Pounding the pavement to find the next big story and anchoring a popular online news station while making time for homework and play practice is part of a typical day for anchorwoman and Slippery Rock University freshman Morgan Koziar.
While her peers may have years of experience in the freshman public relations major, that hasn’t stopped her from taking on her fair share of responsibilities as part of a team of reporters from her town’s new station, Wellsboro Home Page. The exclusively online site is a place where Wellsboro, Pennsylvania residents can go to find out information on everything from the latest festival to the weather to the happenings of Wellsboro High School, which is how Koziar, 18, got her start.
As part of her high school graduation requirements, Koziar had to job shadow in a field that she was interested in pursuing after college, which is what led her to the station run by John and Sara Vogt. After auditioning and learning the basics of video editing and scriptwriting, she landed an after-school job that had her working at the station three days a week.
“I didn’t do as much on-camera work after school, but once the summer came, I did so much work anchoring and going out into the field to do interviews,” Koziar said. “It’s a family-run business that’s really booming right now in our town, and I was happy to be a part of it.”
Koziar was responsible for coming up with her own story ideas that were generally aimed at bringing attention to the positive aspects of the community. One of the most memorable stories that she has done during her time with the station allowed her to take flight with a local pilot.
“I was able to interview a pilot, and he let me take the controls for a little bit and fly the plane,” Koziar said.
John Vogt, 64, serves as the owner of Wellsboro Home Page, and was eager to start the station to provide his community with an outlet to get the news by taking advantage of the new media resources available today. The station was just launched on Jan. 6, and a lot of its success during its first year has to do with viewers’ reception to Koziar.
“Morgan was a huge part of getting us on the air the first year,” Vogt said. “We took one look at her and thought she had pizzazz, and we put her in training right away.”
Vogt and his wife were looking for students to join their team who had values aligned with the foundation on which they built Wellsboro Home Page. Koziar fit in with the station because of her heart and her integrity, said Vogt.
“You don’t feel like you have to protect yourself when she interviews you,” Vogt said. “In an interview with Morgan, people open up to her and give good interviews because they don’t feel threatened.”
As for Koziar’s plans for her future with the station, she intends to go back to work over breaks to bring fresh ideas to the table and cover stories that haven’t been done before, while managing to stay true to the stories that the town enjoys.
“I’m excited to go back to Wellsboro Home Page,” Koziar said. “It’s a stressful job interviewing someone on camera and making them feel comfortable, and there’s a lot of stress to get the story out so it can air tomorrow morning, but it’s fun.”
As Wellsboro Home Page continues to grow its online presence and expand to other markets, Koziar is waiting to decide whether she wants to continue working at the station after college.
“I’ll always have a tie to them because I was one of their first anchors, and I would love to grow with them,” Koziar said.