Home is where the heart is

Brooke Welch knew she could not stay away from Indiana for long.
After graduating in 2004 with a degree in broadcasting and public relations, she moved to Tennessee for her first reporting job.

While there, she co-anchored the evening news programs as well as produced and shot her own footage. Welch also was offered her own talk show in Anderson County, a two-hour long program for guests to call in and talk to her.
Getting out of the television business for a couple years and working in government public relations, she always felt that draw back to the camera.
"The news is what I am supposed to be doing," she said.

Having interned the summer after graduation under Linda Jackson of NBC33 in Fort Wayne, Ind., Welch had many connections in the city, and one led her to her current position at WFFT FOX 55.

For Welch, no two days at the station are the same, and she often has to be prepared for whatever is thrown her way.

"One minute I'll be getting a dance lesson from a contestant from 'So You Think You Can Dance,' and the next minute I will have to go report on a fatal car accident or a downtown shooting," she said.

Huntington University prepared her to be both in front of and behind the camera and gave her the confidence to go into the field on her own.

"I am a one-man band," Welch said. "I take my own equipment, meet the people, edit stories and have to get ready to present it on air in the evening."
Through working with Huntington's on-campus news program HTV, Welch said she felt prepared to write, produce and interview all of the skills needed for her current job.

"HTV is such a well-run news show. You get a good idea of how it would be run in the real world," she said. "You can spend time trying to direct or report."
Welch praised the professors of the broadcasting department for making the difference at Huntington especially compared to other large institutions with similar programs.

"They set HU apart from other schools. Since you have a smaller class size, the professors can take an interest in their students," she said. "At a bigger school there is going to be less opportunity to try out the other avenues."
Welch also credits her internship experience as giving her a leg up in the broadcasting industry.

"The news is always a time commitment, and it is very competitive," Welch said. "But internships are priceless. I worked 40 hours a week at NBC33, and I can still call the people I worked with and check in or ask for advice."
Welch said she knows Fort Wayne is where she is supposed to live and reporting is what she is supposed to be doing. She said she is grateful to Huntington for solidifying that decision for her.

"If you love the news and love broadcasting, HU is a great place to go," she said. "Get a lot of experience, do your internships, find what you're passionate about and pursue it."