Marina Terry: Embrace life's journey with curiousity, resilience and self-belief

Scrolling through LinkedIn, I came across Marina Terry's captivating profile. First I was drawn to her professional headshot and her powerful short biography. I sent her a request for an e-feature on Omote Ro Dhe and she quickly obliged. Interestingly, we both belong to the Communications field.

Marina Terry is a seasoned broadcast journalist and a Communications/Public Relations Expert from Sierra Leone. Marina has a loaded profile from being one of the regular faces of the popular TV breakfast show on AYV — Wake Up Sierra Leone to being one of the anchors for the AYV Prime Time News and News Brief.

Aside from serving as coordinator for the AYV Internship program, she is a prolific producer of the AYV Prime Time News. Before now, she worked in Africa Young Voices Media Empire. She was also featured on a popular TV magazine show for young people called Wetin Now?!? at Concept Multimedia, the Jimmy B show and Shake Ed Dae Extra Plus on Air radio. 

Omote Ro Dhe got chitty chatty with this ace Broadcaster and Communications Specialist where she opened up about her mission, interests, work and more. Read the excerpts below:

Can you share with us the journey that led you to become a prominent figure in the field of broadcast journalism and communications?

My journey to becoming a prominent figure in the field of broadcast journalism and communications has been marked by dedication, continuous learning, and a passion for storytelling. It began with a strong interest in current events and a desire to inform and engage audiences. Over the years, I honed my skills through education and hands-on experience, working my way up from entry-level positions to more significant roles. I embraced every opportunity to learn, adapt to new technologies, and build a strong network in the industry. Through hard work, ethical reporting, and a commitment to quality journalism, I gradually gained recognition and respect, ultimately becoming a prominent figure in the field.

You served as the coordinator for the AYV Internship program. What inspired you to take on this role, and what do you believe are the most valuable lessons that young journalists can gain from internships in the industry?

I took on the role of coordinator for the AYV Internship and volunteer program because I believe in the power of mentorship and nurturing the next generation of journalists. Every year we receive applications from various universities across Sierra Leone, where we get to see young, vibrant and energetic students. The inspiration behind this role stemmed from my own experiences as a young female journalist and the guidance I received from mentors who helped shaped my career. I wanted to pay it forward and provide aspiring journalists with similar opportunities for growth and learning. In my opinion, young journalists can gain several valuable lessons from internships in the industry: * Practical Experience: Internships offer hands-on experience in a real newsroom or media environment, allowing interns to apply what they've learned in the classroom to real-world situations. This practical experience is crucial for building skills and confidence. * Networking: Interns have the chance to connect with professionals in the field, including senior reporters, editors, and other journalists across other media institutions. Building a strong professional network can open doors for future job opportunities and collaborations. *Learning the Industry Dynamics: Internships provide insights into the inner workings of the media industry. Interns learn about editorial processes, story development, and the day-to-day operations of news organizations, which is vital knowledge for success in journalism. *Developing a Portfolio: Through internships, young journalists can build a portfolio of published work, which is essential when applying for future jobs in the field. A strong portfolio showcases their skills and demonstrates their commitment to journalism. *Ethical Standards: Internships often include exposure to ethical dilemmas and decision-making in journalism. This hands-on experience helps young journalists understand the importance of ethics and responsibility in reporting. *Adaptability: The media industry is constantly evolving. Internships teach young journalists to adapt to new technologies, platforms, and storytelling formats, preparing them for a career in a rapidly changing field. *Mentorship: Many internships provide opportunities for mentorship from experienced journalists. Mentors can offer guidance, feedback, and valuable insights into the industry, helping interns navigate their career paths. *Teamwork and Collaboration: Working in a newsroom or media organization emphasizes the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Interns learn to work with diverse teams to produce high-quality journalism. *Time Management: Meeting deadlines and managing multiple tasks is a fundamental skill in journalism. Internships teach young journalists how to prioritize and manage their time effectively. *Building Confidence: Internships can be challenging, but they also build confidence. As interns tackle assignments and interact with professionals in the field, they gain the self-assurance needed to excel in journalism. In conclusion, serving as the coordinator for the AYV Internship program was driven by my desire to empower the next generation of journalists. The valuable lessons gained from internships not only help young journalists develop essential skills but also prepare them for the dynamic and rewarding world of journalism.

As a producer of AYV Prime Time News, what are some of the challenges you've faced in delivering high-quality news content, and how have you overcome them?

