Trending Reporter Jailene Cuevas | SCSU JRN ’19

If it’s trending, Jailene Cuevas is on it. Cuevas, who graduated from Southern in 2019 with a B.S. in journalism, is a trending reporter for Hearst Connecticut, where she gets to cover anything and everything pop culture in the state. She started her career on the assignment desk for WTNH in New Haven.

Interview by Sarah Shelton, SCSU JRN ‘23. Answers were condensed and edited in 2022.

When you left Southern, how did you get started?

It was really hard. I was applying to jobs nonstop. I’ll be honest, I always saw myself on TV. I always wanted to do something in broadcasting. You think if you have that confidence you’re gonna get a job right away, but in reality, it does take time. And it took me around a year to get a job. My first job in news was at WTNH in New Haven. 

I’m very passionate about entertainment and pop culture and making a difference in communities. I want to tell those stories. I want to be able to make a difference. The way you do that is by getting your sources, backing it up and doing your research.

How did Southern prepare you for your career?

Being on WSIN radio station, even though my show was all about what’s going on in the world, again, that’s what I write about every day. It’s about what’s going on in the world or at least a world being Connecticut. It’s just giving you the platform to really stay true to yourself. Tell those stories, not only using your voice, but using theirs.

What advice would you give to journalism students?

Honestly, to never give up. I think that’s probably cliche, but it’s the truth. It’s not going to be easy getting a job. 

I, luckily, got my job during the pandemic, which was probably one of the hardest times for people to even get a job. 

People were getting laid off, people just didn’t want to work, and, it can get discouraging getting all those no’s. But use those no’s as motivation, especially if this is something that you love and something that you’re passionate about like you’re not just going to give up on it.

Do you have a hobby or activity you do on the side?

I think my favorite hobby is just being in front of a camera. I think on my days off and everything I like to practice being in front of a camera to really practice on my camera appearance, my knowledge, how everything comes together. I like to teach myself how to use different software for video editing, audio. 

I just live it every single day. I just practice my craft every day.