Alumna reporter talks about ‘the hustle’


Photo by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Taylor Pagan,

Getting where you want to go in your career is a hustle, said Emmy-Award winning NBC Bay Area news reporter Cheryl Hurd, a California State University East Bay alumna that has been in the news reporting business for 30 years.

“Nobody is going to hand it to you,” Hurd told a group of CSUEB students during an open campus-speaking event on Feb. 1. “I’ve been through the ringer, but I didn’t give up.”

Hurd, born and raised in Vallejo, said she initially attended CSUEB with the intent to major in psychology, but that goal quickly changed when she realized she wasn’t interested in pursuing a doctorate degree. Hurd explained how she fell in love with communication and was able to dip into her creative side while getting an education.

Hurd’s first media internship was with KTVU Channel 2 News for college course credit. She worked the assignment desk and was a “glorified receptionist,” according to Hurd.

“That was my foot in the door,” said Hurd, who then took on various jobs in the broadcast news industry before landing her first “serious job” in Detroit, Michigan in 1988.

“It’s definitely not easy, and you’re going to have to go left to go right to where you want to go,” Hurd said.

During a question and answer portion with Hurd, CSUEB graduate student Lauren Pitcher asked for advice on how to get into reporting. Pitcher interned for KTVU Channel 2 News as an undergraduate student at Sonoma State University, but had difficulty branching out from her assigned work tasks.[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#006b5e”]“You have to be consistent, you have to be curious and you have to love what you do.”[/mks_pullquote]

Hurd told Pitcher it’s good to get her foot in the door, but she needs to get her foot in the door of the right department. She also recommended befriending reporters and shadowing them.

Communication major Wriaunna Brown asked Hurd how she felt about the emergence of social media and online journalism. Hurd said you have to be able to change with the times.

“I hate the fact that we’re chasing new technology,” she said, “But it’s important and we have to do it.”

Hurd explained how important it is to stay competitive in this industry. She said the work is grueling, but some parts of it are fun.

“You have to take the good with the bad,” Hurd said. “You have to be consistent, you have to be curious and you have to love what you do.”