35: A Digital Journalist Finding Balance - Confession with Olivia Smith
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In this Podcast
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Our guest... Olivia Smith
• Award-Winning Journalist •
• Host, Reporter & Producer •
• Expert Digital & Visual Storyteller •
• Certified Nutrition Specialist •
AT A GLANCE
Olivia Smith is an Emmy award-winning, multi-platform journalist based in Los Angeles. She is a Reporter at ABC News National and Good Morning America Digital, where she creates, produces and hosts original videos and content across all media platforms. Olivia covers a wide range of topics, from feature stories to breaking news, and specializes in culture, lifestyle, healthand wellness reporting. She is also a Certified Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Olivia has extensive experience with 10+ years in print, broadcast, multimedia and digital journalism, as well as with local, national and international reporting. She has worked on stories for several media organizations throughout her career, including CNN, CNNMoney, 60 Minutes, Al Jazeera, NY1 News and the Columbia Journalism Review.
CURRENTLY AT ABC NEWS & GMA
Olivia reports, hosts, presents, anchors, pitches, writes, shoots, edits and produces. She loves writing as much as she loves working with video. Olivia has reported live for ABC network television and special reports, and she is a correspondent across ABC’s digital platforms for live reports and segments.
Throughout her career at ABC, Olivia helped build two digital video teams from the start. She was one of the first people hired to the original video unit for national news, before moving on to her current role with Good Morning America. She joined the GMA video team from the beginning as well, helping to build and develop content for the platform pre-launch. In addition, Olivia is also the point person for digital video on the West Coast, where she assists with breaking news as well as manages and supervises development and production to establish a presence and expand coverage.
Olivia regularly focuses on using innovative methods to create visual stories for digital audiences, and she has contributed to ABC shows. At times, she operates as a one-woman band, from pitching to shooting, editing, reporting and producing her own stories. Olivia does everything from in-depth magazine-style and documentary pieces to experimenting with new technology for storytelling. She has created, hosted and anchored different series and video franchises, including a live stream show called Healthy Living, explainer videos on everyday oddities and health and science facts called Did You Know That? and an interactive quiz show called Know The News.
Olivia created and produced the investigative series Underground, which you can find on Hulu and OTT platforms along with other Digital Features. She has developed and executed strategy for branded content as well. She also produced one of the first series for Facebook Watch.
HONORS & AWARDS
Olivia co-produced a documentary, Dead Horse Bay, which was the first-ever piece to be nominated and to win an Emmy Award for ABC News National’s digital unit. During her time at the digital unit, ABCNews.com was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Website. Olivia also reported for the social news team, which was nominated for the Shorty Awards.
A California native, Olivia began her journalism career at 15 with a front-page exposé for her town newspaper about a rat problem at the local high school. She wrote a weekly column on world issues for the paper as well. Olivia was also the Editor-in-Chief of her high school newspaper.
Olivia earned her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she received honors for her reporting and for her thesis on a mysterious food allergy. One of her investigative, environmental pieces was featured at the program’s first Innovation Showcase.
Olivia earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University, where she studied communications and liberal arts. During her time at NYU, Olivia wrote for the school paper as well as literary and poetry magazines. She also spent a semester living abroad in Paris, France.
Olivia has appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning to talk about social media. She has moderated panels, guest lectured at universities and spoken at events about her work and topics she covers. Olivia worked in New York City for a number of years, before relocating to Los Angeles.
When Olivia isn’t reporting, she’s most likely writing, traveling, exploring and staying active. She enjoys volunteer work and mentoring other journalists. Olivia is a member of the Online News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Journalism & Women Symposium and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
Manage your time in a way that doesn't give you anxiety
Olivia is such a fun and fresh addition to the podcast! Her experiences in journalism brings a great twist to living a fit lifestyle.
Her main goal? Finding balance with everything she has going on.
A great goal when life is nuts - limit how much you eat out, and PLAN AHEAD!
It's important to find time for yourself. Olivia's favorite way to do this is by grabbing a (physical) book! Right now she is reading Memoirs of a Geisha.
Olivia shares her experience of moving between NY and LA.
Some tips from Olivia on getting press:
- Have credentials. Major media outlets need to show that you're legit.
- If you don't have credentials, or even if you do, make sure they can verify your credibility. This can be shown through having a successful brand that is truly influencing the market.
- Pay attention to your IMAGE.
Advice From Olivia
Time management is so important, but make sure you choose a system that doesn't give you anxiety.