Alumna transfers high school skills to profession



Alumna Ariana Lipkin, who graduated from the Bay in 2011,never thought her dream of working for a major news station would come true. However, today she is the Spectrum News television broadcast producer in Austin, Texas. As a news producer, she is responsible for making sure the news gets on television in a quick and accurate manner.

“I never gave up hope that I would someday accomplish my long-term goal of working for a news station in a major market,” Lipkin said.

Her responsibilities include pitching, developing and creating original content. She also oversees the reporters, verifying that they turn in their stories on time, edits videos, guides the directors as to what to put on screen, tells the anchors what to say and makes sure no one embarrasses themselves on television.

“It’s a lot of responsibility because if something goes wrong in the show, it’s on me and I need to accept that,” Lipkin said, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I could never have a normal-paced office job after this.”

Lipkin said she was interested in the news field because she wanted to make an impact on other people’s lives and help them, even if it was only in a small way.

“For me, bringing people the information they use to protect themselves is the perfect use of my talents,” Lipkin said. “In a world filled with an abundant amount of negativity, I wanted to bring some positivity to people’s lives, even if it’s just telling them what’s going on in their community.”

Participating in the Bay’s Television Production class (CBTV) helped to guide her in her decision to go into this industry.

“When I took the TV Production class freshman year, I fell in love with it, ” Lipkin said. “I wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of live production and decided that’s what I wanted to do after I graduated.”

The skills she learned over her four years at the Bay have translated to the present day and benefited her immensely. She learned how to use a camera, edit videos, write stories and direct a show.

“I can’t help but think how appreciative I am to Mr. Doster and CBTV for teaching me these techniques,” Lipkin said. “When I use them, I don’t even think about what I’m doing because they come naturally to me.”

She also entered in every TV and news competition that she was able to, as she said it was a good way to test what she had been learning. Some of the competitions were Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA), Skills USA, Student Television Network (STN) and an honorable mention for a student Emmy.

“[These competitions] forced me to think outside the box and learn where I needed to improve,” Lipkin said. “[For] some competitions, you have limited time and resources to finish your project. You need to learn how to get the job done no matter the obstacle.”

Lipkin also interned with Broward Teen News where she worked on a feature story for a whole quarter to ensure perfection. This helped her by adding relevant experience on her college resume and showed that she was passionate and committed to her future career.

“[This internship] gave me the time to really focus on a story and how to put it together,” Lipkin said. “Being able to linger on the process really helps you significantly improve, and now I can help a reporter to write content or a story in less than a day.”

In her Advanced Placement (AP) Literature class at the Bay, she learned how to analyze different types of writing, find themeaning behind why a piece of literature was written and why it’s important. She credits this skill to her teacher, Simone Waite.

“The ability to analyze an author’s motivations actually comes in handy in journalism,” Lipkin said. “Everything that goes on air has a story behind it that we want to portray to viewers and this skill is significantly easier for me than other producers.”

Mrs. Waite said that she is aware of Lipkin’s current career and remembers her as loving AP Literature. She said she predicted that Lipkin would go far in life, no matter what career path she chose to take.

“She was always a good writer and was involved with TV Production and Newspaper,” Mrs. Waite said. “She was a top student with an ethical way of viewing the world and had a strong work ethic.”

While attending the University of Florida (UF), Lipkin tried to take advantage of every opportunity she could, as she was always up for learning something new. Her big break came when she had the chance to intern for NBC News Miami Bureau, which produces the content for the “Today Show” and “NBC Nightly News” for the southeastern region of the United States.

“Before I took that internship I was more focused on being a reporter,” Lipkin said. “My internship with NBC helped me realize that what I really enjoyed was producing.”

After Lipkin graduated from UF, she worked at WCJB, the ABC affiliate in Gainesville, but said she wanted to challenge herself by finding a job outside of her home state of Florida.

“I knew that it would be more difficult to find jobs outside of Florida because people in the state have loyalty to their natives, but I was ready to start a new chapter in my life,” Lipkin said.

After applying and having a phone interview, Lipkin was hired by Spectrum News. She packed her bags and headed to Austin, Texas and started to work for them in May of 2016.

“It was nerve-racking, moving away from the home that I’ve always known, but I was ready to leave Florida and start this amazing opportunity,” Lipkin said.

Lipkin said that she feels she’s completed her goal of impacting people’s lives, as Spectrum just finished doing their wall-to-wall coverage on Hurricane Harvey.

“I was lucky enough to go out and field produce during the storm. Everyone we ran into was just trying to do whatever they could to help others,” Lipkin said. “It was a really tough experience, but I’m grateful to have had it.”

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