News Producer Jonetta Badillo | SCSU JRN ’09

Jonetta Badillo says it is a privilege to tell stories about the world — and that’s something she gets to do every day as a news producer for ABC News Live, the national network’s streaming platform. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her 2022 Space X launch coverage at ABC News Live. Badillo earned a B.S. in journalism from Southern in 2009, and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University in 2014.

Interview by Jaylen Carr, SCSU JRN ‘23. Answers were condensed and edited in 2023.

What is your job at ABC News Live like?

Currently, I’m a producer at ABC News Live, which is the streaming platform for the network. As a producer for the streaming channel, I essentially do everything from research, write, produce live segments with guests, from politicians to celebrities even producing segments with some of our correspondents.

What did you do before ABC News Live?

I landed a beat reporter position for the Middletown Press, and I covered Middlesex County, specifically Durham and Middlefield, everything from town meetings to breaking news to everything that you could think of that goes on in a town.

I went from there to News 12 The Bronx in Brooklyn, where I was an assignment editor on the assignment desk. I did that for several years before I transitioned to become a news producer. And then I left there, went to Pix11, where I was the air show producer for about two years or so.

While you were at Southern, did you get involved in campus media?

I applied for a job to work for the Southern News, the school newspaper. I did that pretty much throughout the duration of my time at Southern. I was one of the student reporters and I would cover a lot of the events on campus or any issue. I also interned at Career Services, so I did a lot of like PR and media relations.

What advice would you give current journalism students?

This is not a field for the weak and you got to have a tough skin.

You have to truly know if this is your passion or not, because a lot of people in this field don’t make the most money, but it’s a privilege to do what we do. This business is really demanding and a lot of times, depending on which newsroom you’re working in, you’re doing a job of five people.

Just don’t lose yourself in the business because it’s easy for that to happen. Just make sure that you’re always, taking care of self, especially during these times where we’re covering wars and, you gun violence. To be able to be at the forefront of history and to tell people these stories that need to be told in a nuanced and sometimes culturally sensitive way, it matters.

Just stay the course and it’ll pay off and if this is really what you want to do, it’ll pay off.

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