, that was my freshman year,” Green said. “I was at Spectrum in Rochester in the beginning of my junior year. I cut that internship short and worked at Channel 10 as an associate producer for like two months.
Each experience gave Green a better understanding about where she could end up in the industry.
“I feel like I never would have known unless I did those internships,” Green said. “They gave me an exact idea of what it would be like. I feel like when I started at this job [at WROC] I was very prepared because I knew how it all worked.”
In the summer of 2018, Green competed against the nation’s top journalism schools for a chance to intern at CNN in Washington D.C. Not only did she get the internship, Green gained invaluable experience that helped her differentiate local and national news outlets.
“For one thing it’s just the stories,” Green said. “When I was in DC it was just all white house, all the time. Local news is more about the small stories in small towns. It’s still fast paced, but I feel like national is constantly moving.”
Ultimately, a bigger network, tends to have bigger resources. In a smaller network, reporters won’t generally have their own photographer and that’s part of what Green loves about it.
“If you’re at a smaller station you’re also shooting and editing yourself so I was like it’s kind of everything in one that I like,” Green said. “I love shooting and editing but I felt like there was a piece missing and I think it was that human connection. I just love the talking to people part.”
Passionate about giving those “small town stories” that tend to get swept up and lost in the national market a platform, Green plans to stay local for the foreseeable future.
“It was super exciting to be there [in D.C.] and everything, and maybe one day I’ll want to do that, but I like telling people’s stories,” Green said. “Yes, we are telling peoples stories but were also telling the White House’s story and it’s just very different.”
For Green, it is “the sense of community” that local news provides and that is missing at the national level.
“In local news, you’re really just getting to know the community like the law enforcement and the school districts. You’re immersing yourself in it and national that’s not really the focus,” Green said. “You’re kind of just the face of the white house or the face of whatever big is going on but like I feel like it is not as much about getting yourself into the community and making those connections.”
Though she graduated a semester early, Green feels she is armed with the tools and experiences she needs in order to continue to be successful in the field.
If you’re interested in following the rest of Green’s story, you can watch her weekdays on WROC Channel 8 in Rochester.