Jenna Dooley, who has built a career in public broadcasting, first as a “Morning Edition” host at WUIS-FM in Springfield, Illinois, and now at WNIJ as a reporter and news director, has been elected president of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA).
“During high school in Orion, Illinois, I had an assignment to shadow someone in a field I was interested in. I shadowed a local TV reporter who had worked at WNIJ as a student and highly encouraged me to reach out to the station once I arrived on campus. So, as a freshman in the fall of 2003, I walked into the station and asked for work!”
The move paid off, and she got a job working as a board operator on nights and weekends. She also worked part-time at the station while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from NIU.
In her new role, Dooley succeeds WREX station manager Josh Morgan, who served in the role for two years.
She further talks about the relationships and professional development shared at INBA. She says:
“Everyone is so isolated personally, and that has undoubtedly seeped into our professional lives. Reporters have spent months running a marathon at a sprinting pace. It’s important that we give ourselves permission to practice the same self-care that we report to our audiences. My goal in talking to members is to ask how they are managing this stressful time and how we can work together to be a support system that they can rely on now and into the future.”
Dooley also holds a Master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
Additionally, she is a former “Newsfinder of the Year” from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU’s Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award.