Alumna Amy Davis proactively welcomes journalism’s rapid changes
As an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter, UH alumna Amy Davis’ ingenuity keeps her relevant and successful in the fast-paced world of journalism.
She credits the education and experience she gained at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication for preparing her for an ever-evolving industry.
‘We had some great professors at UH who really helped shape what I knew about journalism,’ Davis said. ‘Going to UH and being able to do my internships there helped tremendously.’
‘I worked at KPRC as an intern, and I’ve always thought that had I gone to Texas Tech and interned in a newsroom in Lubbock – I was going to go to Texas Tech, and I even made it to orientation and changed my mind – I would not have gotten the experience I got from being here.’
Davis said the knowledge she gained from industry professionals at UH taught her the ropes of the television industry.
‘ ‘You just have so much more access to media professionals in the television markets (at UH),’ she said. ‘One of my professors was Richard Longoria, who was fresh off being the news director for KTRK, so he came straight from KTRK to teaching at UH.’
As a student, Davis participated in the communication school’s internship program and worked for The Daily Cougar.
‘It was great,’ Davis said. ‘It was my first experience in writing for a newspaper and before I left, I was the news editor. ”
Davis won a Lone Star Emmy for her investigative work on discrepancies in Center Point Energy’s billing practices.
‘It was very cool; I was very excited,’ Davis said. ‘You win one and then you’re like ‘I’d like another one,’ so every year you’re submitting stories.’
Davis said she loves working as a journalist, but she is well aware of the questions plaguing the field today.
‘If you talk to a journalist who graduated in 1980, they would probably say the same thing I’m saying now – that (journalism) has changed ten-fold,’ Davis said. ‘It’s sad. It’s kind of frightening because it’s what I majored in and don’t really have any backup plan right now.’
The landscape may be changing, but Davis said there will always be a need for the news.
‘We have to continue to evolve and not be afraid to learn new mediums or learn new ways of doing journalism,’ she said. ‘It may not be on TV and might not be in the newspaper, but I think now it’s just the unknown of where will I be and will I be part of that.’ ‘
One of Davis’ adaptations to the ever-changing culture of journalism is her blog, which she uses to accompany her on-air features.
‘I do my own ‘Ask Amy’ blog, which I update twice a week,’ Davis said. ‘Every story that I write I have to write a Web version, which really isn’t that difficult. I just have to make sure that we take things out like ‘we went to this shop’.”
Through her investigative reporting, Davis said she has seen the best and worst of humanity.’ These insights have made her a little more cautious.
‘It’s made me more cynical,’ Davis said.’ ‘I wouldn’t say it’s made me paranoid, but cautious, which I don’t think is a bad thing.’
Davis insists, however, this has not dampened her outlook on human nature.
‘ ‘There’s good in a lot of people and it hasn’t made me skeptical of everyone,’ Davis said. ‘I’m a little more cautious, but I see good people all the time.’ It’s mostly those people who come to me with stories who think that ‘I would never in the world have to call a reporter,’ and it’s those people that you hope you can help out.’
People can read Davis’ blog at http://www.click2houston.com/ask-amy-blog/index.html‘