Our favorite Atlanta newspaper announced recently that long-time WSB-TV weekend reporter, JaQuitta Williams, would be leaving the station. This past week was her last. The Georgia native made the choice not long after defeating breast cancer.
Yes, I said long-time reporter. Williams' four-year stint is an anomaly in broadcast news today; and from what I'm hearing from profs and recently graduated friends, news today period.
Williams told the AJC that, “When I came back from my cancer journey in January, I was different...I wanted my life to be more enjoyable. I wanted to do other things.” In her honor, WSB has created a Breast Cancer info page. Very commendable. According to the AJC article - figures - Williams had nothing but sweet harmony with WSB and indeed has another job lined up, but, "with respect to WSB, won’t reveal what it is until after she leaves." Supposedly, she's heading to D.C. to work in Obama's press office. More than likely, a smart move. Of anything...an awesome opportunity for a girl from Augusta!
But I can't help but wonder...how much of this was Williams wanting to enjoy life as a new woman, and how much of this was Williams wanting to enjoy life sans Cox? Even so, how much of her decision reflects to overall mood of journalists today? Is the passion slipping quicker? Is is true: Are all pr people burnt-out journalists? Do hard times and even harder demands make the towel easier to throw? Obviously, cancer will change you forever. And yes, I can understand her wanting something more. But just one tiny cell in my mind can't help but ask - was this an easy way out? I don't know the details of her deal with Obama's camp, but this seems like a rather swift paradigm shift. How can some journalists stay in it for a lifetime, and some just seem to fade? Is it passion, guts, place of work or just attitude? It's also been said that they told her the eff word; She was fired. They would. Only an organization so wrapped up in everything but what really matters would get rid of a staff member that the people of Atlanta identify with. Okay, so maybe she does wear a lot of make-up. Maybe that's why WSB "fired" her. They couldn't afford her make-up artist. Highly doubtful. I think she made a decision that a lot of reporters are considering today. What's next? You have to ask yourself. If it's a lot of nothing, then move on. There are other markets in the sea.
That being said - I wish this 37 year-old all of the best in her new-found lifestyle.
P.s. If I were Williams, I'd take Doug Richards up on his offer to guest blog for Live Apartment Fire.