One on One with Wanda Starke
By Cayla Webster
JOMC Journal Contributor
Wanda Starke has worked for WXII 12 news station since 1994. Starke is the co-anchor along with Cameron Kent on the weekday 5, 6 and 11 p.m. news. Starke produces “A Place to Call Home” weekly about children who are waiting to be adopted, the segment is important to Starke because she was adopted as a child. Starke has received numerous awards including ThePresident’s Award for Volunteer Service, The Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Excellence Award Honoring Women in Media from UNCF and the Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families from the Child Welfare League of America.
The JOMC Journal recently caught up with Starke and, through email, she shared parts of her life story and comments about being a journalist.
JOMC Journal: Who has influenced you the most?
Starke: “My mother and father still influence me the most because they taught me at a young age the morals and respect to carry on through live. Even though they are no longer living, I know that they are with me each day and help me live out my dream; I regret that I did not interview them,” Starke said.
JOMC Journal: When did you know that you wanted to be a journalist?
Starke: “When I was in elementary school I loved reading the paper with my father, it was something that we did every Sunday. By the time I was in high school my favorite subject was English and I also worked for the yearbook. When I went to college at The University of Richmond, I worked for just about anything that could help me gain experience. My love for journalism developed at a young age,” Starke said.
JOMC Journal: What do you love most about your job?
Starke: “During my career I have interviewed many great people of all backgrounds. I have interviewed Mike Tyson, President Barack Obama, James Brown, and Phylicia Rashad. The list goes on. I also love being able to cover the news each day with my colleagues,” Starke said.
JOMC Journal: What books influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?
Starke: “I love Maya Angelou, she is one of the wisest women that I know, and her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is one of my favorite books to read. Angelou influence me a lot through her words and thoughts, she is my favorite person to interview,” Starke said.
JOMC Journal: Career advice for aspiring African-American news anchors?
Starke: “Never give up, and never let anyone tell you that you cannot do anything because of the color of your skin. Gain knowledge in everything that pertains journalism; reporting, writing, editing, producing. Do not expect to start at the top right after college, start at the radio or TV station at your college now.”