Broadcast journalists discuss the challenges and rewards of being out in the newsroom and in the community. Hear how they have maneuver successfully in their careers, how they balance LGBTQ+ coverage and the rewards of authentically being themselves in-front of and behind of the camera.
Moderator: Mekahlo Medina
Speakers: Andres Brender, Joe Fryer, Jana Shortal, Femi Redwood
ANDRÉS BRENDER is a news reporter for Telemundo News 48, a local news station that serves the Spanish-speaking community in the Bay Area in California. As part of the Telemundo 48 team, Brender reports breaking news and the stories that are most important to Bay Area viewers. Prior to joining to Telemundo 48, Brender worked for different stations and channels, including the local Telemundo station in Los Angeles and the television channels América TeVe, Estrella, Globovisión, TV Azteca, NatGeo and Network Ten in Australia. Brender won an Emmy in the category of science and health for his report “Del Reto a la Superación.” Brender earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College and has two master’s degrees, one in international relations and another in international security, from the University of Sydney in Australia. Brender is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
JOE FRYER joined NBC News in 2013. He is a correspondent based in Los Angeles, reporting for “NBC Nightly News,” “TODAY” and MSNBC. He has covered some of the world’s biggest stories, including the Las Vegas mass shooting, Hurricane Harvey, the deadly Wine Country wildfires and 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. He has also interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars, including Madonna, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez. Before joining the network, he reported for KING 5 News, where he focused on in-depth reports and daily assignments. Fryer also worked at KARE-TV in Minneapolis, WTVF-TV in Nashville, WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and WKYT-TV in Lexington, Kentucky. Fryer’s a proud graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He has been honored with four National Edward R. Murrow Awards, including the prestigious Writing Murrow in 2006. He has been nominated for two national Emmys and has won 19 regional Emmys. His awards shelf also includes 11 regional Murrows, two National Headliners and three Sigma Delta Chi Awards.
MEKAHLO MEDINA is the co-anchor of the NBC4 weekend morning news “Today in LA,” and is also the technology and social media reporter. Medina joined NBC4 in 2006 and is one of the station’s most prolific social networkers. He’s also highly engaged with viewers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Path, a mobile social network. He uses his news stories across multiple social media platforms in both the digital sphere and on television. He is also known for leveraging the “second screen” experience by encouraging the station’s viewers to engage on Twitter and Facebook. Medina joined NBC4 as an anchor and manager of “News Raw,” a news show that aired on the station’s digital channel, which focused on hyper-local news coverage, culture, technology and social media.
Fifteen. That’s how many years JANA SHORTAL has worked as a journalist for KARE 11 news in Minneapolis; it’s also the same amount of time she has spent wondering if she could ever really be that much-needed addition to the now-defunct Destiny’s Child. But she’s for sure gonna name her first child Destiny, just to get remotely close to that brand. Other tidbits. She is from a town you’ve never heard of but it’s a 40-minute drive from St. Louis. She once sold her 10-year anniversary gift from KARE 11 to an ex so she could buy a pair of Air Jordans. Shortal graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia a very long time ago and, had it not been for a persistent journalism professor, would have spent her adult life driving the Wienermobile.
FEMI REDWOOD anchors the weekend evening newscasts and is a reporter during the week at NBC 25 and Fox 66 News. She enjoys covering breaking news but also loves telling stories that matter to the community. Her goal is to always be a better journalist today than she was yesterday. Redwood grew up in Delaware and South Carolina but calls Brooklyn, New York, her home. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and NLGJA. Redwood is a graduate of Jackson State University, a historically black college in Mississippi. She jokes that she is “Jamerican” (Jamaican and American), and is always looking for a great place to find Caribbean food. She is obsessed with antique furniture and vintage clothes.