IRVING, Texas — Michelle Davis was in the sixth grade when the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred a little more than 13 years ago.
As if the worst attacks on United States soil transpired yesterday, Davis recalls tuning in frequently to witness the assortment of media reports surrounding a tumultuous encounter that resulted in thousands of deaths.
“And all I remember is that everyone was coming together as one,” Davis said during a recent interview.
While Davis, 25, watched intensely the various developments surrounding what Americans have deemed “9/11,” it simultaneously fueled her desire to someday embark upon a career in the mainstream media industry.
Davis, who resides in Irving, Texas, graduated last May from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/Television. Having minored in Journalism, Davis — even after 10 months removed from having completed her undergraduate studies — boasts lofty aspirations of fulfilling her dream as a broadcast journalist.
Given the compelling strides she’s made since she bolted Stephen F. Austin, Davis appears destined to someday emerge as a household name much like renowned CNN broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper, among others.
“I really enjoy watching Anderson Cooper,” Davis said. “He’s not a traditional reporter to me and he always seems to be himself no matter what.”
As Davis gears toward finding her niche in what many believe is a competitive industry in which journalists are often viewed as celebrities, much her time in the journalism arena is spent shadowing a Dallas-area media member to NBA games at American Airlines Center, where she has the luxury of watching various mainstream media personalities partake in pregame and postgame coverage.
So far, Davis has met NBA All-Stars Chris Paul, LeBron James, D’Andre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol, among others.
“The thing that has been the most inspiring about covering these NBA games is just being amongst individuals who are into the same things as I and that’s media coverage,” Davis said. “It was a bit overwhelming at first, but everyone seems so willing to give some of their wisdom when the time allowed them to do so.”
As Davis continues to cover NBA games, amongst her key objectives is to broaden her reporting, news writing, and interviewing techniques — mechanics that are especially essential for aspiring journalists.
With proper practice and more professional experiences, chances are her journalistic fundamentals will become just sharp and compelling as the pros with whom she aspires to work.
“The thing I love most about the news industry is the fact that it reaches millions all over the world and can sometimes bring us together for a common good,” said Davis, a graduate of L. D. High School in Hurst, Texas.
As she continues to work diligently toward fulfilling her journalistic dreams, Davis’ mother, Sewei Sonii, said she’s impressed with how her daughter has steadfastly pursued her making her dream of someday being thrust in front of a television camera a reality.
“Words can’t describe my feelings I have for my daughter,” Sonii said. “She was the first to graduate from college. Michelle knows how to teach and dance, but mass media is her passion. Whenever people tried to discourage her, that made her work even harder. I know this is the field that she was meant to be in. If there’s one thing I know about her, she can do anything she sets her mind to do. It may take hard word, patience and tears, but she will get where she’s destined to be in due time.”
Much like Davis did before her mother, a native of Monrovia, Liberia, gave birth to her some 2 ½ decades ago.
“Michelle is my third child and my first daughter,” Sonii explained. “My relationship with Michelle started when I was only three weeks pregnant. She literally kept me off my feet for nine months. From then, she let me know that she was here and she was here to stay.”
Chances are the mainstream media world hasn’t seen the last of this vibrant aspiring journalist who, given the commendable strides she’s made in recent months, appears destined to fulfilling her dreams.
“This road hasn’t been easy since Day 1,” said Davis, “But I will continue to apply myself in all areas when it comes to mass communication to get to where I desire to be in the future.”
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson also covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.