Stephanie Buffamonte begins her day at 3:00 a.m. as a morning news reporter at WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin. Her busy schedule allows for just enough time to grab her gear and head out for the morning live report.
“I’m a one-man-band, which most people are when they first get started out in the journalism field. I shoot the video, I record my own live shot, I write my scripts, I produce my scripts and I also report,” she said.
Buffamonte, 23, graduated in 2015 from Loyola University Chicago, magna cum laude as journalism major with a concentration in broadcast.
Being a New York native, Buffamonte attended Suny Old Westbury to pursue a degree in marketing. While there, she joined the TV club, which sparked her interest in film. One day, the director of the TV club asked her to step out from behind the scenes and in front of the camera.
“I loved it, I just really, really, loved it,” she said. “I thought it was just truly amazing to share a story. You’re sharing someone’s story with everyone and not everyone gets to do that, and it’s really, really cool. That’s when I decided to go to Loyola, to be in Chicago, and go to a great journalism school. From here, I was totally inspired.”
While at Loyola, Buffamonte enrolled in various broadcast courses, and produced and reported for Loyola’s campus television and radio stations. Working on the Lunchtime News show at WLUW, 89.7 FM, alongside Professor Beth Konrad, Buffamonte was asked to go out and report on a story developing in downtown Chicago. Racing off the 147 bus stop in front of Macy’s, after gathering the story, she had less than two hours to edit the material before having to report it live.
“After doing that, I was even more assured that this is something that I really wanted to do, it was just so exhilarating and I thought that course was pretty amazing, because you actually get to go live and have that feeling of pressure – being in the industry that pressure is real,” Buffamonte said.
Buffamonte’s time at Loyola was spent interning for various television and radio networks such as, NBC-5 Chicago, CBS-2 Chicago, WTTW Chicago Tonight, and Vocalo Radio.
“Being at Loyola, take advantage of the opportunities that you have. You have all the equipment, you have the opportunity to go out shoot stories, make packages and you want to take that because when it comes to the end of the day, if you want to be a journalist you need experience,” Buffamonte said.
From being a New York native, traveling to Chicago and transferring to pursue her career in Wausau, Wisconsin, Buffamonte advises not to look at such circumstances as obstacles but as opportunities to grow. She views her moves from major cities to a small town as a learning opportunity. Accomplishing so much at such a young age, Buffamonte is excited to work for the morning news show at WSAW-TV.
“I’m on from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.,” she said. “I come up for three minute segments called hits throughout the show. It’s really cool to get people started and ready for the day, you’re the first face that they see, and it’s kind of cool.”
BY MARISOL SALGADO