Haley Joelle Ott says when she was starting out in journalism, the only way to do the stories she wanted to do was to do as much as possible all by herself. That meant learning every part of the production and reporting process, from research to shooting, from editing to writing.
It was a strategy that paid off and helped her achieve her goal to report from the field.
“I love talking to people, listening to people’s stories. It might sound cheesy, but I want to make the world a better place, and I think journalism can do that,” Ott said. “It’s an adventure, meeting people, going places. It’s a real privilege.”
A digital reporter/producer with CBS News in London, Ott’s adventures have taken her across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
She has worked for outlets including Al Jazeera, Monocle, and Vice, building on a graduate degree from the London School of Economics and a degree in broadcast journalism from City University London.
She says she’s grateful for the opportunity to work in Mexico and collaborate with other female journalists during the fellowship and in the future.
“This training has been great because it’s geared specifically to issues that women face reporting in the field and solutions specifically tailored for women journalists,” she said. “Reporting can be lonely. Opportunities to meet other women doing similar work don’t come up that often because we don’t gather in one place.”
She’s enjoying the chance to report in Mexico at a crucial time.
“The point of journalism is to show people the world in ways that are relevant to them. So I’d be failing in my job if it wasn’t clear why what’s going on in Mexico, why the story I’ve chosen to tell as an IWMF Fellow, is interesting and relevant to an American audience,” she said.
— Raquel Maria Dillon, Fall 2018 Mexico Reporting Fellow