Longtime digital content material chief Renee Johnson turned WLOX-TV’s information director this month – three many years after she first fell in love with journalism as a highschool pupil on the Mississippi Coast. Johnson, who grew up in Ocean Springs, took over the function after former information director Brad Kessie left in October to steer WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Johnson stated she is going to broaden WLOX’s native protection and develop its digital streaming channels.
And she or he stated native journalism is deeply necessary on the Coast. “The way forward for all information is extra native,” Johnson stated Thursday. “I really feel a accountability to assist elevate good journalists,” she added. “We want journalists. They play an necessary function. We want people who find themselves keen to do a tough job, ask exhausting questions, maintain highly effective folks accountable and inform the general public.” Johnson began working at WLOX within the Nineties after a mentor match program at Ocean Springs Excessive Faculty despatched her to the station to shadow reporters and producers.
In school, she returned dwelling on weekends to work on the WLOX studio. She graduated from the College of South Alabama and has served as digital content material supervisor at WLOX for the final 20 years. She stated the proudest second of her profession was protection of Hurricane Katrina. WLOX employees broadcast from the station earlier than, throughout and after the storm’s landfall in 2005. Katrina battered the Coast so exhausting the ceiling began to peel from the newsroom, Johnson stated, and as soon as the winds died down her staff drove to Freeway 90 to survey the injury. “It actually hit,” she stated. “We had been a number of the first folks to see this. It was our accountability to inform people who.”
Johnson is WLOX’s first feminine information director. She labored intently with Kessie, who led the station for 35 years and introduced in September he would step down to maneuver nearer to his hometown of Chicago. Johnson lives in Diamondhead together with her husband and two youngsters.