UConn Magazine: Live From Boston

“It’s my job, as an individual and as a journalist, to find stories that matter.”

Juliana Mazza reporting the morning news at WHDH 7 in Boston.

Juliana Mazza reporting the morning news at WHDH 7 in Boston. (Contributed photo)

Being a TV news reporter is hard. It’s not just the insane hours, rising at 2 a.m. to work the morning shift, or missing important weddings and birthdays, or never having the same days off as your partner, or being told by hurtful trolls on social media that you need to lose weight or change your hairstyle — right after you just got back from covering a blizzard where you were pelted in the face by snowflakes the size of chicken pot pies. But the most difficult part, says Juliana Mazza ’13 (CLAS), reporter and morning anchor at WHDH 7 in Boston, is being human.

“It’s really hard, meeting people at the lowest moment in their life, where they’re facing unspeakable tragedy, somebody who is on their knees in tears, and it’s your job to talk to them.”

Sometimes you hold the mike, and sometimes you hold the person.

“I did a story on Christmas Day,” says Mazza. “I was working in New Orleans, and I got sent to cover an awful car crash.” The sole survivor was the father. He lost his two-year-old, his fiancée, and their unborn child.

“I called him in the hospital, and he wanted to talk about how incredible his fiancée was, how beautiful their child was. I think he found it helpful, being able to make sure that people knew she was perfect. I don’t know if I’ve ever cried so much — that was the hardest day I’ve ever had. My boss called me and asked me if I was okay, because in my live shot from the crash, I looked devastated. Because I was. A big part of being on TV is being genuine. I’m an emotional person. I’m not gonna try to come out and be crazy tough. It took me a while to realize that it’s okay for me to be who I am, and it’s okay for people to see that.”

Read on for more.