News anchor Katina Rankin reflects on her career in journalism

Alcorn State University alumna and Magee, Mississippi native Katina Rankin has been making her mark in journalism since the late 1990s. As she looks back over her career, she reflects on when her interest in the media began.

“I knew I wanted to be a journalist my senior year in high school,” said Rankin. “I was an aid in the high school counselor’s office. I happened to pick up an Alcorn catalogue off a shelf in the office. I was flipping through the majors when I saw mass communications. It seemed fun and exciting. Thus, my journey began.”

Rankin, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Alcorn and a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Jackson State University, currently works as the co-anchor of Local 24 News at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee. She is also the co-anchor for CW30 News at 9 p.m. Prior to her role at Local 24 News, she was the anchor of the top rated morning news show at WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. She has held similar positions at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and WAPT-TV in Jackson.

Rankin provides a glimpse of what goes on in a newsroom and what goes into putting together a daily newscast.

“There’s the morning and afternoon news meeting where the news director, producers, assignment editor, anchors and reporters gather to discuss what’s happening that day and to pitch story ideas. After stories are chosen, the reporters and photographers gather the information. The producers then write the newscast and the anchors give the information to the viewers during the newscasts.”

When it comes to reporting, Rankin enjoys asking questions that some may shy away from. She’s also fond of delivering feel good news stories to the audience.

“I love being able to ask the questions that will reveal a truth that most people don’t want to accept. It’s about accountability and honesty. I also love positive news too. It exists. We just have to tell the stories.”

During her career, Rankin has interviewed celebrities such as basketball greats Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, former National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President Myrlie Evers and the late Rosa Parks and blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. Recently, she interviewed Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts about her career as a reporter, several bouts with cancer and much more. Rankin felt comfortable interviewing the renowned journalist.

“I met Robin when I worked for the ABC owned and operated station in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. So, it felt natural. I just had a conversation with an amazing individual.”

Rankin credits her faith as the driving force behind her successful career. She encourages aspiring journalists to seek spiritual guidance in order to succeed in the media.

“Have faith, trust Him and ask for guidance every step of the way on your journey.”

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