Alumni Profile: Lindsey Knox '07
Embrace the unknown: Advice from a former Park Scholar
By John Vogan '14
For Park Scholar alumna Lindsey Knox ’07, the idea of getting comfortable in life is, well, a rather uncomfortable one. From her first cold-calling days at ICTV’s Newswatch 16 to her current work at CNN, this innate rule to push outside the boundaries of the familiar has guided her pursuit of television news.
Knox used to live in her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She grew up there, interned for a local TV station during college, and through that connection even got a job offer before graduating. She accepted, and from May 2007 to the end of 2009 she produced for WFMZ Channel 69 News, all while surrounded by family and friends. Life was good.
Cue major life change.
“I knew that I had to push myself outside of my comfort zone,” she said. “When I start to feel comfortable, that’s the danger zone. If you get too comfortable, before you know it you’re stuck and five years have gone by.”
Knox said the experience she gained in Allentown was invaluable, but the limited media market there prompted her to begin a new job search.
That search would land her in Atlanta, Georgia, where she began working in 2010 as a writer for CNN Newsource, followed by the HLN show Morning Express with Robin Meade.
Aside from her boyfriend — and now fiancé — who also made the 800-mile move down for a position at CNN, Atlanta was unfamiliar territory that took some getting used to.
“Once you get out of college, it’s harder to make friends,” she said. “You feel like you’re asking people out on dates when you say, ‘Hey, let’s grab lunch or a coffee.’”
Knox admits big changes are hard but a necessary and oftentimes beneficial part of life. She did make new friends and connections soon enough — even taking up a few new hobbies like cooking along the way — and, three years later, Atlanta is still home.
Earlier this year, Knox switched it up again and became a writer/producer for CNN Domestic. She works on the weekend show, as well as on Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield, which airs Monday through Friday (with Lindsey working on this show on Mondays and Tuesdays).
So what news stories does this former Park Scholar like to report on best?
“Any stories that I come across where it’s about people helping other people or doing good for their community — that is what I’m passionate about.”
It’s not every day Knox gets to work on those stories, which everyone wants to cover, but she hears of them often from a neighboring department, CNN Heroes.
“They highlight stories of people really being heroes in their own communities,” she said. And that kind of stuff I just find really inspiring and uplifting.”
Over Alumni Weekend at Ithaca College, Knox passed on to current Park Scholars some wise advice her father gave her about using the early years of a career to really explore and discover what you like and don’t like.
“You want to be on a little bit of a path maybe, but if you need to make a lateral move to get over to somewhere else, do it. It’s not always just a straight shot,” she said.
“There’s really no point in your life where it stops being stressful, or suddenly you say, ‘I have arrived. Now I’m done and complete,’” she laughed. “You’re always constantly working at it. Once you can find that perspective where you realize you’re always working towards the next thing, learning new things … It’s always going to be different and a little unsure, but graduating is not all that scary. It’s just the first new thing in that process.”
Six years ago, Knox said, she could have never imagined herself where she is now. She thinks the natural progression of her career is to move into more production, but one thing has remained constant: never getting too comfortable.
“I always try to keep my eyes and ears open to see what piques my interest,” she said. “You have to try new things in order to grow.”