Pitchfork Press

Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012

Journalism major helps lessen media pressure for Phoenix Mercury player

Nakia Sanford at a Phoenix Mercury practice. (photograph by Cassidy Trowbridge)

While Phoenix Mercury forward/center Nakia Sanford is best known for her incredible three-pointers and rebound shots. One lesser known fact about her is her major: broadcast journalism.

Originally aspiring to go into broadcast, Sanford switched her field of interest when she learned about the not-so-impressive salary that corresponds with being a journalist.

Although she ultimately chose a different career path, Sanford stressed the importance of comprehending the multimedia side of journalism.

“Make sure you’re well-rounded,” she told a group of high school journalists from the Walter Cronkite Sumer Journalism Institute.

In fact, she still uses the communication and public speaking skills she learned in her journalism endeavors whenever she talks to the media. She understands what it is like to be in a reporter’s shoes and in turn provides information that is concise yet informative.

Sanford added that she implements her social skills even further in her charity, The Betty Ann Robinson (BAR) Foundation. She visits schools in the U.S. and abroad in order to encourage underprivileged children to pursue their goals. Her charity even provides personal enrichment programs and mentorships to children in need of their services.

Even when Sanford is not working with the BAR Foundation, she encourages children and teens to figure out their individual passions and run with them. Whether she’s speaking to children in Europe or simply inspiring young journalists to keep asking the tough questions, Sanford keeps her public speaking skills sharp and uses them to benefit the lives of those around her.


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