Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Hoping to join the ranks of Oprah Winfrey

Ever since the 5-foot woman with freckles, strawberry-colored hair, and blue eyes was a little girl, she knew that she wanted to do something with her life that would help the community. Stacy Bruneau came to FAU to pursue that dream.

Currently in the Multimedia Journalism degree program and a 21-year-old senior, Bruneau believes she is on her way.

With graduation set for August 2005, a scholarship from Scripps, and an internship at NBC News Channel 5, Bruneau already has achieved some things that many people her age only dream about. Her 3.6 GPA is a nice thing to add to the list.

Bruneau says she knows what she is getting herself into, “I have been warned many times that starting out in broadcast journalism you make around $30,000 a year, but it’s a very fulfilling career.” She adds, “I will be happy to go in to work every day and that makes up for the lack of money.”

Bruneau received the Scripps Howard Foundation Scholarship for 2004, which is awarded to only one student each year. She was given $4,000 to help her with living expenses while serving her summer internship.

She was able to choose from 10 Florida Scripps-owned media companies and decided to do her 12-week full-time internship at WPTV NBC News Channel 5 in West Palm Beach.

She worked Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. “I had to dress very professional, much like a reporter does because many times I was off getting interviews on my own,” she notes.

Multimedia Journalism class with Prof. David Blackwell, an editor with The South Florida Sun-Sentinel helped her a lot, she says, because it included much writing for TV.

This past summer she sat in the WPTV daily meeting at 9:30 a.m., where reporters pitch their stories and decisions are made about which to pursue for the nightly newscast.

Bruneau says, “Many of the stories that I pitched were actually used on air and that was a great thing to see happen.”

She adds, “Before the internship I was never really good at being on camera, but now that I was able to get more on-camera time I am much better at it.”

Bruneau says she didn’t realize how news stories really affect people. There are a lot of good things on the news, she asserts, not all bad.

She experienced firsthand the stress of deadlines. “It would be 4:30 in the afternoon and then all of a sudden you would just feel the stress and tension come over the newsroom.”

Bruneau says one thing that she didn’t like or expect was newsroom politics and that people form cliques. She says, “It is like high school, petty bullshit and pretty people tend to get the better roles.”

Bruneau says she is in it for the long haul and is going to pursue broadcast journalism all the same.

“The Multimedia Journalism program at FAU is all right, kind of a work in progress. I have seen it change in every semester that I have been here,” Bruneau says.

Since Oprah Winfrey got her degree in journalism and helps so many people by doing what she is doing, Bruneau hopes that her classes at FAU will help her to do the same one day soon.

“The news is the medium in the community that helps people connect to one another,” Bruneau says. “I learn something new every day about the community that I live in and that’s really cool.”

A Broward County native, Bruneau loves Florida and plans to stick around as long as possible. She says that her career might end up taking her somewhere else, but she hopes that it doesn’t.

Currently Bruneau is a waitress at the Boca Ale House where she works from 30 to 45 hours a week. That’s what pays the bills. After graduation she wants to go back to Channel 5 and become an on-camera person and a “To Go” girl.

Then she hopes that will take her to ABC Channel 20 in Gainesville as a reporter and eventually bring her back to South Florida because it is a much bigger market.

“Being a reporter you are right in the mix.” She notes this summer she met Sen. John Kerry when his presidential campaign plane was in town during the campaign. “A ton of perks come with the job description,” says Bruneau, “because as a reporter you get to go places and do things that most normal people will never have the chance to.”

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