Certainly, as a producer of AYV Prime Time News, I've encountered several challenges in delivering high-quality news content. Overcoming these challenges has been essential to ensure our viewers receive accurate, informative, and engaging news broadcasts. Here are some of the challenges I've faced and the strategies I've employed to address them: * Breaking News Pressure: One of the most significant challenges in news production is the pressure to deliver breaking news promptly while maintaining accuracy. To address this, we've established a well-defined protocol for verifying information from multiple sources before airing it. This involves cross-referencing details and confirming facts with reliable contacts. *Resource Constraints: Newsrooms often have limited resources, including staff, equipment, and time. To overcome this challenge, we prioritize story selection and allocate resources strategically. This ensures that we focus on stories that matter most to our audience and maximize the impact of our reporting. *Maintaining Objectivity: In today's media landscape, maintaining objectivity and avoiding bias is crucial. We've implemented editorial guidelines and regular training for our news team to uphold journalistic integrity. Fact-checking and providing balanced perspectives are integral parts of our reporting process. *Diversity and Inclusion: Ensuring diverse voices and perspectives in our reporting is a priority. We actively seek out diverse sources, viewpoints, and stories to reflect the richness of our community accurately. *Competing with Social Media: Social media platforms often break news stories before traditional news outlets. To address this challenge, we've integrated social media monitoring into our newsroom workflow. We verify information from social media sources and use these platforms to engage with our audience and disseminate news updates.

In addition to your professional accomplishments, can you share any personal philosophies or principles that have guided your career in journalism and communications?

In addition to my professional accomplishments, a few personal philosophies and principles have been instrumental in shaping my career in journalism and communications: *Truth and Integrity: Above all, I believe in the paramount importance of truth and integrity in journalism. My commitment to factual reporting and ethical practices is unwavering. *Empathy and Compassion: I strive to tell stories that resonate with people on a human level. Understanding the emotions and experiences of others helps me connect with my audience. *Continuous Learning: The world of journalism is constantly evolving. I embrace lifelong learning, staying updated on new technologies, trends, and perspectives to remain relevant and effective. *Diversity and Inclusivity: I value diverse voices and perspectives. I aim to give a platform to underrepresented voices and highlight issues of importance across various communities.

*Impactful Storytelling: I believe in the power of storytelling to inspire change. Whether it's shedding light on important issues or celebrating positive stories, I strive to create content that resonates and makes a difference. These philosophies have not only guided my career but have also enriched my experiences in the field, allowing me to connect with audiences and make meaningful contributions to journalism and communications.

Can you mention some women who you look up to that has helped shape your life and decisions?

*Malala Yousafzai: Her advocacy for girls' education and unwavering courage reminds me of the importance of standing up for what I believe in, even in the face of adversity. *Maya Angelou: Her wisdom through words and poetry has taught me the power of self-expression and resilience in the face of challenges. *Christian Amanpour is a renowned CNN journalist known for her extensive international reporting. Her fearless approach to covering global events and her commitment to journalism have made her a respected figure in the field. Amanpour's dedication to bringing important stories to the forefront has inspired many aspiring journalists and viewers alike. * Basita Michael, former President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association; has continually challenged the government on grounds of unconstitutionality, violations of democracy and breaches of the rule of law. She has been insulted, harassed, and threatened by the male-dominated government, but she continues to speak out in favor of her fellow citizens’ rights and in support of the disadvantaged and marginalized. * Naasu G. Fofanah is a gender and global public policy expert. She is the Deputy Leader of Unity Party and Board Chair of the Sierra Leone Rugby Union. Naasu was the Special Gender Adviser to the former President of Sierra Leone and Vice Chair of UNECA Bureau on Women and Development.

Success is relative, what does it mean to you?

Success, to me, is about achieving personal goals and finding fulfillment in the journey. It's not solely measured by external standards, but by the sense of purpose, growth, and contentment I experience along the way. ☺️

What advice do you have for young girls pursuing purpose but seem confused if they are on the right part?

I’d like to say this to every young girls out there navigating the path to purpose can be challenging, especially for young girls who may feel uncertain about their direction. Here's some advice to help them gain clarity and confidence in pursuing their purpose: *Self-Reflection: I want to encourage every young girl to spend time in self-reflection. It’s our right to consider their interests, passions, and values. What activities make them feel most fulfilled? What issues or causes do they care deeply about? This introspection can provide valuable insights into their purpose. *Set Small Goals: Break down the pursuit of purpose into smaller, achievable goals. This can make the journey less overwhelming. Help them create a roadmap of steps they can take to explore their interests and gain clarity over time. *Seek Inspiration: I encourage them to seek inspiration from role models and mentors who have found their purpose. Reading about the experiences of successful women who have overcome similar doubts and challenges can be motivating. *Experiment and Explore: It's okay to try different things. Young girls should explore various hobbies, activities, and fields of interest. This experimentation helps them discover what resonates with them and what doesn't. Most importantly, the journey to finding one's purpose can be uncertain, but it's a process filled with self-discovery and growth. I encourage every young girl to embrace this journey with curiosity, resilience, and the belief that they have the potential to make a meaningful impact on the world.


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