Keeping it newsworthy

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Alexa Dumity makes her mark in media.

Despite entering Northern Arizona University with no journalism experience, Alexa Dumity embraced the challenge by establishing a legacy both in front of and behind the camera as a writer, editor, reporter, content creator, producer, and anchor for university media. More impressively, Dumity accomplished this while accelerating the pace of her education, earning her undergraduate degree in journalism in just two and a half years in 2012.

“It took a lot of work, but I set a goal and wanted to see it through,” Dumity says. “Northern Arizona University was really great in helping me -- the small class sizes helped me learn and my professors were always approachable.”

From print to broadcast

Though she originally planned to write exclusively for print journalism, Dumity explains her exposure to NAZ Today, a television broadcast that covers local news, opened her eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities, and helped to create a foundation for pursuing her dream career.

“I never thought about doing broadcast prior to NAZ Today,” Dumity says. “The print and broadcast mediums are so different in the way they convey the news, but I’m happy I had the opportunity to experience both. I feel confident from my experiences in both mediums that I could do either.”

Dumity worked with Professor Martin Sommerness as a Teacher’s Assistant in JLS 105 (Introduction to Journalism) and JLS 104 (Grammar and Style). She also served as a mentor in her role as producer and co-anchor of NAZ Today. Working with Professor Charlie Hicks, Dumity supervised a number of reporters to ensure each Thursday night broadcast ran according to script.

“I’ve had great professors that really helped me get where I am today,” Dumity says. “To them, you’re not just another face. They want to know you and help you. They’re happy for you when things go well.”

Through the course of her undergraduate career, Dumity evolved into a content creator, spending time reporting for Inside NAU, a program that highlights various facets of the university. Here, Dumity crafted a number of video packages, including a recent story on the True Blue Mural located in downtown Flagstaff.

“The more experience you have, the more jobs you’re going to get,” Dumity says. “That’s why I’m really putting myself out there and applying for everything.”

Preparing for her close-up

Prior to graduation, Dumity was recognized for her hard work around campus. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences named her the Distinguished Senior of the Year, an award that recognizes academic and extra-curricular work throughout the university.

But perhaps her most valuable honor came in the form of a graduate assistantship with NAU-TV that enables her to attend graduate school and pursue a master’s degree in creative writing, an opportunity Dumity is excited to explore.

“I’d like to expand my skills as a journalist, at least into the non-fiction sector,” Dumity says. “I just think that nowadays, you can be a journalist and you can write news, but to have a really good, persuasive story, you have to have that creative element.”

The transition from hard news to creative writing has provided an interesting change of pace, but as she continues to grow as a writer and content-creator, Dumity is grateful for the experience she’s gained at Northern Arizona University and believes it will prepare her for a future in multimedia.

“I am enjoying it immensely thus far,” Dumity says. “There is the same university community feel in the graduate college, and I am glad I stayed at Northern Arizona University for this program. They have opened so many doors for me. I’ve really grown and matured, and I don’t think I would have had the same opportunities anywhere else.”