Sara McCloskey '15 knew moving around the country was part of the job. McCloskey came to Ithaca from Norwalk, Connecticut. After graduation, she landed a job at the Cayuga Radio Group before transitioning into TV news broadcasting in Colchester, Vermont. Now, McCloskey is a multimedia journalist at WRIC Channel 8 in Richmond, Virginia. “There are so many fun cities. You have to start little to get started. I was able to experience different parts of the country,” said McCloskey.
McCloskey knew from an early age that she loved storytelling. In high school, she realized that journalism was her passion. McCloskey was the editor-in-chief of her high school paper. When she toured Ithaca College and The Ithacan, she saw how motivated everyone was in the Park School.
“Ithaca people are a certain kind of people. Every time I meet an Ithaca person, they get me in a totally different way,” said McCloskey.
While at IC, she worked for both radio stations, VIC and WICB. Her passion in radio led her to one of her first jobs at the Cayuga Radio Group. Soon after, McCloskey made her way to TV news in Vermont where she was both a reporter and a producer.
“From radio to TV was a hard transition, but the writing was the same. It’s all about writing and reporting and having a camera or device to record on. Now we can do everything with our phone. Although the media is constantly changing, if you can’t write, you can’t get through it,” said McCloskey.
During her time at IC, McCloskey took her educational experience beyond the Park School when she and several other Park students traveled to Selma, Alabama, for the 50th anniversary of a landmark moment in civil rights history: Bloody Sunday. The trip to Alabama gave her the opportunity to retrace the steps of the demonstrators, retelling the story of Bloody Sunday while working for NBC Nightly News to uncover stories that had not yet been told. “Being able to see and feel all of this emotion and history was such a powerful moment. I worked with a lot of women of color, and it was amazing to hear their perspective,” said McCloskey. “It’s important to hear from those who are historically not heard from.”
McCloskey thanks the Park Center for Independent Media and Jeff Cohen for helping her find her voice in journalism.
“I still consider myself an ‘Indie’ reporter because of what Jeff Cohen taught me. I learned from working with [the organization] Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting that our job is to not only be a historical record to everything that happens; our job is to find those answers. The overall education at Ithaca College exposes you to critical thinking,” said McCloskey.
McCloskey’s advice to budding journalists is to try everything at college to find out where you belong.
“If you don’t love it, don’t do it. This job is hard, and you won’t make a lot of money. You do this job because it’s a public service," said McCloskey. “This is the only thing I ever liked. This business is tough but worth it.”